* Prices may differ from that shown
Just Like Jasper is a childrens book written and illustrated by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen. Nick Butterworth is best known for creating the treasure that is 'Percy The Park Keeper' and Mick Inkpen is best known for creating popular characters such as 'Kipper The Dog' and 'Wibbly Pig'. It was first published in 1989 and our edition was published in 2008.
My newly 5 year old began 'reading' about 10 months ago. She currently knows all of her letters/phonics and is working on blending letters together to sound out words. This seemed like the perfect book for her during this time of reading. If your child is in the same stages of reading, then I definitely recommend this book to you. I'm sure younger children would enjoy having this read to them too (my daughter asks me to read it to her sometimes also).
The book is based on a little (and rather cute) black and white cat called Jasper. The plot is very simple but also effective. My daughter is usually rather captivated and doesn't lose interest. It doesn't have any hidden messages or any particular meaning, it's just an easy going little read. The description on the back cover reads 'Just Like Jasper! He plays with just about everything in the toyshop. But what will he buy with his birthday money?' and that is exactly what the book is about - Jasper goes to the toyshop to spend his birthday money, he tries out all of the toys (you are kept guessing which one he will choose) and in the end he settles for a cat toy that looks just like him - hence the name 'Just Like Jasper!'.
Every time a page is turned there is a full page of writing (one small sentence) and another full page of illustrations (the illustrations actually tend to spill over the two pages throughout most of the book). One thing which I particularly like about this book is that the writing is a large size which makes it easier for my daughter to break down the letters and blend them together. Another thing that I like is that there are a lot of small words such as 'cat, toy, is, the, to, his, will, what, he, buy, or, ball, drum, any, has, doll' which my daughter can read on her own (as well as a few more challenging words such as 'clockwork, birthday, perhaps, toyshop'). As mentioned above, there is only one small sentence on each page which I find great as my daughter gets ratty and uninterested if there are too many words to read.
The illustrations are delightful and really enjoyable to look at. My daughter takes a few moments after each piece of text to observe the pictures, she usually points everything out to me.
Just Like Jasper is available from all good book stores and book schemes. The RRP is 5.99 although you can find it cheaper at most places. My daughter has spotted another Jasper book (Jasper's Beanstalk) on the back cover that she now wants too! I recommend this book to 1-5 year olds.
My daughter recently brought this book home as her school book for the week and as she liked it so much we read it two to three times a day, I must say I was rather glad when it went back to school.
The book is written and illustrated by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen, Nick Butterworth formed his own consultancy for graphic design with three other people one of which was Mick Inkpen, in 1980 Nick decided to concentrate on illustrating and his first book was published the same year. Nick is responsible for Percy the Park keeper and Mick is well know for the Kipper books. The book is approx 10 inches square which is about the size of book that I like to read with my daughter so that we don't have to play tug o war with the book while I try to read and she tries to se the pictures. The book has a RRP of £5.99 and there is a second book with this character called Jasper and the Beanstalk.
The front cover of the book shows a black and white cat who you find out to be Jasper he is sat on the floor playing with wind up mice with a large smile on his face, the title of the book is written in balloon style writing in red, yellow, green, blue and purple and stands out really against the white background of the cover.
The names of the author and illustrator are written across the bottom of the cover and I will say from previous experience I wanted to read this book when I saw Nick Butterworths name as we know his books are great. On the back cover there are some quotes of what people have said about the book and a smaller picture of Jasper this time he is sat playing with a Jack in Box which did mislead my daughter the first time we read the book.
The book begins with jasper the cat walking to the toy shop with his birthday money in his hand which is one gold coin, my daughter made me laugh the first time we read this as she said "he can't get much for one penny" seems she is learning about the world young! When Jasper reaches the shop he is met by shelves of toys and one by one he plays with each toy and then discards them this is where my daughter thought that he was going to buy a Jack in the box due to the picture on the back of the book. Finally Jasper reaches the very last thing on the shelf which was a little soft toy pussy cat that looked just like him and this is what he bought.
The pictures in the book are brillant, they are bold and are in blocks of colour without too much detail, the toys are colourful in contrast to the black and white cat which all stands out really well on the white background of every page. The most detail that is really in the pictures is some detailing on the toy balls such as stars and stripes but even these are done in large areas, I think the pictures are great for young children. My daughter loved it when we came to the shelves of the toy shop and we sat and tried to work out what each toy was and guessed what he was going to buy. My daughter did however point out that a ride on car would not cost the same as a bouncy ball which I was quite impressed with as it shows she is beginning to understand a little about money.
We both enjoyed this book although like I say by the end of the week I was very ready for the book to go back to school, by the time we reached the end of the week my daughter could recite the book word for word as there are not too many words to a page and the words are quite repetitive so this helped with her reading too. I would recommend this book and so would my daughter infact i would recommend any Nick Butterworth book as everyone we have read gets 5 stars from us.