Extraordinary Jane by Hannah Harrison
Genre: Circus animals
Jane is an ordinary dog living at an extraordinary circus. While she isn’t strong, brave or graceful like the rest of her family, Jane is wonderful and loved in her own, special way.
This is a wonderful picture book. The illustrations are colorful and vibrant. The text is simple enough for a new reader, but at the same time, filled with some challenged and fun vocabulary. Pizzazz is always a fun word to say in my book. I also love the play on the word “extraordinary” Jane is really just extra ordinary. This book is a wonderful, and whimsical reminder to our children that they don’t have to be the fastest or smartest in order to be loved and appreciated. It sends a very strong “be yourself” message, which is always important for young people to hear.
Primary Reading Skills
New Words (Vocabulary) There are lots of challenging and fun new words in this book that will help develop a strong descriptive vocabulary.
Tell a Story (Narrative Skills) This book is full of wonderful opportunities for children to expand on what is a bare-bones story of Jane attempting different challenges, but coming to realize that she is wonderful just as she is. Children can let their imaginations run wild with a circus theme.
How to use this book
For the librarians
This is a wonderful book to fit many themes: the circus, dogs, being yourself, friendship, pets. The book is large and the illustrations are vibrantly colorful, making it eye-catching for even the largest of storytime crowds. I’d pair this book with Chris Van Dusen’s The Circus Ship for the similar illustrations and theme.
For the parents
This is a great book to talk to your child about self-esteem and peer pressure. I like that Jane challenges herself to try new things, but is still happy just being herself. Its a great way to start the discussion of different people having different skills and how each person brings something unique to the table. On a more light-hearted note, this is also a great primer prior to a trip to the circus.
© 2014 by Nari of Ready, Set, Read. All rights reserved. You can also follow me on Twitter @TheNovelWorld.