The Story of Jumping Mouse: John Steptoe

The Story of Jumping Mouse

Author/Illustrator: Native American legend retold and illustrated by John Steptoe
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Year: 1984
Brief Summary: In this retelling of the Native American legend, a small mouse sets off to see the world.  He meets Magic Frog who gives him the gift of jumping.  Along the way, he selflessly helps others in need, and is rewarded at the end.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Randolph Caldecott Medal, 1985 Honor Book United States

Best Books:
Children’s Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001 ; H.W. Wilson
Children’s Catalog, Nineteenth Edition, 2006 ; H.W. Wilson

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:

  • Discussion of legends.  How are they different from folktales/fairytales/tall tales?
  • The author/illustrator chooses to illustrate this book in black and white…how does that affect the mood/tone of the book?
  • Discuss the character traits we see in Jumping Mouse…compassion, selflessness, etc.  What are some ways we can help people at home, at school, or out in our community?  Write about a time you helped someone or someone helped you.
  • How does Jumping Mouse hang on to hope and keep going, even after he loses his sight, smell, etc.?

Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

  • Language art
  • Text-to-self connections

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.
Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library


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