Tuesday, February 7, 2012

June B. Jones Is Not A Crook by Barbara Park

My first grader was introduced to Junie B. Jones at school recently so I thought I would read one of this series and see what it was all about.

Junie B. is a precocious kindergarten aged girl. In this particular story her new mittens, which she really loves, disappear during recess. Through this situation Junie eventually learns that it is not right to keep things that don't belong to you.

Positives: There was a moral to this story and it came across clearly. Although reluctant at first to return the pen she found to the Lost and Found box, Junie does do the right thing and sees the value of her honesty.

Negatives: I personally did not care for all the slang language used. I know she is a Kindergartner and this age child doesn't always use the correct tenses of verbs and such, however, I prefer my children to read books that will strengthen their use and understanding of English rather than reinforce their bad habits. Junie B. is a selfish and sometimes annoying little girl. She was demanding and unthankful at times in this story.

Talking Points: In Exodus 20 God is giving the Israelite people the Ten Commandments which are the basis for the Law that they are to live by. Ex. 20:15 says "You shall not steal." Talk with your child about what this means. Certainly taking things from a store is wrong, but, like Junie discovered, keeping something that someone lost is stealing too. We should do all we can to return things to their rightful owner. We are to love others. Philippians 2:3 tells us to count others as more important than ourselves - to think about how the person who lost the item may feel and prefer their happiness over our own.

Age Level: 6-8 years of age

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