The Barnes & Noble Review
Popular country singer LeAnn Rimes exchanges her guitar pick for a pen, writing a gentle, confidence-building lesson on coping with fears in her first book aimed at kids. Glowing with the soft, lush hues of Richard Bernal's deep-colored illustrations of a grassy jungle, Rimes's picture book stars a little jaguar nicknamed Jag, who makes "a terrific roar for a tiny jaguar" but who's afraid of the water. The trouble for poor Jag is that it's time to start school, and she's worried about swim class and the reaction she'll get from the other students. Armed with some sage advice from her parrot friend, Isabel ("'Well, the way I see it, you're going to have to stand up to something very soon. Either your fears or your peers.'") and some loving reassurance from Mama, Jag heads off to school. There, her fears come true: She gets jeers from the other jaguars for her nickname and for getting scared by a fish. But then, Jag gets a chance to shine. When another little black jaguar who is also new at school gets ostracized for his looks, Jag's lion-sized roar puts the bullies in place and wins her a new pal. With a tender message, moving artwork, and inspiring feline hero, Rimes and Bernal deliver a warm, loving tale that'll have you and your little ones doing the two-step. Matt Warner
About Leann Rimes
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Published January 1, 2001
by Dutton Books.
Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction.