Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Judy Nayer
Illustrator: John Wallner
Publisher: Modern Curriculum Press
Who’s in the Jungle by Judy Nayer is a charming, sing-song story that introduces young readers to a slew of exciting animals in their traipse through thick of the forest. The story repeats the phrase “Someone’s in the jungle, who can it be?” and guides the reader through the various jungle animals, from monkeys to birds to lion cubs, revealing, in the end, a charming child narrator who has been on the jungle walk.
Suitable for a young audience, this is a smaller-scale children’s picture book with few pages and vocabulary appropriate to independent reading for first graders. John Wallner’s cheerful illustrations are well-matched to the text, reinforcing the adjectives describing the animals, with special attention paid to texture and size. The colors are slightly muted in comparison to a true jungle color scheme, but are nevertheless varied to show the excitement of the wild. The pictures spill slightly out of their frames and onto the text, inviting the reader to participate in the story just as the narrator breaks the fourth wall. Overall, this is a charming text to read with a small child.