Blog Tour Stop for My Name is Jake by Jennifer Turner ............... 2 stars My Name Is Jake Jennifer Turner No. Pgs: 17 Ages: 2+ ....................
Author Website: ‘My Name is Jake‘ is a colorfully illustrated, rhyming book for kids centered around a boy named Jake. Each page leads the reader through an activity that rhymes with Jake. Rhyming books for kids are perfect for young children, or early readers just beginning to put letters into words and rhyming them together.
My Name is Jake is an easy reader for toddlers. A pre-story page states A Book About Jake and that is exactly what this is. The reader will learn all sorts of things about Jake that he likes or dislikes. One word in each sentence rhymes with Jake.
My Name is Jake.
I live on Drake Street.
The sun is shining in the morning when I wake.
I like to eat pancakes for breakfast.
The above is the opening sentences of My Name is Jake. There are twelve sentences, one per page, each with a word that rhymes with Jake. The rhyming word is in bold print to make it stand out. It would have made more sense to have the rhyming word consistently in the same place, preferable at the end of each sentence. Highlighting these words may look great and might give the book a little character, but it should not be necessary.
I enjoy reviewing books and lean toward the positive, still, the negatives need to be mentioned. Potential readers deserve a fair and balanced review of a book before they decide to purchase or read.
There is no story in these pages. It looks like rhyming software kicked out every word that rhymes with Jake, and then sentences were written around those words. First Jake tells us where he lives, he gets up, and he eats his breakfast. This is linear and makes sense. Jake begins in the fall, moves to winter, then summer. It seems the author had a plan, but the sentences are all over the place. Simply a hodgepodge of non-related sentences.
Reading this aloud is difficult. Children’s books that have a working rhythm and meter flow naturally. The best rhyming books for young kids are almost musical when read aloud. At this level, I start to expect a very short story that kids can understand and most often remember. Sentences are put together in a way that sticks, similar to the way a song sticks in your brain.
Do you like green eggs and ham?
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
I do not like green eggs and ham.1
You won’t see any tinsel, not even one light.
It only has photos—they’re all black and white.
That’s Edgar the Elder with my Father Frank.
Next to Grandmother Gail and my Husband Hank.2
Children’s rhyming books are difficult to write. The easier it looks, the harder it most likely was to write. My Name is Jake is amateurish, does not rhyme or flow, and has no story. Each sentence may have a word that rhymes with Jake, yet some are plural and others not, throwing off the connection.
Rhyming picture books have a musical meter to them. A rhythm that rolls off the tongue when read aloud. One sentence leads to the next and a story unfolds, albeit a short one. My Name is Jake has none of those things.
I like to shake, shake, shake a tambourine.
When we go to the zoo, I don’t like to visit the snakes.
If you drop something it can break.
We bake cupcakes for my birthday.
Those are the last five sentences in the book. No rhyme. No reason. No story.
My Name is Jake, A Book About Jake has great illustrations. They are the bright spot of the book. Each illustration is bright, happy, and fun. Most are rendered in primary colors, which toddlers can identify. The colors run edge to edge. Kids will enjoy looking at these and might like naming objects found on each page. A game can be made of finding the object that rhymes with Jake.
If you buy picture books for the illustrations, do not hesitate to get this one. If you want rhyming picture books to rhyme, contain a story your child will love, and written with professional editing and guidance, this is not the book to buy. My Name is Jake would be a wonderful story from a sixth grader, not an adult trying her hand as an author.