CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 25 . . . . March 2, 2018
Socks on hands instead of mittens. Underpants over jeans. Backward Day! Kids all like the idea of fooling around with clothing to make something silly of the familiar.
Here we have Cliffy deciding one snowy day that he does not want to put on his usual shirt and pants after getting up in the morning. He "knew what he liked." His busy mother, with three other young children (and a cat) to keep an eye on, "might not have been paying attention" when Cliffy tells her that today is Jammie Day at school.
Off he goes with coat and boots on top of his polka dot sleepers to read, draw and play on the climbing frame. It looks like the teacher "might not have been paying attention" either as she deals with her active class of young students because she doesn't appear to notice Cliffy's unusual attire. Jammie Day continues after school, and …
The idea seems to be catching on: his classmates have been paying attention, and several of them have followed Cliffy's lead. The joke is extended as Jammie Day becomes Jammie Week and then Jammie Month, for Cliffy, at least. Wearing pyjamas is no impediment to helping in the kitchen, engaging in a snowball fight or making a trip to the grocery store.
A spread near the end is filled with the figure of Cliffy stretched out on the floor reading, with all the signs of what a Jammie Month will do, from mishaps such as a tear from the swings to a grape juice spill pointed out for those studying the picture.
Carrie Snyder, better known as an adult novelist, has written an amusing story about daily life that will have children smiling and perhaps hoping for a break in the routine of their own lives, one like this one. Artist Brooke Kerrigan has used soft colours and gentle lines to illustrate a little boy's days at home and at school. The domestic scenes are charming. I especially liked the bird's eye view of the family around the messy breakfast table on the second day that Cliffy asserts, "It's Jammie Day!"
Jammie Day is a book for preschool and young primary collections.
Ellen Heaney is a retired children's librarian living in Coquitlam, BC.