A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that much of the humor comes from Junie's bad behavior. Young readers are supposed to laugh at it, not emulate it.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Loud and impulsive kindergartner Junie B. Jones is usually highly opinionated, but when her teacher announces Career Day, she isn't sure what she wants to be when she grows up. She's pretty sure it will involve painting, keys, and saving people, but there's no job that includes all that. Or is there?
Is it any good?
The zany antics of spoiled young kids has been done many times, and often better. The Junie series (approaching 30 books at last count) is amusing to most 6-year-olds, which keeps early readers reading, and it's mostly harmless and silly fun. What makes it so much less effective as literature than many others series, though, is the failure to engage Junie as a real character. She behaves outrageously, which is the source of the humor, but the author never really lets us know why, which means the reader is usually laughing at her, rather than in sympathy with her.
Still, it serves its main purpose -- to give kids something easy and fun and repetitive on which to sharpen their reading skills -- well enough. And parents can look forward to the day when their children graduate to books with a little more meat.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Junie's behavior. Why does she act the way she does? What are some of the things she misunderstands?
How would you have solved some of her problems?
The book's theme may inspire conversations with kids about what they would like to be when they grow up.