Jordan is just a day away from turning three and he is not happy about it. In fact, the thought itself troubles the child. He knows that when he turns three, his parents will expect more from him: being responsible and held accountable for his actions. So, turning three could mean not being able to grab things from his cousin, Jackson. He can’t just get away anymore with things that are excused on his age. And when he remembers his father saying, “The biggest lesson you can learn on your birthday is caring about others and showing compassion for those not as fortunate as you and your cousins,” he feels even more horrible about it. But is Jordan ready to grow?
I Don't Want to Turn 3 by Gramps Jeffrey introduces a young, compelling protagonist and explores a conflict that is played out in almost every normal family. The story starts with a strong premise: Jordan doesn’t just want to turn three. He is a mischievous kid who “takes” things that do not belong to him. As a child, he believes that everything is his to take and that is justified by his age. When everything comes crashing down and he is confronted by his sister and cousins, he finds himself in a difficult situation, about to experience the fury of everyone. In a creative and unexpected manner, his father comes in as a mediator and offers advice that families can use to start conversations on the values of compassion, caring, tenderness, love, and sharing.
Gramps Jeffrey’s book is a gorgeous treat for young readers. I read this book with my three-year-old daughter and the conversation that followed was interesting. Young readers will relate to Jordan and his adventures, playing and bathing with his cousins, visiting the park with his family for his brother’s first birthday, and going to the zoo with Grandma. The story is told in a strong and captivating voice and the point of view of Jordan is brilliantly executed. The colorful illustrations enhance the reading experience for young readers, turning it into an exciting and delightful one. I Don't Want to Turn 3 is a book you want to read with growing toddlers. It is a book with a timeless lesson, one that adults still need to revisit.