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Jumping to the Beat of Community

Jump In! written and illustrated by Shadra Strickland, published by Bloomsbury Children's Books.

With spring a month away and the warmer weather pulling kids outside to play, Jump In! by Shadra Strickland is the perfect read to get everyone in the mood to move and sing and welcome friends, of all ages, to jump into the fun.

Coinciding with the "tic tac, tic tac" sound of double dutch ropes, the rhythmic rhyming text will find you hopping along with each new character who joins the game... like Leroy with his basketball moves, Ms. Mabel who asks, "Hold my purse before I begin/ didn't think an ol' lady still had the skins?" Even Reverend can't resist the temptation to jump in!

I enjoyed the enthusiastic language and vibrant illustrations that are so full of happiness, inviting the diverse characters on the playground to join the fun until the sun begins to set, mothers call the kids home, and it's time to jump out.

Strickland's digital paintings breath energy and life onto each page, and the many that fold out, depicting an urban environment full of the joy found among friends, family, and community.

Imagine It!

Do you play double dutch? With whom? If not, is there another playground game that you and your friends enjoy at school or in your neighborhood?

Sandra Strickland describes each new person who jumps and the unique style they each bring.

Imagine playing double dutch, or another playground game, and all the people you would love to see join in. What makes them unique? How do each of their styles differ? And how do they add to the fun?

Write a couple lines describing each person. Rhyme the lines if you can. Or, draw a picture of all sorts of characters playing the game... a teacher? a parent? an auntie? a pet?

Imagine how fun that would be!

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