Reviewed by Laura Langton
As a new mum, I have a new obsession with picture books for my little boy, so I was excited to be asked to review Ice in the Jungle by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar from the Child’s Play library.
Once it arrived, I was looking forward to reading the book to my son as part of his bedtime routine. A quick overview of the book would be that Ice is a polar bear, and her mum tells her that they are going to live somewhere else due to her having a new job. There is a long journey before they arrive in the jungle. It is the story of Ice’s struggle to settle in to a new classroom, learn to like new food, understand a new language and acclimatise to the new weather.
It is a lovely picture book about the anxieties and challenges of moving. It would be a great book for teachers to use in the classroom to help children understand and empathise with new children in the class where English isn’t their first language. It would also be a good book for parents to read to their children if they were moving to a new area, to ease any worries the child might have.
I have found that my little boy enjoys books that flow well and he finds it soothing. This book doesn’t flow as well as I would have liked and seems a bit disjointed and a bit stop-start. I didn’t enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed reading others that do flow a little easier. My son loved the pictures though. The illustrations are beautiful, with lots of bright colours used, so very sensory. The array of animals used for the characters in the classroom will be educational in the future when my son is a little older, I also feel that this can teach diversity.
Overall, my little one enjoyed all the colours and pictures in the book, and I enjoyed reading it, however, I felt it could have flowed better. I think it would be a wonderful classroom book, and would recommend to teachers especially!
Available to buy from Child’s Play here.