• Picture Book Snob

5 reasons we love JoJo's Jump by Stephanie Mason and Natalie Merheb


September can be a challenging month for parents as well as little readers. Starting or returning to school is often a daunting experience and so are big transitions and anything that involves learning new skills. These challenges, and helping children to navigate them, are what inspired author Stephanie Mason to write her first children's book.


After becoming a mother during the lockdown of summer 2020, Stephanie wanted to prepare her new baby for life as best she could. Stephanie hoped her adorable story of a determined pony who is learning to jump would instil a sense of self-belief in her daughter and in young people everywhere. Despite a bumpy beginning, JoJo the pony develops a strong growth mindset, with the help of her supportive farmyard friends, and is soon jumping with style.

There are lots of reasons to love JoJo's Jump but here are our top five... 1. It helps children develop a growth mindset JoJo's Jump teaches children that it's not that they can't do something, it's that they can't do it 'yet'. It acknowledges that learning new things can be scary and helps children gain the confidence and to face their fears. This makes it an excellent resource for classrooms and nurseries too. 2. It demonstrates that failure is vital As little readers join JoJo on her journey, they see that failure is an essential part of life and that making mistakes is how we learn.

3. It celebrates friendship JoJo's supportive network of friends is integral to her success and this not only shows the value of friendship but encourages children to be kind and caring towards one another. 4. It's a lively rhyming story Children love rhyme and JoJo's Jump bounces along beautifully. The narrative is often quite lyrical with descriptions of 'soft, fading light' and interesting action words to broaden the vocabulary such as 'cantering'. It's also written in a gentle, child-friendly voice that will appeal to the very young.

5. The illustrations are gorgeous So colourful and cute, the images in this book transport readers to an idyllic rural setting and are as refreshing as the fresh countryside air.


JoJo's Jump gets a bonus point for being perfect for horse-mad youngsters. If you know a little reader who loves ponies then this makes an ideal gift, but it's a comforting and reassuring story for all children.

JoJo's Jump was published by Little Steps in January 2022 - see this book on the publisher's website


Thanks so much to author Stephanie Mason for sharing this beautiful book with us - all opinions expressed are our own. Learn more about JoJo's Jump on Stephanie Mason's author website where you can download free activities and resources: inspiringkidsbooks.co.uk