Reviews for Jump! : From the Life of Michael Jordan


Booklist Reviews 2004 September #1
K-Gr. 3. Cooper, whose distinctive artwork has earned numerous Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book awards, contributes both words and pictures to this stirring childhood profile of basketball legend Michael Jordan. Each double-page spread features powerful portraits of Jordan, from a wildly energetic boy to a high-school basketball star jumping for a shot in a long gatefold. Children who view Jordan as a deity on the court will take comfort in Cooper's stories, written in casual, colloquial language, which portray the icon as a regular, energetic kid who worked exceptionally hard and sometimes failed. Cooper also emphasizes the help and encouragement that Jordan received, especially from his coach, and Cooper's focus on Jordan's motivating rivalry with his older brother adds dramatic tension. The layout in a few spreads is awkward, with images separated by the center binding. Nonetheless, children will appreciate this handsome tribute, which credits Jordan's determination and support from others, more than his prodigious talents, for his glorious success. ((Reviewed September 1, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Spring
Michael Jordan's energy and determination showed up early on, but his ability to win did not. Cooper uses young Michael's defeats to demonstrate how losing can be motivational. Didactic though the picture book text may be, the faces of the people in Cooper's oil paintings tell the story without words, each person distinctly individual and expressive. A long biographical note is appended. Bib. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2004 #6
Michael Jordan's energy and determination showed up early on, but his ability to win did not. Older brother Larry ensured that Michael always came in second, whether the game was checkers or basketball. Cooper uses the series of young Michael's defeats to demonstrate how losing can be motivational: "Michael did not give up. No, no." The story ends at the glorious moment in high school when Michael finally managed to beat his brother, although a long biographical note moves beyond Jordan's early life into his adult pro basketball career. Didactic though the text may be, the faces of the people in Cooper's oil paintings tell the story without words, each person distinctly individual and expressive. A gatefold, used to great effect at the climactic point, unfolds vertically to show Michael soaring over his brother to win at last. This picture book biography is a welcome reminder of Jordan's tremendous career and what it took to get there. Includes a brief bibliography. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2004 October #2
Michael Jordan was a curious, mischievous little boy who was constantly trying to keep up with his older brother Larry. It seemed as if Larry was always just a little faster, stronger, and more skilled. Michael even tried hanging by his arms in an effort to grow faster. Supported by a strong family and attentive coaches, his own intense determination, and of course his incredible talent, he grew up to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Cooper focuses on childhood incidents that display Jordan's strong character, his competitive spirit, his willingness to practice endlessly, and the loving rivalry between the brothers. Cooper's umber-tinted, action-packed illustrations perfectly capture Jordan's determination and achievements, reserving a fold-up page for the magical "Air Jordan" leap. Having retired several years ago, Jordan still remains a hero of legendary proportions-Cooper keeps the legend alive. (biographical note) (Picture book/biography. 6-12) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2004 November #5
Fittingly featuring a vertical format, this winning portrait of the legendary basketball player centers on his childhood and adolescence. Cooper (Be Good to Eddie Lee) characterizes Michael as a boy of boundless energy, determined to keep up with his talented older brother, Larry-and to beat him at one-on-one. Though he fails to land a spot on his high-school varsity basketball team, Michael sticks with the sport and, with encouragement from and early-morning sessions with his devoted coach, greatly improves his game. In a vertical gatefold that captures the energy and exuberance of the moment, Cooper re-creates the triumphant breakthrough when Michael first out-jumps Larry-and scores a basket. Though delivering an inspirational message (his opening note suggests that "with perseverance and determination, a greatness may be within reach of us all"), the author avoids a preachy tone. Like the picture book by Jordan's mother and sister, Salt in His Shoes (2001), this account emphasizes the athlete's endless hours of practice, offering hope to dedicated players. Rendered in umber washes of oil, subtracted with an eraser and tinted with mild glazes of mixed media, the earth-toned art retains a pastel-like softness, and nimbly conveys the story's ample motion and emotion. A concluding wrap-up chronicles highlights of Jordan's career. An obvious fan of his subject and this sport, Cooper shoots from the heart-and easily hits his mark. Ages 5-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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