Oh, what fun it is to ring
the jungle bells today-AY!
Sing, swing, and stomp along with the incomparable Anika Moa and a playful parade of adorable animals for a Christmas jungle holiday!
With my daughter becoming very aware and excited about Christmas last year (she was then 2) I made it my mission to go out and buy a selection of Christmas books for her to enjoy in the lead up to the big day, let's face it when your a excited child Christmas just seems like its never going to come! Luckily my local bookshop had a sale on at this time where you could buy 1 book and get the next for 50% off which I thought was perfect. Searching the shelved Jungle Bells caught my attention straight away, with the bright anf friendly looking animals on the front cover I knew this would be a hit as we are regular zoo visitors and animals lovers, and Jingle Bells in one song that she just loves to sing, the fact it came with a bonus CD was a even better deal.
Straight away Miss 2 fell in love with this book, though she was struggling a little bit with the title, continuously telling me that it was infact Jingle Bells and not Jungle Bells! The song on the CD is sung by Anika Moa who has a beautiful voice so it is very easy to listen to, and I find that you just can't help but sing along to. The animals are just gorgeous and super cute and Miss 2 loved pointing out each one and talking about how they may be helping Santa with different types of jobs. It is certainly a very engaging children's book with lot's of excitement about Christmas. Working in daycare I took this book along to share with the children, who just loved it and asked for it to be read over and over, it was so popular that my boss actually went out and brought a copy for the centre aswell, Miss 2 was happy about this as it meant her copy could stay at home.
A very special Christmas book, which is a nice change to the more traditional Christmas books that you can buy which feature pictures of Santa and Christmas trees. A book which i'm sure we will look forward to reading again this coming Christmas as well as many more, I can't wait to see what books Scholastic's bring out this up and coming Christmas, fingers crossed for more like this. A CD with a book for $21 is a great buy!
I do like the idea of setting new lyrics to familiar tunes. It means children can join in quickly and not worry about knowing the melody first; all they have to do is to sing along with the words. This is a popular Christmas song (Jingle Bells) that has been recycled into a completely different theme. Children like stories about animals, and this is one of the best - full of life and colour. Even the snake seems friendly (although the monkeys are not so sure!)
As with other books of this type, the printed words in the book follow the lyrics on the CD exactly. The song is jaunty and very easy to follow. I found myself singing along to it even before Miss Four and Mr Six arrived to see what I was doing. They were familiar with the book already, and were keen to point out what they enjoyed about it. Mr Six liked the words and the way they linked to the pictures; Miss Four just liked everything, but especially the music.
Mr Six said he was pleased that the words were easy to read because he could put on the CD and follow the song in the book without any adult help at all. He gave me a demonstration and he was quite right - he is quite musical, and gave a rousing rendition of the song while proving he knew all the written words by turning the pages at the appropriate time. Learning with rhymes is a good way to reinforce knowledge as the matching sounds are an excellent aid to memory. Miss Four was dancing along to his singing and when I asked her what her dance was called, she told me it was the Dinosaur Dance because that is the way dinosaurs move. (I should have known that!)
Once Mr Six had finished his performance, and Miss Four had collapsed on the floor somewhat out of breath, I wanted to read the book through again with them, but this time as a standalone text. It was not possible to do this realistically; the tune was in all of our heads now, with or without the CD, so we all looked at the book and just sang the song together. Mr Six pretty well knew all the words by heart, with or without the book; Miss Four, who is just starting to read a few words, had to muddle along and try to do it all from memory. That did not faze her one bit; she just made up the bits she could not remember.
I have to admit, we had lots of fun. We talked about the troubadours of the Middle Ages who used to ride from castle to castle singing their ballads in exchange for a meal and a bed for the night, and modern TV performers like The Wiggles who share their stories through song and dance. It was amazing just how many links we made between the book and other ways of sharing stories. Books in this format are wonderful for adults and children to share. It is a great way to instil the love of reading (and music!) at an early age so that it becomes a positive experience they will want to repeat for years to come.
The kids were busting at the seems to read this book once they saw it on the bench especially as there was a cd attached. The cover of the book is very eye catching and cute you just want to pick it up and read it. I liked playing the cd along with the book as it meant I took my time and it kept both my boys engaged in the story and Anika Moa is lovely to listen to that's definitely a added bonus.
The illustrations in the book are beautiful and the kids loved the different animals and expressions they each have they also show good interaction between the animals that adds to the good-time feel. The book is nice and simple to read and it allowed my 6 year old to follow and read the book alone with the cd on at the same time.
My oldest will be taking this book into his school on the last week of term so they can spread the Christmas cheer I also look forward to reading this Christmas eve with my kids, it's definitely one of my new favourite Christmas books and at only $21 it would make a great gift for any child,school or daycare for Christmas.
I get very excited now to find out what amazing books Scholastic will bring out for Christmas. I am particularly partial to sharing the books with CDs with my children. Jungle Bells is yet another fantastic book and CD set which has been released by Scholastic. I think that even though this book is sung to the tune of Jingle Bells and it follows the same format, it could be enjoyed at any time of the year. There is no other reference to Christmas. Having said that, I think that it will make a lovely addition to our Christmas collection of Scholastic books and CDs. My children have certainly started enjoying it (over and over again) now and it is only October!
The cover of the book is adorable and enough to catch anyone's eye. It is a sign of how good the book is going to be. It is so full of fun and energy. I liked having the CD to sing along with as it meant that I could get the timing of the words right to go with the music. Anika Moa's voice was lovely to listen to and I think it works very well for this children's story/song.
The illustrations are bright, happy and exciting. Every animal has a special character and their faces are so uplifting. The illustrations show a lot of fun and interaction between the animals. The monkeys look like serious "little monkeys" and reminded me of my own two kids here! When you read book, be sure to watch out for the little ant you view each page. It has it's own little story going on!
The words have been put together thoughtfully and flow to the tune of Jingle Bells perfectly. If I was sharing this with children at school, I would get them to make their own verse up to go with the ones in the book. I think that would be enjoyable and a good challenge for the children.
The font size is nice and clear and means that is it easy for young readers to follow along with the text as they listen to it on the CD. Mr 5 was reading it and then started to join in pretty quickly as he became familiar with the text.
I think that this will be a favourite in our house and I can imagine that it will be played MANY times between now and Christmas!
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