September 26, 2017


Written by JonArno Lawson
Illustrated by Josée Bisaillon
Kids Can Press
32 pp.
Ages 3-7
September 2017

In a chain of events that begins with a flea, a series of animals that also includes a grasshopper, a rabbit, a dog, fish, a bullfrog and a horse cause leaping into, onto, and more in response.  But JonArno Lawson, whose stories Sidewalk Flowers (Groundwood, 2015) and Uncle Holland (Groundwood, 2017) have been reviewed here on CanLit for LittleCanadians, goes beyond this faunal domino effect and creates a living organism of movement in sophisticated poetry.
From Leap! 
by JonArno Lawson 
illus. by Josée Bisaillon
With each new LEAP!, JonArno Lawson plunges the young reader into a new environment with active vocabulary and emotional responses. 
Twist and spin!
The bunny bounds out
as the clouds roll in.
A dog gets a whiff
and barks at the wind –
bouncing, bouncing, springing
  and lunging!
Down the bank that dog goes
Gambol, lurch to 
In her signature collage style of cut-outs, watercolours, pencils and more, Josée Bisaillon produces multiple land and aquatic landscapes for JonArno Lawson's jumping, splashing, bounding creatures.  There are microcosms beneath bright flowers in cheery meadows and lakes filled with dozens of species of plant and fish, and a fenced farmyard with trees. From one to another to the next and back, Josée Bisaillon takes the reader down and over, under and above, seeing this natural world from all perspectives.
From Leap!
by JonArno Lawson 
illus. by Josée Bisaillon
For teachers who love a circular story that ends where it begins, Leap! is a treat, especially for the exquisite language and elaborate illustrations.  But I believe parents will find Leap! to be the perfect bedtime read for young ones who've been doing their own leaping all day.  In true poetic style, JonArno Lawson finds the word that rhymes with "leap" and brings closure to a day of activity.
From Leap! 
by JonArno Lawson 
illus. by Josée Bisaillon

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