Jasper John Dooley is too irrepressible to resist. In this latest installment, Jasper's Nan has found a box of old toys that belonged to Jasper's father and uncle when they were young. Among all the things in the box, there is an orange plastic figure of Marcel Mouse. Marcel had his own television show and Dad and Uncle Tom watched it faithfully, singing the theme song and doing the little dance. Jasper immediately wants to wear Marcel all the time, just like Dad did. He learns the song and dance and teaches them to everyone in his class. Marcel hangs on a "so so long string" around Jasper's neck, except when he is sleeping or at school. And one day, there is a terrible accident with the lid of the toilet and the string. Now Marcel is lost. Will he ever find his way home?
These books are perfect for early chapter book readers - long enough to be a step up from picture books, but not long enough to be daunting. The stories are full of school,family, and friends. There are familiar things like each student having a turn to be the "Star" of the week, finding games to play at recess, and dealing with a friend's baby sister. The adults are loving and understanding, even when Jasper and his friends are singing and dancing and getting the whole class stirred up. His parents, grandmother, and uncle are openly affectionate and obviously care about Jasper and his happiness. All in all, Jasper John Dooley is as big a star as Marcel Mouse ever was.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. The publisher's website has a page for the book, if you would like more information.