Jake's Gigantic List, by Ken Spillman

Jake’s birthday was just around the corner.
Every morning, the big day had crept a little closer.
One day, Jake was counting the number of sleeps left to go when his father asked him a question. Not just any question – a BIG question.
‘Have you decided what you’d like for your birthday?’

Jake liked birthdays. He liked feeling special. He liked being older. He liked the cake Nana made him. When Dad asks him what he would like for his birthday, he decides to write a list of the things he’d really like. Everyone seems to think he has everything, but Jake knows that’s not true. His list includes his own beach and unmelting snow, a pirate and a cheetah. His birthday grows nearer and the list grows longer. He has no real expectation that he will get anything on his list but he’s determined to make sure he doesn’t get any more boring presents. Jake’s Aunt Lyn just might have the answer. There are no page numbers in Jake’s Gigantic List, and illustrations on each page. The story is divided into short chapters.

Jake’s Gigantic List is a first chapter book for newly independent readers. Jake’s list is an exercise in imagination. If there were no limits, money-wise or other-wise, what would you wish for. Readers will develop their own lists of imaginary presents, no doubt wilder and wilder. Aunt Lyn though offers Jake access to all that his imagination can dream up to list, and then some more. ‘Jake’s Gigantic List’ is written in third person, allowing easy access to the story for new readers. Boys, particularly those who find books daunting, will enjoy this book. So will every reader who likes lists and birthdays! Recommended for newly independent readers transitioning from picture books to chapter books.

Jake's Gigantic List

Jake’s Gigantic List, Ken Spillman ill Chris Nixon
Fremantle Press 2009
ISBN: 9781921361715

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review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author