Reviewed on 26th October 2016

Jungle Jam by Louise and Noam Lederman

Genre: Children's Fiction
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Jungle Jam by Louise and Noam Lederman Synopsis

Jungle Jam is a fun, informative and educational children’s book for 0-4 yr olds. It is about a singing monkey who embarks on a musical adventure to find global fame, but discovers that he must work with others to make his dream turn into a reality. On his journey, Mikey the Monkey meets Larry the Lion, Ella the Elephant, Ziggy the Zebra and Gina the Giraffe, each of whom play a musical instrument they teach him about, and then invite him to sing with them.

Jungle Jam by Louise and Noam Lederman Review

More than Just a Kid’s Book!

In our house, we often fight over what is more important in life. My lovely, yet slightly delusional husband believes that without music the world would simply stop turning. I, however, believe that without books we may all turn into highly under-educated and simplistic versions of Donald Trump. God forbid.

Education however, is something that as parents we will never disagree on. Because let’s face it, no mother or father brings their child into the world hoping they will be stupid, illiterate sheep-like beings. Every mother wants the best for her child, and every father wants their kids to grow up in a world filled with fun and adventure.

So imagine my husband’s delight when, for the first time at The Glass House, I was presented with a book to review that would not divide our household.

Jungle Jam incorporates everything that I require in a book to educate my lovely darlings and bring out a pride in reading. But it also allows them to explore their musical creativity. I will hasten to add that most of the time my children sound like they are drowning cats, but my husband is determined that their musical education will only serve to enhance their ‘rough diamond’like skills.

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Jungle Jam is a beautifully crafted, expertly illustrated and inviting book written by the talented duo Louise and Noam Lederman. The colourful illustrations, (by Jason James), both bold and bright, capture the attention of children aged 0-4 (the intended reading age – although I have to admit that when my seven year old daughter saw my five year old having so much fun, she was very quick to join in), that’s #mummywin in my book!

I have written before (in my article Music is my Meditation) about the powerful force and healing properties that music can have in our lives, but as adults I think we may often be quick to forget how much of an impact music can have on early childhood development (yes, I am well aware that I will have to eat humble pie for that statement). And I raise my hands in admission to the fact that learning and appreciating music from a young age can help enhance development. So the very fact that this book is aimed at children so young is testament to the understanding and sheer genius of the married Lederman duo.

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Noam, a musician, educator and well-known published author in the music genre, was determined to create a book that both piqued the interest of his own children and could also help others. His wife Louise has always had a passion for writing so it seemed only fair that the two of them put their skills to the test. And so Jungle Jam was born. Bravo!

About the Book:
Jungle Jam is only the first book in a series of books currently under development, so watch out folks there will be more to come. In the first book of the series we are introduced to a cheeky singing monkey called Mike, (who quickly became a favourtie of my seven year old daughter who is nicknamed ‘monkey’ and has always wanted to be a rock star. “Mummy – this book could be written about me!”)

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Mike is determined to be a “Jungle Star” and throughout the book sees many of his other jungle friends playing different instruments but refuses to play with them hoping to find fame alone.

Learning the important lesson of “working as part of a team”, it isn’t long before they form the perfect rock band together. (Cue all the mums and dads imagining their own monkeys in the basement learning the guitar and drums!)

With more book in the series planned to help children understand music from other cultures, my kids are definitely looking forward to exploring the rest of  Mike’s lessons with him.

Verdict:
As a mum I loved reading the book with my girls. My eldest loved making up voices for the characters but I can see plenty of daddy’s at bedtime pretending to be Larry the Lion and Elle the Elephant. The story is easy to follow and uses simple language, meaning that those clever 4 year olds that are learning to read can follow easily.

Kids’ Verdict:
Well, to say they enjoyed it would be an understatement, it quickly became ‘that’ book that they insisted we read every night at bedtime for a month.

However, the very fact that Louise and Noam were clever enough to include instructions on how to make home-made instruments only heightened their excitement. (Check the back of the book for this clever little added extra!) The girls spent hours creating their own instruments which they play with pride each time my eldest reads her this story at bed time. (Cue the ‘proud mummy’ smile!)

Matilda – 5 years old: “I want Mike to be my best friend. He is really super cool” – well that is praise indeed.

To find out more about Mike the Monkey and his Jungle pals, you can visit the website : www.jungle-jam.com or purchase the book from Amazon here: Jungle Jam

Jungle Jam is published by: VVinner Music
ISBN: 978-191076-206-6

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