Do Parents Hate Junie B. Jones?
October 04, 2005
Some do. Read this article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and find out more. Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! (P.S. So Does May.), #25 in Barbara Park's long-running series, reached bookstores last week. Don't worry, though, a librarian has the last word in the Seattle P-I, and it's a good one.
The problem I have with Junie B. Jones is the baby-talk language this alleged first grader uses. My eldest jumped right over this series (non-fiction filled in the gap nicely) but my youngest was beyond these books almost as soon as she was old enough to read them.
Every parent likes to believe their child reads "above their level" (and EVERY parent I talked to while a bookseller told me as much) but when a kindergardner complains that a book is too baby-ish for them then I have to wonder about all those kids who can't get enough of them.
Put me in the hate camp if you will, to me the series does little more than reinforce an arrested development in five year olds. Junie may act like a five year old, and kids will respond accordingly as if standing before the mirror, but is the implication that we cannot entertain children through books AND reinforce the behaviors we'd prefer our five year olds adopt?
Captain Underpants, on the other hand...
Posted by: david | October 04, 2005 at 10:36 PM