#581 – Jumping Jack by Germano Zullo & Albertine


Jumping Jack

by Germano Zullo & Albertine, illustrator

Chronicle Books         5/13/2014


Age 4 to 8              32 pages


“Jumping Jack is a winner! At least, he used to be. Now this superstar show-jumping champion is stumbling and tumbling all over the course like a colt just learning how his legs work. How could this happen? What could possibly be wrong? Jumping Jack’s best friend and rider, Roger Trotter, is determined to find out. This dynamic duo is about to uncover an eye-opening new way of seeing success.”


“Jumping Jack and Roger Trotter were show-jumping champions. They were a perfect pair, practically invincible.”


Sometimes the solution is right in front of your face. Really. It is right there on the tip of your nose. Ask Jumping Jack and his best friend and rider Roger Trotter. They were at The International Tournament of Primrose, favored to win. The champions to beat. The crowd was electric, literally shocked. Here was star-studded team Jumping Jack falling over rails, landing in water, tripping, and tangling on every jump. What has happened to this excellent pair?

Do you like horses? If so, you will like Jumping Jack. The large sized book gives Jack the room he needs, which is more than can be said for those hired to treat him. The vet’s waiting room chairs, all filled with relatively smaller animals, leaves Jack to a stool, his knees up to his chest. The psychologist, obviously Jungian, wants Jack to lay down. To get his hoofs off the floor, poor Jack once again gets his knees bashed against his chest. Only on his vacation can Jack stretch out correctly.


No longer jumping, Jack consulted a veterinarian. Diagnosis: tendinitis, contractions, neuralgia, bruising, flatulence, and cat allergies. The vet said, “Mere boo-boos.” Can’t jump Jack tried therapy. Diagnosis: a teeny-tiny bit nervous, anxious, cranky, and tired. Roger said, “Nothing unusual,” and took Jack on vacation so he could rest. Two weeks of sunshine.


I love the illustrations. As Jumping Jack flops over the rails, hangs upon another, and lands rear first into a water trap, he and Roger’s eyes look similar. When one looks anxious, so does the other, as if Jack and Roger are inseparable, identical in spirit. What happened to these champions? The illustrations are really good. Poor Jack. I feel so bad for him.


Kids will love these tests and treatments. Jack looks silly going through a psychological appointment, laying down in a classical position. Laying in this “comfortable” position doesn’t help the hapless psychologist. Once their vacation ended the Jumping Jack team head to The International Tournament of Martingale, the most important tournament of the year. Roger Trotter (I love that name), was nervous, but did his best to keep Jack calm and relaxed.


At the first Jump, Jack didn’t. Thrown forward, Roger lost his glasses. They flew off his face, landing onto Jack’s nose. No time to correct this, Jack hit the second jump, the third, fourth, and fifth. Roger couldn’t hold onto Jack. He could no longer see as he flew around Jack, hung onto Jack’s belly, and then slid down Jack’s leg—but he never let go. Meanwhile, Jack gracefully hit every single jump, flying over the poles mistake free. They won!


These jumps are hilarious with Roger trying to stay off the ground and on Jack, even when that meant under Jack. They were a team. Jumping Jack was jumping once more. Roger took Jack to one more doctor to find out what happened, though he thought he knew. Do you know? Kids will love Jumping Jack. He is an expressive horse and quite animated. Jumping Jack is one horse story that will have you wishing you had bet on this husband and wife team.

JUMPING JACK. Text copyright © 2013 by Germano Zullo. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Albertine. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

**originally published in Switzerland under the title Dada.

.Buy Jumping Jack at AmazonB&NiTunesChronicle Booksyour local bookstore.

.Learn more about Jumping Jack HERE.

Meet the author, Germano Zullo, at his website:

Meet the illustrator Albertine, at her website:     http://www.albertine.ch/

Find more books at the Chronicle Books website:   http://www.chroniclebooks.com/


Also by Germano Zullo & Albertine

Sky High

Sky High

Little Bird

Little Bird

 Line 135

Line 135




jumping jack


17 thoughts on “#581 – Jumping Jack by Germano Zullo & Albertine

  1. This book looks hilarious. I love it. I used to have a horse (Shaker, yep, because he shook all the time) with albino eyes. He wasn’t totally blind, but he couldn’t see well in bright sunlight, which made him shake even more. Have you ever rode a shaking horse? Just saying, it’s kind of weird. I also have a horse that needs a psychologist to analyze why he wiggles his way under fences when the gate is opened.


    • I imagine the shaking horse ride would be similar to sitting on a working washing machine? Just a guess, I wouldn’t really know myself. I think I have seen your horse, in a picture. A horse who likes to make exiting an adventure may not be so much crazy as part of the mystical-magical forest surrounding your home, which is quite magical itself. So the horse likes to do things his own way. Nothing wrong with that. You see him as crazy and I see him as independent of mind and spirit. Go figure. 🙂


  2. This story does sound like a winner! I find the illustrator’s perspective quite interesting. Great review, Sue!


  3. I love horses and this sounds like it’s “jumping” with entertainment 😉 Yes, lame, I know lol I’m thinking that if Chronicle put it out, it’s a pretty safe bet a book is good! 😀


    • I must agree with you on Chronicle. The picture books–well all the books I’ve read–are pretty terrific. “Jumping with entertainment.” I wish I had thought of that. If I had, you would have read it in the review somewhere. Lame, yes. Funny, yes! 🙂


    • What!!! Same day!! Are you kidding me?! Well, I just came back from your place. I’ll happily take two out of three with a tie for the third. Yeah, that’s a good score. This is gonna be my year. Yeah! Oh, thanks for the book. I am anxious to read Chengdu! 🙂


    • Yep. It is a wonder he made it through all those appointments to find out what is wrong with him. The twist is not much of a twist, but it is funny. It is a twist, but it is easy to figure out before it twists. Can you do the twist, Rhythm? Oops, wrong kind of twist. 🙂


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