|Jo Jo Makoons : the used-to-be best friend (Jo Jo Makoons)|
Author: Quigley, Dawn
Jo Jo Makoons Azure is a spirited seven-year-old who moves through the world a little differently than anyone else on her Ojibwe reservation. It always seems like her mom, her kokum (grandma), and her teacher have a lot to learn-about how good Jo Jo is at cleaning up, what makes a good rhyme, and what it means to be friendly. Especially since Fern, her best friend at school, may not want to be friends anymore.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/01/21)
The Hornbook (+) (00/07/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/15/2021 This beginning chapter book features spunky first-grader Jo Jo, who lives with her mom, grandmother, and cat, Mimi, on a fictional Ojibwe reservation. Her concerns are mostly about making friends and what she should do (or, more important, not do) in order to be more successful. Jo Jo, whose misunderstandings of the world around her recall those of Amelia Bedelia, also has trouble with her clueless white teacher, who can't see beyond Jo Jo's wrong answers in order to understand the Native perspectives that inform her logic. Ojibwe and Michif words are sprinkled throughout and explained within the story; Audibert's black-and-white illustrations help to break up the text for younger readers. Very few comparable stories for this age group exist; further Jo Jo adventures are promised. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2021 Gr 2–5—Seven-year-old Jo Jo Makoons Azure lives on a fictional version of an Ojibwe reservation, and likes to do things a little differently than everyone else. When her cat Mimi sleeps on her feet every night and makes them too warm, Jo Jo solves the problem by cutting the toes off all of her nighttime socks. Her idea of Language Arts is drawing pictures with Ojibwe captions for Teacher: "language + arts!" Readers follow Jo Jo through a myriad of first grade adventures involving her family, classmates, and cat Mimi. Even though Mimi is her best friend at home, Jo Jo is worried about her friendship with Fern when the girl stops doing school best friend things like saving her a seat at lunch. The story playfully captures age-appropriate concerns and interests, as young Jo Jo navigates family traditions and shifting friendships. Audibert's fun illustrations utilize big expressions to convey the book's gentle high jinks and Jo Jo's rambunctious, carefree nature. Quigley includes "Jo Jo's Glossary" and an author's note for further explanation about Ojibwe language and culture. The story is interspersed with Ojibwe and Michif words; Jo Jo even explains that if readers can pronounce Tyrannosaurs rex, they should be able to say these words as well. VERDICT A sweet, slice-of-life series debut. Readers will love Jo Jo and want to be her friend.—Danielle Burbank, San Juan Coll., Farmington, NM - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.