Jasper John Dooley: Left Behind
Every Wednesday, Jasper John Dooley plays Go Fish for jujubes with Nan at her apartment. They ride up and down in the elevator as many times as he wants. And they use a trunk of old clothes for games of Dress Up Nan. So how can she go away on a cruise to Alaska for a week and leave him behind? Thinking about it makes Jasper feel funny. It's like all the air is seeping out through a hole in his belly. “It just feels pththth.” After Jasper accidentally staples his belly at school and gets two more holes, one Band-Aid alone isn't enough to keep the air inside him all week --- it takes thirty-four Band-Aids to patch him up! Will Jasper find a way to survive his time apart from Nan?
This title from the chapter book series by Caroline Adderson beautifully and age-appropriately conveys how it feels to love someone dearly, and to miss them terribly. It would make an excellent starting point for classroom discussions or writing assignments about these emotions. With its engaging and entertaining story, it will also be a favorite for independent reading time. Jasper John Dooley is a quirky and memorable character who is funny and just a bit irreverent. And Adderson's depictions of life in early elementary school are spot-on: particularly hilarious are the capitalized descriptive names, such as when Jasper gets in trouble for “doing a Very Dangerous Thing at recess.”