Reviewed by Lydia (age 7) for Reader Views Kids (10/2021)
“Up Up You Go Jo!” by Mariam Shapera is a fun kid’s book about music, space, and problem solving. In the story, a boy named Jo created some music on a piece of paper and was really proud of it. It was late at night, so he had to go to sleep. When he wakes up, the music notes are not on his piece of paper anymore! “How did this happen?” thinks Jo. I agree with Jo, because I have never seen that happen before, either. Jo’s parents then take him to the fair (a place with lots of fun rides and cotton candy!), but Jo doesn’t want to go on any of the rides; instead, he wants some balloons. Jo thinks that maybe his music notes flew out of his window and floated into the sky. His parents get him some balloons and he goes up into space to find his music notes! After he gets them, he finds himself in his bed and wonders if it was real or not.
“Up Up You Go Jo!” is a neat book to read because it has a lot of things happening in the story. I don’t believe that all of these things could happen, but it is fun to read. My mom wants me to try playing the piano, so I understand the part about music notes, and sometimes I wish they would fly off of the pages when I don’t want to practice. I think that Jo shouldn’t leave his window open at night if he doesn’t want this to happen again; besides, it is too hot right now to keep your window open at night! I don’t understand why Jo didn’t want to ride anything at the fair, but I thought it was cool that he thought about the balloons, because I wouldn’t have. Then, when he goes into space, he talks about things that I have heard before in space, like possible aliens, asteroids, shooting stars, astronauts, and planets. I like how he described the planet Saturn; I like it because I love colors. The colors in the pictures are pretty, and I like that there is a picture after every page of words; sometimes more. The end of the book is interesting because it makes you wonder if it really happened or if it was just a dream.
A Note from Mom: Like Lydia said, “Up Up You Go Jo!” is a fun book that is appropriately written for this age-range (pre-k through elementary). Lydia could read most of all the words with some help from me, so I appreciate the challenge for her reading skills. It’s an inspiring story about an ambitious and talented kid who demonstrates his abilities to problem-solve in unique ways. Overall, a well-written book for kids of almost any age!
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