Monday, 12 November 2012
Junie B., First Grader: Boo...And I Mean It! by Barbara Park
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Halloween with Junie B. has got to be a scream! Get ready for a “Halloweenie” adventure with the world’s funniest first grader!
I've been hearing about Junie B. books for years, but my boys never seemed interested. Someone told me about them again recently, telling me how hilarious these books are and how much her kids love them, so I picked this one up at the library to read with my daughter over Hallowe'en.
I'll start by saying that my daughter really liked this book. She was engaged and thought it was funny and enjoyed the pictures.
This was a cute story of Junie B. who is scared to go out trick or treating because a boy at school has filled her head with scary stories. It is fun how she tries to get out of the situation, but then also comes up with a solution.
However, I had a terrible time reading it to her. Junie B. uses very strange grammar much of the time - I don't know any kid who talks like she does. I found myself correcting it for my daughter as I don't want her language to regress. I am continually torn with books like this. They are engaging and kids like them but the grammar! I know there is something to be said for being approachable and using authentic language, etc, but much of language is learned from what we read. I can understand wanting kids to sound like kids, but I don't see how consistent, strange grammar helps them at all. It feels condescending, like they couldn't understand the proper use of language. Maybe it's just me because these books are wildly popular.
So, there is my rant. It's possible that my daughter will seek out more of these books. Maybe it will be a good opportunity to talk about language.