Sam and his stuffed bunny, Jump, are best friends and they do everything together. After a trip to the beach they make a new friend, but Jump is accidentally left behind. Will Sam ever see Jump again? What could have happened to him?
Author-illustrator Jennifer K. Mann takes a heart-warming approach to friendship in Sam and Jump, subtly touching on issues such as loyalty and responsibility, but above all, she beautifully deals with the very real anguish of losing a special toy.
Sam and Jump has a steady flow, making it perfect for an adult to read aloud, but also easy enough for emergent readers to explore. It balances words and pictures in such way that the reader is fully able to carry the story, from the bright and happy colours that permeate the pages while Sam and Jump are playing together, cuddling up and having fun at the beach, to the darker and muddied colours filling whole spreads with worry, anxiety, sadness and loneliness when Jump is lost. The choice of watercolour is perfectly suitable for the story as it approaches all the emotions with a softer feel, and it’s done so beautifully that it is hard to believe that Mann was learning the medium while creating the book.
A highly recommended book about friendships that is both reassuring and encouraging, and that will strike a chord with both adults and children.