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Jumpy Jack & Googily    by Meg Rosoff & Sophia Blackall order for
Jumpy Jack & Googily
by Meg Rosoff
Order:  USA  Can
Henry Holt, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

This is a story of an unlikely friendship. Jumpy Jack is a snail who is scared of monsters. His friend Googily tries constantly to reassure Jumpy Jack that there are no monsters anywhere. Jumpy Jack asks Googily to check behind trees and doors for monsters, but Googily never finds anything.

Here's an excerpt: ''Uh-oh,' said Jumpy Jack. 'There might be a monster in the tool shed. It might have sharp teeth and horrible scary hair.'
'I donít know where you get your ideas,' said Googily.
'Nonetheless,' said Jumpy Jack, 'I would appreciate it if you would check, to be absolutely certain.'

The catch? Jumpy Jack is actually a monster that should register high on Googily's fright scale, but neither of them seems to notice this fact. Indeed, Jumpy Jack is always scared of a monster that fits Googily's description to a 'T.'

The ending falls somewhat flat, though the ultimate premise is funny, and children will be delighted when they realize that they are in on the joke, and that they know something about Googily that neither he himself nor Jumpy Jack seems to realize. The comical illustrations have lots of fun details. The writer/illustrator duo also won accolades for a previous book, Meet Wild Boars.

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