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SkippyJon Jones Hardcover – September 15, 2003

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Series: Skippyjon Jones
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; Rei/Com edition (September 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525471340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525471349
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.4 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (495 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

About the Author

Judith Byron Schachner lives in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Judith Byron Schachner has been illustrating and writing children's books since 1992 and has given numerous presentations in schools and libraries. Her workshops are designed to be warm and personal with a special regard for the less than stellar student.
"Kids love to review my rotten report cards and laugh out loud at a slide show involving 4 cats and a funeral. Teachers love the 'Seed Box' filled to the brim with a magical collection of 'Junk' to inspire the writer in all of us. Everyone loves to watch 'Don Juan Skippito Bumblito the Great Sword Fighter' come to life with pencil and paper. By the end of the day we all believe that the stories in our own lives are worth writing about."
Judith Byron Schachner grew up outside of Boston in the 1950's. Her early years were not easy: "Growing up we didn't have much money. My mother was very ill, and to make matters worse, I was extremely shy. All my teachers complained that 'Judith needs to speak up in class, Judith needs to improve in arithmetic, and Judith needs to finish her work on time.' But no one complained about my artwork. On paper I drew myself a world where mothers were healthy and teachers were kind. My life was perfection in pencil."
Judith graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1973 with a BFA in illustration and went straight into the "greeting card factories, which included a stint at Hallmark. For five years I designed cute cards, sad cards, funny cards, and wedding cards. I was not having fun; in fact I never wanted to pick up a paintbrush again."
Married life changed many things for Judith. One clear advantage for her was that "for the first time in many years I could step off the 9 to 5 treadmill and devote all my energy to creating a portfolio of children's book art. That was until two little baby girls were born. Then motherhood became my favorite new job. Over the years I read hundreds of books to my daughters. Inspired by the art and words I was moved once again to finish my portfolio and take it on the road to New York. Around the same time I met Donna Jo Napoli who convinced Dutton Children's Books to let me illustrate her novel, The Prince of the Pond," published in 1992.
In 1995 Judith wrote and illustrated her first picture book, Willy and May, and has turned out a number of projects since then. "The wonderful thing about my job is that one day I can be writing about history, as I did in Mr. Emerson's Cook. The next day I'm drawing a wacky old woman for I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie. Or I can bring to life a beloved pet cat in my book The Grannyman. I live in a constant state of 3rd grade bliss - making up stories and drawing pictures. Isn't that what we all did as children?"
Several years ago the great author Lloyd Alexander stood in Judith's back yard admiring her daughters' Viking ship (as Judith puts it, that's another story). Working with Lloyd Alexander has been a dream come true for Judith: "Never in my wildest fantasies did I ever think that my art would inhabit his world of words."

Customer Reviews

This is the 2nd Skippyjon Jones book we have read and we loved it!
Reading her books makes reading lots of fun and she adds in Spanish words too..
My 4-year old daughter and my husband and I absolutely love this book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Carter L. Wiecking on January 5, 2004
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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By MTucker on November 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By K. Long on January 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Penny Pinching Polly VINE VOICE on August 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my 2 1/2 year old daughter as well as a copy for my cousin's 2 1/2 year old son. Both of them love reading it and giggling at the silly kitten who thinks he's a chihuahua. They love the use of the Spanish words they also hear on Dora & Diego. The stuffed toy makes for great fun for them to act out some of Skippyjon Jones's adventures!

The great thing about this book is even older kids will enjoy it, especially if they're just learning to read or need a little extra help. Skippyjon Jones keeps reading FUN and gets children (even school aged) interested in reading!
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Smith VINE VOICE on August 23, 2006
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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67 of 88 people found the following review helpful By A. Gauthier on October 16, 2008
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.
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37 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Koukalaka on September 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
First, let me say that I enjoy reading to my children very much, and am a fan of many different types of children's literature. I have never written a negative children's book review before, and have a broad appreciation for different styles of writing for children.

Second, let me say that this book--like its sequels--annoys me to no end. I hate this series. The cutesy rhyming drives me nuts, and the book just seems to go on and on and on--it is truly a relief to reach the end of this one. Other people have purchased a few of these for my kids, and I will read them when my children pick them. (They don't pick them often, and I'm grateful for that!) But I am tempted to hide the Skippyjon Jones books behind all the other books. Reading one of these is a nails-on-the-blackboard experience for me.

I am really disappointed, because the concept seems like it might be funny and cute: a cat who thinks he's a swordfighting dog. But this concept is poorly executed, and the author resorts to unnecessary rhymes, cutesy names, and an overemphasis on ethnic stereotypes. The actual plot of the story is completely lost in a tangled mess of annoyance.

I don't have a strong opinion about whether the series is ethnically insensitive or racist, as opposed to just being overly cute. That seems to be the primary complaint lodged by other 1-star reviewers. The mixture of fake and real Spanish is very annoying. As I am not of Hispanic descent, I cannot comment on whether it is offensive, but it sure is nauseating to read.

There are so many wonderful children's books out there. Don't waste your time on this one.
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