CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 36. . . .May 22, 2015
Jasper’s troubles start with the forbidden high-energy drink he accidentally bought from a vending machine after soccer practice. When he and Dad get home, Jasper hides the unfinished drink at the back of the fridge where he hopes Mom won’t notice it. After just five sips, he can’t even sit still for dinner. When he rides his bike in the alley to burn off some energy, he makes a black, smoky-smelling skid mark. His friend, Ori, is not impressed. Things only get worse. Jasper makes tidal waves in his bath and ‘beeps’ all night. At breakfast the next day, he sneaks another four sips of the Bad drink. That helps him to eat breakfast and get dressed – fast! But, he intentionally wears underpants with the wrong day of the week on them. At school, he can’t focus on work and can’t stop running at recess. Again, Ori is not impressed. A few sips of the high-energy drink seem to help Jasper play soccer better, but Coach doesn’t realize that’s because Jasper, pretending to be a stinging bee, is actually tickling the other players. The Bad drink makes Jasper want to do bad things. When Jasper tells his grandmother about all the bad things he’s done, she reminds him that he’s always been her “best boy”. Jasper decides to stop drinking the Bad drink. But every time he opens the fridge, even to pour it out, he can’t help taking a few more sips. When Mom finally discovers the Bad drink, Dad chugs what’s left of it. Then, while Mom’s out, Jasper and Dad have Bad fun, jumping around the living room together – until things get out of hand. After a trip to the hospital and some stitches for Jasper, he knows to stay clear of Bad drinks.
Jasper John Dooley, You’re in Trouble is the fourth in a series of well-crafted read-aloud chapter books for children in kindergarten to grade two. Jasper John’s exact age and grade are not mentioned, so You’re in Trouble will also be appreciated by older children starting to read chapter books on their own. Once again, Caroline Adderson deftly shows the unique thinking of a resourceful and imaginative little boy. For instance, Coach thinks that Jasper is afraid of the soccer ball, but Jasper is thinking more about how the yellow and black stripes on his soccer uniform make him look like a bumble bee. And, of course, a bee can’t resist gathering pollen found beside the soccer field. Jasper’s constant best friend Ori is credibly sketched. After Jasper tells Ori about the Bad drink, Ori says Jasper should pour it out and try eating something good. When this plan doesn’t work, Ori tries to keep Jasper out of trouble at school. Mom and Dad are always believably loving, but imperfect. For instance, Jasper is able to hide his high-energy drink because
While this reviewer found it a little disconcerting to read a story about Jasper John having – albeit briefly – an addiction, You’re in Trouble provides lots of opportunity for valuable discussion. Furthermore, readers of all ages will be entertained and amused by Jasper John’s behaviour at school when he is forced to deal with the outcome of his Bad, energy-drink-inspired actions.
Karen Rankin is a Toronto, ON, teacher and writer of children’s stories.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
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other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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.