A school concert sounds like fun. Jake could scamper across the stage in a monkey suit. He could CLASH swords with Jonah. Even being a prince might be okay – as long as princesses are kept well clear.
But Mrs Paul has other ideas. And Jake is going to have to kiss a girl – in front of the whole school! Is his teacher really trying to ruin his life?
Ahh give me a good middle grade any day!
Before even cracking open the spine (as a figure of speech, of course, because one would never crack a spine!) let’s all appreciate the cover for a moment. I love the illustrations inter-weaving the title, the colour scheme – just lovely.
I loved the opening chapter. Smack bang right in the middle of class, right at the beginning where the teacher, Mrs Paul, claps her hands three times! Everyone knows what that means!
The closing two pages to the chapter: delightful. Jake lets his imagination run away with him as he imagines what the concert could be: pirates perhaps? A monkey? A robot? Chris Nixon, the illustrator, complements the text perfectly with pictures of Jake as a pirate, a monkey, and a robot, “with a silver painted box on his head.”
The class is preforming a short play version of The Little Mermaid and after tentatively putting his hand up for a main role, he’s given Prince Eric (aka Ariel’s love interest for those who haven’t seen the movie!).
But oh no! Eric and Ariel have to kiss! Jake would rather eat tripe, watch the news or give up school holidays in exchange for not kissing Stephanie, the girl playing Ariel.
Even worse, Eric has heaps of lines and Stephanie does drama classes and has been in lots of plays. Jake doesn’t feel so confident starring beside her.
I really loved this book. Jake was like so many boys his age I know in real life – cute and scared; and above all realistic.
The preparation process, rehearsals, having a nightmare and then opening night: everything rang so true, and I know this book would help so many other little thespians with jitters before their big stage debut.
Two awesome ending things:
1) Jake had tiny kangaroos jumping around in his stomach (so cute!).
2) The last page had “the end” written on it, with the cast bowing (just lovely).
The best news? It’s out this month, and there are other Jake books!