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Jack and Jim: Picture Book Hardcover – September 2, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (September 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786825278
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786825271
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,442,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Longing for adventure, Jack the blackbird decides one day to venture out from his forest home to seek the excitement of the sea. There he encounters a dashing seagull named Jim, who welcomes Jack into his life and shows him the wonders of his seaside village. Unfortunately, the other (white) gulls aren't so hospitable. "Who's that funny bird," old Captain Seagull asks. In spite of Jim's efforts to defend his friend, the villagers can't seem to get beyond Jack's differences. Until, that is, they learn that he has a skill none of them do. Jack's ability to read funny stories from an old washed-up box of books wins the friendship of the crusty gulls, and interspecies harmony abounds at last.

Though the story has an innocent sweetness to it and the plot line is pleasantly meandering, the denouement seems forced as lessons about the importance of tolerance and the value of literacy are blurred. No question, the book's shining glory is in its illustrations. Kitty Crowther's ink and watercolor pictures are quirky and appealing, with the seagulls dressed in jaunty stripes and Jack the blackbird in a handsome red shirt. The seagulls in the village have a mean, quarrelsome look about them, while Jack's and Jim's open expressions reflect their unbiased hearts. (Ages 4 to 7) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Diversity looms large in this understated, provocative look at the friendship between a blackbird and a seagull. Jack, a forest bird with dark feathers and a bright-red T-shirt, yearns to explore the ocean. He ventures to a pebbly beach where he meets Jim, a white-feathered bird wearing a sailor's blue-and-white stripes. Jim invites Jack home to his port, but Jack grows uncomfortable at the other gulls' stares. " 'It must be the first time they've ever seen a blackbird,' said Jim. 'I guess they're curious about you.' " In fact, the gulls dislike Jack for reasons they don't quite articulate ("Who's that funny bird?" asks one). Jack endures their scowls and upturned beaks out of loyalty to his friend, and ultimately gains acceptance by demonstrating a skill the gulls lack: an ability to read. Although sensitive to Jack and Jim's dilemma, Belgian author Crowther doesn't cover all the bases. When Jim visits Jack's forest home, no blackbirds appear to welcome (or reject) him. Nevertheless, Crowther's childlike ink-and-watercolor sketchesApresented as six-to-a-spread miniatures and full-page illustrationsApowerfully convey the volatile situation and wordlessly show a child-seagull learning from the loaded interactions. This gentle, allusive tale might be a parable about race, immigration, friendship or romance, and that rich ambiguity is its strongest suit. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Scott Sherman VINE VOICE on October 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jack and Jim charmingly tells the story of Jack, a blackbird, who comes to befriend a seagull named Jim. They meet on the beach (Fire Island?) and spend the night together, talking. The next morning, Jim takes Jack to his hometown, where Jim shows Jack the sights with his arm around his shoulder. After an exhasuting day, they spend the night together again. The next day, Jim's seagull friends reject Jack because he looks so different. Jack is thrilled when Jim tells him that if his neighbors can't accept Jack, then he won't be friends with them anymore. Later, Jack winds up winning Jim's friends over, and the formerly-nasty seagulls come to accept and value Jack. This is a sweet book about learning to respect diversity and to follow your heart. When I read the book to my three year old, he asked "Are they (Jack and Jim) partners?" Improbably, yes.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful By T. Bump on July 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is always lumped with books dealing with homosexuality, which it doesn't! It is all about acceptance, and in reading this book to my students, they picked up more on the difference between white birds (seagulls) not accepting black birds (crows). It led to a great discussion on people of color and individual differences. It does show two male birds together, but not in anything more than friendship... So read into it what you want, but the kids just didn't see that.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Stacie Ardoin on September 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
My son loves this book. It is a nice way to show that there are benefits to our differences and that each of us has special qualities or skills that not everybody else has. It also sets an example of real friendship in spite of what the crowd says and does.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on August 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Jack the Blackbird and Jim the Seagull are friends. They meet on a beach that is probably Fire Island. They stay up and talk all night, discovering they are friends.

Jim then invites Jack to visit him and they go sight seeing. They have a wonderful time until Jim's bigoted friends reject Jack because he is a blackbird. Jack knows Jim is really his friend when Jim tells the bigot birds that if they don't accept Jack, then they can just go fly away. In time, the bigot birds have a change of heart once they get to know Jack. They also know Jim is not a bigot and he will not support any mistreatment of his friend Jack.

What a nice story about loving acceptance. It teaches about unconditional love. Whether or not the birds are partners is not important. The message of acceptance and unconditional love is.
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