Down in the Jungle

The Author


(From the back cover 

of the book.)

Maxine Spence was born and raised in Saskatchewan and has lived in various parts of British Columbia and Alberta. She currently lives and writes with her husband and two sons in Didsbury, Alberta, a quintessential Alberta town. Down in the Jungle is the second story she has taken from pie-in-the-sky idea to beautiful picture book. These days she is knee-deep in the final edit of a middle years novel.

find out about that middle grades novel here

The Book


Down in the Jungle is a joyful romp through rhythm and rhyme. The language is so much fun! 

And so are Lyndsay's illustrations.


It's a story about imagination and adventure that ends in a most satisfactory way. Without fail, when I read this story to a group of people, there is a collective sigh at the end with at least one person breathing out with a long, drawn-out 'aaaaaawwwwww.'' (As in, 'Isn't that sweet?')

get down in the jungle here

The Illustrator


(From the back cover 

of the book.)

Lyndsay Wasko is a Calgary-based graphic designer and illustrator and a recent graduate of the Alberta College of Art and Design. Growing up, she drew a lot of animals and now, many years later, not much has changed. 

Down in the Jungle is Lyndsay's first children's book. 

You can see more of her artwork at 


The Story Behind The Story


I love words. Mysterious words that conjure up different worlds. Words that let you know precisely what's happening. Chewy words that sound like what they're describing. 

For a time, I collected words on sticky notes that I stuck on my office wall. They looked down on me whenever I sat at my desk and unobtrusively wormed their way into my writing. 

One day an entire phrase arrived, unannounced, in my head . . . 

What was the phrase?

A Snippet from Down in the Jungle


Up in the bedroom, 

with the door closed tight,

Staring out the window

at the pale moonlight.

Sat a boy named Jake, 

with his chin in his hands,

Dreaming of a treasure

in a far-away land.

He closed his eyes

and imagined a place . . . 

Down in the jungle, 

in the mangrove swamp,

Close to the spot 

where the elephants stomp, 

Where sneaky snakes slither, 

And cockatoos croon,

While hyenas howl

 at the man in the moon,

There he'd find a treasure

 and be home by noon.

Want to hear more?

Why People Love This Story


Down in the Jungle is a huge hit with the preschool crowd! And also with their mothers. 

In fact, it's guaranteed to bring happy tears to a new mom's eyes.

Here's what one devoted aunt had to say about her niece's love for Down in the Jungle: 

She still loves the book and it's definitely one of the most read in her little library. I think I told you this before but she always says "I need my treasure" and gives my sister a big hug at the end of the story. It's so cute! 

All together now, "aaaaaawwwwww!"

Get down in the Jungle here