Children - Educational
28 Pages
Reviewed on 05/12/2020
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Author Biography

Norman Whaler is a multi-award winner from Grosse Pointe, MI, USA. With over 120 awards for his children's books, Norman focuses on positive messages, some on serious subjects and some that are just about fun. He is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), IAN, and IBPA. His website is normanwhaler.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Shannon Winings for Readers' Favorite

Oh no! Jack is sick with the measles and home from school. Of course, the best part of missing school is staying at home, watching TV, and playing games but his mom won't let him. He could read but books are just boring. So, he's stuck at home with nothing to do. Luckily, it's a beautiful day outside his window with luscious, puffy clouds that seem to change by the minute. All he has to do is look outside and his imagination goes crazy. From knights to white rabbits to dinosaurs, there's so much to see.

Jack by Norman Whaler is a wonderful children's book for kids aged five to seven. I think it can also be read to slightly younger readers as a storytime or bedtime book. The pages are filled with colors and interesting illustrations, an easy-to-read font, and rhymes. It is sure to catch any young reader's attention. I loved at the end that the author has added counting questions for kids to interact with the story. It keeps the fun going as kids are sure to go back through the book to find the answers. I also quite enjoyed that the author stressed just how much fun reading can be. The author shows kids how reading can stay with you and your imagination can take you to new places. If readers enjoy this book, and I'm sure many will, the author has included the covers of his other books that appear to be just as colorful as this one. I am excited to see what else he has done and what might come next.

Jack Magnus

Jack is an educational picture book for children written by Norman Whaler and illustrated by Nina Mkhoiani. Jack’s mom seemed to have eyes in the back of her head. She intuitively knew whenever Jack got out of bed and was playing video games. Jack had the measles, and while he ordinarily didn’t mind a day off from school, he was bored and missed watching TV or playing games. No matter how tempted he was to get out of bed again, he knew his mom would know. Then he looked out at the clouds from his window. As he watched them, he was amazed to see how they turned into a vision of King Arthur -- and there he was, fighting alongside Arthur. Then the clouds turned into a rabbit who was worrying about being late and then into pirates, mesmerizing Jack with one exciting adventure after another. When the clouds finally drifted away, Jack wondered how he knew about all this stuff, and he realized that he had learned it all from books. But he hated books, or did he?

Norman Whaler’s Jack cleverly impresses both the young boy in this story and young readers with the excitement, adventure, and fantasy that resides between the covers of so many classic books. Kids are often so used to playing video games and watching TV that they overlook the rich tapestry of tales that they’ve absorbed over the years from their exposure to books. Nina Mkhoiani’s bright and boldly colored illustrations help readers visualize Jack’s fantasies and the rich details on each panel are grand fun to explore. Who likes books? This imaginative story may have book-hating kids reexamining their feelings about books after all. Be sure to look at the list of public domain classics at the back of the book. Jack is most highly recommended.

Bruce Arrington

Jack, by Norman Whaler, is a 28-page-long children’s story about a boy who was home from school with a case of the measles. Jack wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to spend the day as he liked: namely playing video games and basically messing around. But his mother comes in, warning him that he has to spend the entire day in bed, without any fun video games or TV. So what is Jack to do? Fortunately, he does not disobey his mother and try to sneak his games behind her back. Instead, he is distracted by what he sees outside, namely clouds that trigger his imagination. He thinks about various characters he has learned about since he was small, all in different action scenes. For a while, he is enamored with something as simple as the sky. When the clouds begin to disappear, what will Jack learn from this experience?

I found the artwork to be colorful and bright, helping to kickstart the young reader’s imagination. The rhymes scanned well, making it a pleasant and short read. The lesson the book is trying to teach is an obvious one; how the world of our own imagination is important and relying on gadgets to entertain us only goes so far (especially when they become forbidden items). The mother never checks back with Jack during the story, but by this time he is rethinking his source of entertainment and growing up, just a little bit. Jack, by Norman Whaler, gently points out the value of imagination in everyday life. Recommended.