Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Hi Jack! by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli - 1 star

Hi Jack!
Author: Mac Barnett                                                                               
Illustrator: Greg Pizzoli
Advanced Readers' Edition - Viking (an Imprint of Penguin Random House)
February 26, 2019                                                                                                 
Read: 11/27/18

Not a huge fan - Jack is bad Jack - steals purse, lipstick, etc from The Lady. Jack writes on The Lady's nice walls. The Lady gives Jack a gift!
I really did not enjoy this book. I understand having few words to make the story as it is an early reader book and that limits plots, etc. But I really don't enjoy books where the character is rewarded for being bad, and the refrain Bad Jack is repeated so often. It has a No David quality, but not as sweet, nor does Jack make amends (as David does when he has to clean the tables he drew on), and after learning about the history of monkeys and apes as characters, I REALLY don't like it.
As I read more about this book and it's creators, I learned that there was also a controversy on the anthropomorphic monkey, and a long history of people of African descent being represented as monkeys, apes or gorillas, in an effort to paint them as less than human, and an ongoing misrepresentation for colonizers and others to justify slavery and other inhumane acts.

It looks like Jack will now be a dog or a rabbit. It's a bit hard to tell in the new pictures of the covers.

I love Mac Barnett and other books he authored, like Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, illustrated by Jon Klassen. I'm not a huge fan of Greg Pizzoli, author-illustrator of The Watermelon Seed and others.

This early reader missed the mark for me, as I think there are better titles and series out there.