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Jonathan and His Mommy Paperback – September 1, 1994

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Far be it from this African American youngster and his mother to saunter down the street just any old way. They first "zig-zag walk"and then take "big giant steps and talk in loud giant voices"; sometimes they glide along in "slow-motion steps," discussing "molasses and birthdays and how long they take." This playful ritual shows a tender, affectionate mother-son relationship, made all the more fun by the parent's willingness to join in this original perambulation. Hays's ( Abiyoyo ) soft pastels capture the sights and feeling of urban life as the two pass stores, a park's fountain and graffiti-covered walls, pausing to dance by a building stoop. Smalls-Hector's ( Irene and the Big, Fine Nickel ) lively, melodious language gives a joyful sense of this shared experience; particularly inventive is the manner in which the protagonists' conversational gambits match their gait of the moment. Mothers and offspring alike will delight in the final picture, as down the street these characters meander, appropriately taking "Jonathan-and-Mommy steps" toward home. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K-- A young black child and his mother take a walk around their urban neighborhood, turning the trip into a game as they go. Zigzagging, giant-stepping, hip-hopping, racing, and then in slow motion, they wander through the streets and parks. Ballet, crazy crisscross, and reggae finally give way to backward steps to the places they've been until, tired and happy, they take ``Jonathan-and-Mommy steps'' all the way home. The blank-verse text with repetition and rich imagery beautifully creates the sound and rhythm of the commonplace experience. Soft-toned double-page spreads portray an urban panorama that is at once realistic, nonthreatening, and filled with the movement of the imaginative play. The gray cityscape is softened with muted blues, brick reds, and variegated greens, all reflected in the woman's patterned dress and the chalk rainbow drawn by children in the street. The bond between mother and child is evident on every page, making this a great book for one-on-one sharing; the generous visual scope and delightful cadence also make it a wonderful group read-aloud.
- Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 350L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (September 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316798800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316798808
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #520,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a delightful book that shows a loving relationship between a little boy and his mom, you've found it. In this book, you spend a day with Jonathan and his mom as they take a stroll. While they walk through the city, they play games, sing, act silly and just have a great time with one another. The illustration is done in a muted watercolor and not very bold but still quite colorful. Overall, with few lines to a page it makes a nice read for any bedtime story packed with a dose of love.
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Format: Paperback
I, Gwyn R. C. Moses, would like to share how much the preschoolers I work with enjoy Jonathan and His Mommy
read aloud. I extended the story by having them mimic the steps using sidewalk chalk, created language experience books, and so important have given the 3-4 year olds an opportunity to explore writing by drawing the strokes to represent the steps taken. The products from the read alouds have been awesome.

[...]
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Format: Paperback
ISBN 0439079489 - Printed in the U.S.A., because lately I've been keeping track. Jonathan and His Mommy caught my eye for several reasons. The biggest of those reasons is that Jonathan and his mother are black. This might not seem like a big deal to some folks, but when I come across a childrens' book with black characters it makes me realize how few of them I do come across. Unless you're white, finding books that feature characters who look like you can be a challenge sometimes, which is why I point it out.

Jonathan likes to walk and talk with his mother. They walk in unusual ways - they zigzag walk, they take slow-motion steps, itsy-bitsy baby steps, reggae steps and others. Finally, when they're tired, they take Jonathan-and-Mommy steps all the way home.

Jonathan and his mother have a fun, close relationship, which is always something good to see in books for kids. The text, by Irene Smalls, is fairly simple and a little sing-songy without being boring. Mostly pastel illustrations by Michael Hays capture the fun they have as they walk and their multi-ethnic neighborhood they walk through it on a sunny day. Every mother and son ought to share this book - and then go for a walk! The book is labeled on Amazon for ages 9 to 12, but the book itself is marked for ages 3 to 6 - the book is right.

- AnnaLovesBooks
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By A Customer on August 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is delightful. Spend the day walking through thecity with Jonathan and his mommy as Irene Smalls creatively explores the bond between a mother and son.
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