Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Junie B., First Grader : Boo...and I MEAN IT! by Barbara Park

The 13 Words!: A fun book that portrays Halloween through a child's eyes, fears, and words.

The Creature from the Back Cover!:
"It's Halloween! Only here's the trouble. Junie B. Jones is afraid to go tick-or-treating. 'Cause what if witches and monsters are really real? And what if pumpkins with sharp teeth and eat your feet? And don't even get her started on the candy corn problem. So how is Junie B. supposed to even enjoy this holiday? But then---with a little help from a friend---she gets an idea for a costume guaranteed to outscare even the creepiest competition. And so maybe Halloween will turn out to be a real scream after all!"

The Facts that Attacked Mars!: Junie B. Jones is a series created by Barbara Park. The series debuted in 1992 with the first book, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. So far, 26 other books have been published. There has also been theatrical productions based on the series.
The books have been challenged in Wisconsin and North Carolina school districts. Despite this, the series continues to be extremely popular among young readers.

The Monster Speaks!: I figured this was an appropriate choice considering the recent NY Times article that asks: Is Junie B. Jones Talking Trash?. I'm not a grammarian, parent, or a child, so my view of Junie B. Jones is quite neutral. I suppose I fall into the at least kids are choosing to read books camp. I attend a college where far too many students are proud to proclaim they have not read a book in 5 or 10 years. Some even boast of never having finished a book. (saddest part- many of these "students" are education majors aiming to teach in elementary schools) But, that's another story for another day.

I found Boo...and I MEAN IT! a very enjoyable read. It obviously, isn't high literary fiction for children. But, it never pretended to be or I would venture to say, aimed to be. I laughed at quite a few occasions, and grew to like the characters.

As far as Halloween books go, this is one of the better ones published in the past 5 years. It has the perfect tone for the target age group--not very scary, but illustrating real fears that many children do have.

What Lurks Between These Covers?
The Marvels!:
  • the 5 scary secrets that Paulie Allen Puffer told Junie are, in my opinion, very realistic details of a child's imagination. I can imagine my 6 year old self either hearing these "secrets" or telling them to my friends at school.
    1. real witches and monsters go trick-or-treating on Halloween
    2. pumpkins with pointy teeth eat feet
    3. bats wll swoop down and live in hair
    4. black cats can claw someone into "shreddle"
    5. candy corn isn't really corn

The Horror!:
  • I don't really have anything bad to say about this book, but I'm sure others have plenty to say.

1 comment:

Constance Parker said...

One of my saddest moments in college was during a library media course for education and library magjors. The course focused on children's books and one of the requirements was to read 15 books throughtout the course and to fill out a 5X7 notecard about each one. These could be any kids books for K-12 grade levels. A woman sitting next to me exclaimed, "How can I read fifteen books before the end of this course?! That's just too much! Reading is stupid!" She was planning on teaching primary school kids.