Illustrator: Lisa Campbell Ernst
Published by Bradbury Press on April 30, 1990
Genres: Children's Books, Picture Books
Source: my personal collection, the library
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Ginger is a small brown dog who has always lived with the circus. At night, she dreams of having her own human family and a little girl to love. Meanwhile, she trains for a new trick--leaping from a platform into the arms of a clown. And when the smallest clown turns out to be a little girl, Ginger leaps at the chance to make her dreams come true.
Ginger is a small, brown dog who has grown up in the circus. It’s an exciting, busy life, but no one ever seems to have time to stop and play with her. Even after she begins performing tricks with Sir Deedrick, “The Duke of Dogs,” Ginger longs for a real family, with a little girl to play with her. She begins searching every audience for her elusive little girl. But when Sir Deedrick tries to teach her a high jump, Ginger’s fear of heights gets in her way, and snobby Prunella the poodle gets the starring role. Will Ginger ever find her courage… and her little girl?
This is an absolutely darling story that never fails to warm my heart. Ginger herself is charming; you just want to cuddle her and play with her. Ernst captures Ginger’s longing for a home and a friend in simple prose; her drawings are also simple, relying on bold inked outlines, lighter cross-hatching, and a wash of color to convey the life of the circus. The underlying messages about bravery and achieving your dreams are clear enough for a young child without being preachy.
Robin loved this book when she was growing up, so much so that we had to get our own copy rather than borrow it from the library occasionally. Even if you’re not a big dog lover, Ginger Jumps is a great choice for any young child.
Sadly, this book is now out of print, but it’s worth checking your library or tracking down a used copy.