Jasper John Dooley: NOT in Love
This is the third installment in Caroline Adderson's well-reviewed, illustrated chapter book series about the adventures of the enthusiastic and extremely likable --- and poetically named --- Jasper John Dooley. Here, poor Jasper struggles to deal with the excessive attentions of his classmate Isabel, who just won't leave him alone. In the schoolyard, she badgers him and his friends Ori and Leon to play babies. In the classroom, she forces him to be her reading buddy. And, worst of all, after school, she invites him over for a playdate! When Jasper complains to his parents that he's too sick to go to her house, his dad says he must have a case of “girl-itis.” However, once he arrives, Jasper is thrilled to discover Isabel has a trampoline, where he gets a “flip-floppy feeling” that is better than anything else in the world. Can Jasper find a way to keep using her trampoline and get her to stop being in love with him?
This truly relatable story handles with deftness and humor the concerns and confusion elementary school children face as they try to navigate their everyday social world, particularly the issues surrounding the emerging differences between boys and girls of this age and where the lines are beginning to get drawn for their interactions with each other. It is sure to keep early readers engaged. Featuring a boy's point of view broadens the appeal. Line illustrations by Ben Clanton add depth and wit to the charming story.