For breakfast he had on jam on toast. For lunch he had jam sandwiches. For tea he had jam pudding.
But Zack finds out there is more than one meaning to the word “jam” as he gets into a sticky situation!
A fun story about helping people, based on the tale of the Good Samaritan.
A Scripture Union book
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My nephews came up to visit during the summer holidays and one thing they love is story time. For this visit I had Zack Black and the Jam Attack! for the 6 year old to read that I had bought second-hand.
It didn’t take him long to discover the new book on the bookshelf!
There were times he chuckled over what was happening in the story. We talked about how messy it is to eat jam doughnuts and what to do so that the jam doesn’t squirt everywhere.
He was particularly amused when his mum was talking about a traffic jam and Zack couldn’t see any jam anywhere!
“That’s not talking about the same jam is it!” he smiled.
He wasn’t too impressed with the author at one point.
“Oh, they haven’t got it right,” he said breaking off from the story. There was silence as he studied the page.
“It says here ‘It had a bright red door.’ but the picture isn’t red, it’s grey.”
I explained that it probably had been coloured red but that the printer didn’t use colour so everything came out white, grey or black.
He wasn’t too impressed, but accepted the explanation. He didn’t have a problem with any of the other pictures, just that one because it wasn’t the colour the story said.
This showed to me that he was into the story and seeing it in his mind and that discrepancy had jolted him out of the story. (I sympathised with his annoyance, as it drives me crazy when the cover of a book shows something completely different from what the story says. However, they are more at fault as those covers are in colour so you already have the image in your head and then the story says something differently.)
As he reads more books that have black and white illustrations he will learn to see the black and white on the page and the colours in head.
It did make me think though that if I do write a story for that age group and the pictures are black and white; don’t mention something as a particular colour! Or if you do, don’t make that item the feature of the illustration.
Overall, my nephew enjoyed the story. It was aimed at his age; he chuckled at parts, felt sad at others (like when Zack got jammed in the door and the boys passing laughed instead of helping) and generally chatted about his thoughts throughout the story.
He was able to read it himself, but he is an advanced reader and the only word he had a problem with was “sieve”. However, even if your child can’t read it themselves, they’ll still enjoy having it read to them.
Zack is curious because he can’t see God, and how can you know He’s helping if you can’t see Him.
Aunty Pam explains that one way is that God sends people to help us when we need it. When Uncle Steve was first in hospital and she was there with him every day, she didn’t have time for shopping or cooking but friends came round with meals already cooked so she didn’t have to do any shopping or cooking. Other times people rang to see if she was OK.
I liked how the story showed that to help us out God sometimes uses other people, which is a valuable lesson for all children to learn.
I’ll now be looking out for other Zack Black books for us to read.
~ Wendy Sparkes ~