The Thingity-Jig – written by Kathleen Doherty, illustrated by Kristyna Litten

The Thingity-Jig – written by Kathleen Doherty, illustrated by Kristyna Litten, Peachtree, 2021

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5+

Format: Hardcover Picture book

What did you like about the book? It’s nighttime and Bear can’t sleep.  All of his friends are asleep so Bear heads off to “people town” to see if he can find anything interesting.  A recorder?  Nope.  Anything in the garbage can?  Definitely not!  And an old smelly mattress, ugh!  And then… Bear found a Thingity-Jig (a couch).  Bear discovered that it was very bouncy, “a sit-on-it, hop-on-it, jump-on-it thing.”  He hurries home to enlist his friends in helping him bring it home.   Rabbit, Fox and Raccoon only want to sleep.  What should Bear do?  He will bring it home himself!  It is too heavy to carry, too hard to push, and too big to roll. He creates a Rolly-Rumpity to roll the couch home.  If Bear could get his Thingity-Jig onto the Rolly-Rumpity, he could roll it home but how does he lift it?  Help from his friends? Nope.  Bear is ingenious, exuberant, inventive and determined. He creates a Lifty-Uppity! Now Bear can get his couch (Thingity-Jig) home – only he gets it stuck in the mud.  Bear keeps inventing while the other animals sleep on.  I was thinking that the story might go like The Little Red Hen who does all the work and then the other animals want to enjoy what she has done, but not quite. When the others finally wake to find the Thingity-Jig in their midst, they are thrilled, jumping on the couch in every way imaginable.  The ending is good and not what you might expect.

The artwork is perfect for this book; imaginative, detailed, colorful and cute. The nighttime pages with bluish-black background and twinkling stars are perfect.  The insides of the front cover depict a two-page spread of Bear heading off to town at night.  It’s daytime in the back covers showing all kinds of animals engaged in some pretty outlandish activities.  Kids might enjoy poring over this.

Anything you did not like about the book?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book? Kids who might need a lesson in “I think I can, I think I can” could benefit from this story.  Bear’s inventiveness, his refusal to give-up should spur kids on to tackle what they think they cannot.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries, day-care centers, nursery school, kindergartens

Where would you shelve it?  Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Editor, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: September 30, 2021

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