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MEET THE JOOBLES by Monica Brown


by Monica Brown , illustrated by Emily Balsley translated by Cinthya Miranda-McIntosh

Pub Date: Sept. 23rd, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-09-838198-1
Publisher: Fair Indigo

A picture book follows stuffed toys as they move and play.

Brown offers a story featuring a collection of stuffed animals made by Peruvian artisans. The toys, or Joobles, are extremely active, and the tale narrates their motions (“Joobles! Joobles! Take a walk! Joobles! Joobles! Skip and hop!”). The rather emotive text (Joobles is always accompanied by an exclamation point) does not follow a plot, instead describing the Joobles’ activities (“Pip and Mel romp, and Racky runs. Kitty Katz naps in the sun”). The text rhymes in English. Miranda-McIntosh’s Spanish translation that appears on facing pages is able to retain some rhymes, but in many cases, producing an accurate, word-for-word translation means losing the rhythm of the English words. The brightly colored, cartoonlike illustrations by Balsley capture the essence of the protagonists. The images convey the feeling of constant motion supplied by the text, and the emphasis on color rather than intricate details keeps the pictures from overwhelming readers. This is a picture book that does not tell a traditional tale but engages young readers with a catchy rhythm and pleasing rhymes. The combination of a minimalist text in a recurring pattern and eye-catching illustrations is likely to appeal to very young children who enjoy the reading experience but are not yet able to follow a story. An afterword explains the Joobles’ real-life origin and the nonprofit organization that oversees their creation and distribution, providing necessary context for the straightforward tale.

A simple but entertaining narrative inspired by stuffed animals.