If you ever come across a bear in a canoe…pick some berries, that’s all you need to do! At least, that’s what the children’s book Jamberry leads us to believe! This colorful picture book inspires readers to imagine what a berry-picking adventure with a playful bear would be like. Bruce Degen, the author and illustrator, takes us on a journey over dams, across a clackety train track, and through a New Orleans “Berryland,” all in search for the perfect berries to make yummy jam.
This picture book earns it’s “marvelous” label through pages that are covered in color. Hundreds of berries that spill onto the next page keep you guessing what adventure the boy and his bear friend will go on next; are there really more than 4 types of berries you can think of? Degen develops his characters through detailed pictures, letting you know exactly how they are feeling in the moment! More than fun drawings, his silly words and rhymes are sure to be a crowd pleaser to preschool and young elementary children. There aren’t many words in the book, so it is well suited to a young audience. However, the excitement and imagination in the book make it a page-turner for a teacher or parent, as well. The book certainly makes me want to drop everything and head to the forest to pick some berries!