________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 27. . . .March 18, 2016


Jonathan’s Talent.

Jody Grant. Illustrated by Kylie Stomp.
n.p., www.jodygrant.com, 2015.
28 pp. pbk., $11.95.
ISBN 978-0-9949100-0-4.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Roxy Garstad.

** /4



After music it was time for art. Maybe painting is my talent, he thought.

Jonathan grabbed the thickest brush he could find and painted more confidently than he had ever painted before. He used bold strokes, created a jungle of ferocious animals, and used every colour. He even added extra details – a swirl here, a whirl there. The teacher kept staring at Jonathan, and each time she did he grinned and slapped on another colour.


Jonathan’s Talent relays the story of a young grade-school boy who is preparing for his first talent show. Discovering how he can best participate is not easy for young Jonathan as he is not exactly sure where his talents lie. Although Jonathan tries singing, painting, and gymnastics, he soon realizes that none of those are suitable options for the show, much to his teasing classmates’ delight. Convinced by a friend that he should not give up just yet, Jonathan finally discovers where he is truly talented.

     The writing of this story is very clear, and the tale, itself, is engaging, progressing in a logical manner. Certainly, the lessons of seeking truth within oneself, not giving up no matter the hardship, and accepting advice from true friends are noble and necessary lessons that young elementary school students need to be exposed to repeatedly. However, there is a spark of originality that is missing from this tale. While predictability is appealing to young students, most elements of this story seem clichéd. Its self-published nature indicates to this reviewer that publishers might agree. In addition, a full-page dedication at the end is odd, as it is an author’s tradition not typically seen in children’s books. Despite these flaws, the illustrations are more than acceptable; they are colourful and interesting, with the facial expressions of the characters adding interest to the written text. It is for these reasons that Jonathan’s Talent is only recommended for school libraries that collect books on this topic and accept self-published works.


Roxy Garstad is the Collection Assessment Librarian at MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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