Review: Jazz in the Jungle Children's Book

Review: Jazz in the Jungle Children's Book

caffa397b58776e2101899f5af463968.jpgJazz in the Jungle, by Joey Walter. Illustrated by Ning-ning Li

This lovely rhyming children's book is by Walsall-based author Joey Walter and illustrated by Birmingham artist Ning-ning Li. The story follows main character Oscar the Ocelot – a pianist who can’t find his ‘swing’. With a little help from Ellington the Elephant, Terri Tree Frog, Louis the Lemur and Leroy Leopard, Oscar the Ocelot finds a few cool accessories that help him get in the groove. The characters are named after famous jazz musicians: Oscar the Ocelot is named after Oscar Peterson; Ellington the Elephant is Duke Ellington, and Louis the Lemur is Louis Armstrong.

The easy-to-follow poem is a charming take on life in the jungle, complemented by absolutely beautiful watercolour paintings. Thoroughly recommended.


It’s a monkey’s business, swinging around.
Playing up high, or low to the ground.
They jam in the jungle ‘til their rhythm is found.
Singing and swaying to the cool, hip sound.

Click here to read an interview with the author and illustrator and to download Jazz in the Jungle colouring-in sheets. 

Back Page: Deep in the jungle, hidden away, Lives Oscar the Ocelot who wants to play. Play what? I hear you wonder and say. Why, Jazz of course. Hip-hip hooray!
​​​​​Suitable for: All ages. A great bedtime story
Available from: Spoon in a Jar Publications
Genre: Children's Book
Format: Paperback
Price: £7.99
Bio: Joey is a musician and writer 4460975463f311664c6b788f6971b197.jpgbased in the UK’s second city, Birmingham. Passionate about performing since she learned to walk, her conjury with words began later after a vivid dream inspired her to take pen to paper.Jazz in the Jungleis Joey’s first children’s book which tells the tale of loveable Oscar the Ocelot who wants to learn to swing like the jazz greats he idolises. It is illustrated by fellow musician and creative Ning-ning Li whose vibrant images bring the fable to life.Joey is currently working on a collection of bed-time stories for young children and is easily distracted by coffee and bright colours.

Alice Johnson

Alice is Editor of Raring2go! magazine for Burton and Ashby in the Midlands. She is a former journalist and freelance writer and has two young daughters. 

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