Mrs Paul clapped her hands three times.
Everyone knew what that meant. She wanted silence and all pencils down.
Jake wished he could keep colouring his picture of a dragon, but he knew he had to stop. He lifted one edge of the paper so Jonah could see what he had done.
Wow, went Jonah’s lips, not making a sound.
Mrs Paul waited until the class still.
‘Right,’ she said. ‘I have very exciting news for you.’
Mrs Paul announces that the class is going to put on a musical play for the end of year concert. Good news. The play is based on ‘The Little Mermaid’. Not so good news. Not for Jake anyway. He’d much rather the play was about pirates, or dragons. But still, he says he’s happy to be considered for a major role. He just didn’t plan on having a major role. Or having to anything disgusting. Blagh. Soft black and white illustrations are liberally sprinkled through the story.
This is not Jake’s first adventure. He’s appeared previously in ‘Jake’s Gigantic List’, ‘Jake’s Monster Mess’, Jake’s Balloon Blast’ and ‘Jake’s Great Game’. In this outing, Jake explores the challenges of being on stage, including having to interact with other performers and the notion that everyone, EVERYONE will be watching him. Jake gets help from his teacher, his family and even from watching his friends perform, but ultimately he has to perform on his own. His internal anxieties are gently but clearly identified and managed with honesty and humour. Recommended for newly independent readers, particularly those chosen for major roles in school productions!
Jake’s Concert Horror, Ken Spillman, ill Chris Nixon
Fremantle Press 2012
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author