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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Jack’s Backyard is a children’s fantasy picture book written by Scott P. Smith and illustrated by Jennifer Smith and Dipali Dutta. With the summer holiday fast coming to an end, Jack sits in his back yard and wonders what he should tell his class at school when asked how he’d spent his summer. Although he’d done many exciting things, Jack does not feel like any of them are interesting enough to talk about. His imagination starts to run wild as he begins to picture giraffes, squirrels, otters, buffaloes, crows, owls, hippos and more frolicking in his back yard, right before his very eyes.
I found Scott P. Smith’s delightful tale very exciting and found myself smiling with each turn of the page. Jack had done so many wonderful and exciting things over the summer but he thought he could invent even more adventure in his own mind if he tried, just so he could impress his teacher and classmates at school. Not only was the tale one of fantasy – it was also educational in that it taught the reader many new words, utilizing the correct phrases for a group of each animal. Not only are the new words used during the story, they are also indexed at the back of the book for quick and easy reference, along with some fun games which young readers can play. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Jack’s Backyard and recommend it to be read by all young readers aged 4 to 7 years of age as it not only teaches a child how to use their imagination to the fullest, but also engages in exciting activities which will keep a child entertained for hours.