Jimbo! Don’t go! by Teena Raffa-Mulligan is a rhythmically written rhyme book that touches on the topic of stranger danger.
One rainy day Jumbo Jim is on his way home from school alone when a tiger stops and offers him a lift. Time promises to get him home and dry quicker than a snake can blink an eye - but Jimbo says no. Mum has told him never to go with strangers. That’s when Tiger Tim says he is a family friend - and he has chocolate too.
Will Jimbo remember his mother’s stranger danger warning - or go with Tim?
Teena Raffa-Mulligan has a great story line and concept that should be discussed with all children. Stranger Danger is a topic that at one point in time should be addressed with children. It is a topic for the safety of our children.
I am a little uncertain of this book. As parents we all have differing points of view on how to bring up our children and what to teach them in different situations. I have to honestly say that Jimbo! Don’t Go! did not sit with my values of what I would teach my children. I found both the story and the illustrations to portray images that did not sit comfortably with myself. I actually found myself questioning if the aim of this book was to open discussion with our children on what not to do.
So what upset me?
For me personally I found the violent way mother elephant dealt with Tiger, swinging him around by the tail and dealing with him herself until the police arrive as uncalled for, not only placing herself in danger but that of her child. Yes we would want to attack any predator that put our children at risk but this is not socially acceptable and we surely do not want to be encourage our children to lash out and call the police later. Whilst this is happening in words the picture portrays Jimbo standing by laughing at what his mum is doing.
‘Now she’d dealt with Tiger Tim it was time to deal with Jim. She ignored his woeful wail and tied a knot into his tail”
What! Is this the way we deal with our children by abusing them when they are in an upsetting situation. I surely would never deal with my children in this manner. Would this not have been the opportunity to talk to Jimbo about the situation in a loving calm way opening the discussion of what to do when a stranger approaches you. I want my children to be able to confidently come to me when in danger knowing they can openly communicate with me without the risk of me yelling at them.
What it is important to remember here is that books are a personal thing. Jimbo! Don’t Go! is not a book that sat well with me but this does not mean it is not a book that will sit with the morals and values of others. I loved the topical issue of this book and support a need for the teaching of stranger danger to our children but feel this can be done without instilling the need for violence in our children.
When seeking other reviews on this book I was only able to find one online which basically gave an overview of the book and no real opinion on how they found it. Maybe how I see this book is completely wrong. I would love to hear the opinion of others, after all book reviews are about opening discussion on the differing opinions of readers.
Watch a reading of Jimbo! Don’t Go! on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ej6k42tsdo