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Junie B. Jones
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the Junie B. Jones site is based on the character from the book series. The site promotes reading and writing, and includes an activities page with games that challenge kids to take on a close reading of the Junie B. series. Word searches, quizzes, and the musical clothing game may enhance kids' reading and listening skills and spark imagination. There is a list of all the Junie B. books (which can be purchased via the site), a personalized letter from Junie B., and a Q-and-A page with author Barbara Park.
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What's it about?
Junie B. Jones, famous first-grader, has her very own Web site to go along with her popular book series. Click on \"Books\" to find a short description of each Junie title, plus a link to online and local bookstores where they can be purchased. Of course, the site offers information on the author, Barbara Parks, too. Find out about her dog, her family, her computer, and how she writes. But the star of the show is Junie B. herself. From her introductory letter to her \"Favorite Books\" list, there are a number of sections to explore. Check out the activities area for a terrific collection of downloadables, such as Junie B.'s Joke Book. Other printables include word searches, as well as directions for making a paper bow (just like Junie's!) for your hair. There's an online coloring book, too, though you could always just print the pages and color them with real crayons. Want Junie on your computer? Then don't miss the downloadable screensavers.
Is it any good?
Junie B. Jones fans will like this supplement to the popular early reading chapter books. The interactive games on the site encourage families to read together and are a fun approach to improving listening and reading skills. Junie B. includes a list of her favorite books so that kids will become interested in expanding their libraries. Also, fans of the series will like creating their own stories with the paper dolls and clothes that kids can print, color, and cut out. There's a hidden gem for parents too, in the "Teachers" section, which includes lesson plans based on the books.
The downside? Although the activities are fun, besides a couple of games and some printouts, there is not much more for kids to enjoy while they're actually on the site. And then there's the issue that the books themselves include Junie's inventive spellings and sometimes smart mouth. However, true fans of the series should have no problem finding something they'll enjoy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how authors write books. How do you think a writer comes up with an idea for a book? Do you recognize incidents from Barbara Parks' life in Junie B.'s plot lines?
Families can also talk about Junie B.'s characteristics. What similarities and differences do you share with Junie B.?
Have you read any of the books that Junie B. likes to read? Check out our tips for choosing books for kids of all ages.