This is the book I’m going to set aside for that time when my sister has a kid and I, as its favorite aunt, will take upon the onus of completely screwing it up. Because Jesper Jinx and his Jinx-y book is filled with ideas that every kid will love and every parent’s nightmares are made of. It looks like I have found my weapon of sisterly-destruction! MUWAHAHAHA!!!
Jesper Jinx is a lovely boy of 11 who is like every other boy of 11, but with an extra dose of that insane energy and an extra-extra dose of that insane insanity. He is full of ideas that start with “what’s the harm in having a little fun?” and end with…well, usually with him running away as fast as he can from the scene of crime. Never the one to put up with boredom or with unsated curiosity, he fills up the pages of this book with innovations and incidents and accidents that will leave you in splits.
Marko Kitti is at his best when he is writing in the author’s voice directly interacting with the reader. That is his greatest strength- his ability as a live story teller who can actively drag you into the story. At the beginning of the book, you can tell that he struggles with the switch from that natural voice to one where he is interacting with Jesper rather than with the reader. But, once that slightly awkward transition is past, he is in his element again when he starts narrating Jesper’s antic, author-to-reader.
The book does have a few grammatical glitches. But, on the whole, the Finnish author’s editing team has done a good job. The characters came across as adorably ridiculous and the illustrations that accompanied were beautifully appropriate and made the experience all the more special.
Technicalities aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had been some time since I read a book which didn’t have the world coming to an end, character deaths and a whole lot of seriousness (I’m not talking about fiction. This is what my medical textbooks are full of.) So, this book, for me, was like a vacation where I did nothing but sit on the beach and sip iced teas (the long island variety ;-D).
BOTTOMLINE: Do you have kids? Do you like kids? Do you wish you were a kid? If the answer to any of the above is yes, read the book. If the answer to any of the above is no, then, definitely read the book. With Boredom breakers, Snowy the cat, Moustaches with deep voices…this book has all the elements that will delight not only the little one in front of you, but also the little one inside of you that tends to get lost in the throes of growing up.