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Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus: Reviewed

Author:Barbara Park
Reading Level (Conceptual):Children 5 and under
Reading Level (Vocabulary):Children 5 and under
Genre:fiction
Year of publication:1992

We are Junie B. Jones fans. They were WAY too easy for the 6 year old to read, so we read them to her. We didn't realize how controversial they might be until our daughter's grandfather was asked to read them to her while vacationing with us last winter. At first, he was so upset by Junie's "appalling" speech patterns and behavior that he tried to clean them up. But you really can't clean it up enough, because aside from her juvenile language, Junie B. also pushes the envelope in regards to her behavior. Finally, Grandpa rebelled and has refused to read Junie B. books to our daughter ever since.
That's why there's chocolate and vanilla. Luckily, there are lots of books in this world. Our daughter also really likes us to read her Ramona, Song Lee and Horrible Harry.

For her own reading, the six-year old is back to Charlotte's Web. It's an interesting book. The vocabulary is very technical, actually. Many descriptions of the goings-on at a farm. And words like "Frigidaire", "phoebe" (the bird), "interlude" -- make reading slow if the child wants to know what every single word means.

We go from the child reading about life, death and friendship and discussing these concepts with us as she reads, "...do you realize that if I didn't catch bugs and eat them, bugs would increase and multiply and get so numerous that they'd destroy the earth, wipe out everything..." and "... what a gamble friendship is! Charlotte is fierce, brutal, scheming, bloodthirsty -- everything I don't like. ..." to US reading to her "The B. stands for Beatrice, but I just like B that's all."

--Emily


Other reviews: Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus
 
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