Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket

Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket
By Barbara Park
Illustrated by Denise Brunkus
4/5 ****
3rd-5th Graders

Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket is one of the hilarious books in the Junie B. Jones series, by Barbara Parks.  As a young girl, I was obsessed with these books.  They are truly hilarious, and Parks makes it so easy to get inside Junie B. Jones' head that is makes for such a quick and enjoyable read.  This particular book is about Junie B. Jones when her class goes on a field trip to a farm.  Junie B. Jones is afraid of many of the animals, so she is very apprehensive about the trip.  She ends up overcoming her fears and having fun experiencing the farm and her "throw-away camera".

I think these books are so appealing to young readers, because the way they are written is with Junie's kindergarten grammar and perspective.  It is entertaining to read her simplistic sentences and to watch her learn new things, like just because her camera is a "throw-away" camera doesn't mean she should actually throw it away right when she finishes taking pictures.

Because this book is about animals on a farm, drawing farm pictures, reading other farm books, researching animals, talking about the life cycle of different animals, discussing how farms are run and what exactly happens on farms, if any students have visited farms before they could share their experiences, etc... There are so many discussion topics that could be turned into art projects, research projects, writing assignments/prompts or simply classroom discussions.  Because students are usually very engaged in the Junie B. Jones books, they are likely to have opinions and to have a solid understanding of the topic at hand after reading the book.

The Junie B. Jones series has lots of special event books that can be applied to specific situations.  One I remember reading when I was younger was one in which Junie B. Jones' mom has a baby-  I have a younger sister too, so this was really fun for me to read and to relate to her experiences.  This particular book could be read with students right before going on a field trip, it could lead into discussions on appropriate behavior while on field trips and to talk details about the field trip the students will actually be taking and what they should expect.

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