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Perhaps the most serious problem with current literacy campaigns is that they ignore, and even divert attention from, ... More

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Author: Dave Reisman

Illustrator: Jason A. Maas

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Jumping Cow Press, 2008

Material: hard cover

Summary: Cows can't jump but they can swim. Gorillas can't swim but they can ... The book continues on in this way through 20 animals and their skills. Young readers can learn (and imitate) animal traits in this picture book that can be an easy reader.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 5

Reading Level: 1.2

Age of Child: Read with a 4-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter (4) was interested in the story and what was going to happen. She was interested for one reading but then didn't want to pick it up again.

Adult Reader Reaction: At first, I thought Cows Can't Jump was going to be good but it was never pulled together like it could have been. It had a good message that even though we can't do everything there are some things that we can do.

Pros: Fun pictures help illustrate the idea that each of us has our own talents. With young readers, you may be able to engage them in imitating animal talents.

Cons: The story carried on the "can't, but they can ..." concept for too many animals. In the end, it missed the opportunity to really drive home the message.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow or skip. Some kids may enjoy pretending to do what the animals do. For the message, though, there are other better books I would pick one of those over this. This is a book that has the potential to last through preschool and be useful as your child is learning to read.

If You Liked This Book, Try: Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon; Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester; I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont THE SEVEN CHINESE SISTERS   GOLLYWOOD, HERE I COME   JUST THE WAY YOU ARE

Educational Themes: Within the story of what animals can and can't do is the idea that each of us is special and can do our own things. You might ask your young reader what they can do. This is a great way to demonstrate - and encourage - different types of movement with kids.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, easy reader, self worth

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews at; and reviews and reader feedback at


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