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SkippyJon Jones Hardcover – September 15, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 686 customer reviews
Book 1 of 8 in the Skippyjon Jones Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-This is a wildly wonderful book about a hyperactive kitten, Skippyjon Jones, whose head and ears are too big for his body, and whose imagination is too intense for his mama. According to her, he needs to do some serious thinking about what it means to be a Siamese cat instead of a bird (Skippyjon always wakes up and eats worms with his feathered friends). She sends him to his room, where he imagines he is a Chihuahua ("My name is Skippito Friskito./I fear not a single bandito"). Chock-full of rhyming chants and Spanish expressions, the feline's adventure as a doggy Zorro ends in chaos. His frazzled mother gives him a hug anyway and says, "Say good night, Skippyjon Jones." "Buenas noches, mis amigos," says the kitten, as he bounces on his bed all ready for another adventure. The buoyant and colorful cartoon illustrations match the exuberant text perfectly. Spanish-speaking children will be especially delighted by the words and humor; others may be a little bewildered by all of the foreign phrases and will need some explanation, but the story definitely has the potential of a fun read-aloud. A good multicultural offering.
Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

*"Both feline hero and story are full of beans (more Mexican-jumping than pinto) but ay caramba, mucho fun."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Buoyant and colorful cartoon illustrations match the exuberant text perfectly."—School Library Journal

"The illustrations are as humorous as the story and kids will enjoy them."—Children's Literature
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Lexile Measure: AD740L (What's this?)
  • Series: Skippyjon Jones
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers; Rei/Com edition (September 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525471340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525471349
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 0.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (686 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Skippyjon Jones" is so good on so many levels. It may just be the perfect children's book. No, the Platonic IDEAL of what a children's book should be...I'm that enamored of it!
First, the plot is hilarious. Skippyjon is a Siamese cat with a fantastic imagination. His mother scolds him for being so un-catlike and sends him to his room "to think about what it means to be a Siamese cat." But of course Skippyjon doesn't think for long. His imagination takes over and poof! He's a famous sword-fighting chihuahua off on an adventure in old Mexico. He defeats Alfredo Buzzito, "el blimpo bumblebeeto bandito" and wins back all the beans Buzzito has stolen from Los Chimichangos, a band of desert-dwelling chihuahuas. And of course the noise of this adventure eventually brings him back to reality, with his mother and sisters scolding him again, but in such a fond and loving way that we're left feeling only their affection for the little kitty-boy scamp.
Next, there are the pictures. Young readers and experienced readers both will enjoy the very funny illustrations, which include clues about just how Skippyjon GETS those wild ideas.
Finally, there is the diction. The language in this book is inspired. It rollicks. It rolls. It plays with the audience, teases and tickles and delights little ears. And "holy guacamole," it sure is fun to read aloud!
Thank you, Judith Schachner!
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Format: Hardcover
I am normally a huge fan of Skippyjon Jones and loved the other books in the series we've read, so I hate to say anything negative. I bought this book for my 4 yr old twins and while the same adorable Skippyjon Jones is still so entertaining and funny, I was a little uncomfortable with some of the subject matter. First of all, Skippy "steals" dogbones that belong to the bully neighborhood dog, Darwin. I wasn't too keen on that, but I guess it presents an opportunity to talk to your children about the fact that stealing is wrong. Then, after Skippyjon comes out of his hilarious fantasy, Darwin is banging on Skippyjon's door, the bones come tumbling out and, "The next thing he knew, the kitty boy was waking up on the couch." Turns out he doesn't remember what happened, but apparently got worked over by Darwin. The picture shows Skippyjon on a chair with a bandage on his head and an icebag. His mom is competely nonchalant about the whole thing and seems to have no idea?!? he was beat up. When he asks what happened, she "proudly" tells him he decided to return the bones - all of them. Finally, he is back in his room at night and pulls out his stuffed animal with some little bones he somehow managed to hide and sings, "Oh I'm Skippyjonjones, And I'm not a dog fighter, But I still have some bones 'Cuz I'm the decider." What does that mean?!? A wee bit of control-freak behavior going on here and I guess he got away with the stealing after all. A little disappointing and not the best message.

I know Skippyjon is a little stinker at times, but it was depicted in a much more innocent fashion in the previous books we've read.
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Format: School & Library Binding
The Doll is great! But if I could have, I might have bought it seperately - I didn't know the book was going to be so small. (much smaller than the regular SJJ books)
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Format: School & Library Binding
All 3 of our kids (ages 4-12) love the Skippyjon Jones books. Great illustrations and plenty of dramatic text to hold adult & kid attention; also gives great opportunities for the reader to practice theatrical voices.
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Format: Audio CD
My 5 year old really enjoys this books with the silly rhymes and play on words. This story is about a child-cat and his imagination. The play on spanish words aren't meant to be racist, it shows how a young kitten (similar in his personality to a young child) may interpret how they hear things. It never shows the spanish chihuahuas as being any kind of bad stereotypes. Just as some Pups in need of a little rescuing from a Zorro style hero.

To me, the books relate to how young ones work into their imaginary play new languages and ideas on culture. Chihuahuas are thought to be spanish, so SkippyJon, a child-cat, will 'interpret' the language and customs in his own way, with what little knowledge he has, while pretending to be a chihuahua.

Also, to reference a particular point someone made on why the book is so stereotypical, the true reason behind adding the -O after words that aren't spanish is NOT done to suggest that it automatically makes a word spanish. Its done to fit into the song rhythm its meant to go with, and to rhyme with other words.

In the end, if you are concerned about it, teach your child the true customs and explain that the book is about word play between english and spanish, and is make believe and silly. Or, of course, don't read the book at all. But don't be so self-righteous as to denounce the book as racist, because racist is an ugly term that these playful books do not deserve.
5 Comments 78 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
schachner's book is superb! while it is, technically, a children's book, it is one of the very favorites of both my wife and me (and our daughter)! the details of the plot are discussed by other reviewers accurately and completely. as my introduction to schachner's work, i've searched out her other work. while it is hilarious, clever, and pictorially very appealling, the thing that is most important to me is that it makes the time that i get to spend with our children reading more fun than we'd ever imagined it could be (and we're all avid readers). there could be some out there who could be offended on the grounds that it could be seen as politically incorrect. i don't. i find it a terrific book, i'd give it 6 stars if amazon allowed it, and i think that it is well worth the full purchase price. i hope that schachner continues her creative works.
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