I've picked up Skippyjon Jones off of the shelf at the library a few times thinking that I'd read it to the kids, but every single time I've put it back. When I read the book to myself I can't help but think, "this story is ridiculous, and it makes no sense. I'll find something else." Well, today I just went ahead and took the book to the kids and read it to them. What I discovered is that when you read Skippyjon Jones aloud, the language and wordplay just pops to life. It crackles with vivacity, and it has a lyrical quality that compels the reader to modulate their voice with the undulation of the language. Reading Skippyjon Jones is like reading well-crafted poetry.
The language is put together in such a fascinating way that it really kept the attention of my niece and nephew. Not only were they practicing rolling some of the words off of their tongues (and laughing at my efforts to do so--"yip, yippee, yippito" is *really* hard for me to say), but they were also enjoying the story that was being told. I have to admit, that when read aloud, the story made a lot more sense to me, too, and it was pretty cute. So, all in all, I have a new appreciation for Skippyjon Jones, and I'll look for more of these books to read to the kids.