Friday, July 15, 2011

Chapter Books

Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4)I picked up a stack of Junie B. Jones books (by Barbara Park) at a thrift store the other day, and Esmé has been devouring them (as read-alouds, of course – she would never push herself to read them on her own…)

I have mixed feelings about them:

  • Esmé loves them.  They are right at her level, with things she is interested in.
  • They are fun to read, even for me.
  • We can read just a chapter when short on time; but they are also short enough to read through in one sitting.
  • It gives me insight into some of the seemingly-bizarre ways Esmé acts sometimes; a peek into her brain of sorts.  Rather educational for me.
  • I sometimes worry that Esmé will pick up on some of the rude/thoughtless things Miss Junie B. says/does and try them out for herself.  Granted, Junie B. does reap consequences for them.  Do I want a true-to-life heroine like Junie B., or one with (perhaps unachievable) high standards?  Not sure if this is a pro or con.
  • The grammar/vocabulary!  Written at a 5-6yo level, it’s fun to read, but Esmé has a better vocab than that.  I hate reinforcing bad grammar – I kind of prefer the classics where the babes speak better than I do!
Anyway, we are enjoying the book candy.  Here are a few other chapter book series we’ve enjoyed:
  • Tumtum and Nutmeg (by Emily Bearn)
  • Flat Stanley (by Jeff Brown)
  • Raggedy Ann and Andy (by Johnny Gruelle)
  • Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (by Betty MacDonald)
  • In Grandma’s Attic (by Arleta Richardson)
And I was wondering – are there any other chapter book series you might recommend for a kindergarten-aged kiddo?


Annette W. said...

My Father's Dragon may interest you...lots of pictures. How about Betsy-Tacy? It's an old classic! We also love Little House, though longer.

My So Called Homeschool Life said...

My daughter's used to love Junie B.! Happy reading!

Stopping by from The Crew. Have a great weekend!


Kate said...

My kids all loved the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne.

Julieanne said...

It's nice to see you taking the care to consider what your daughter will read and how that could affect her in the future.

My daughter, an early reader at 4.5, was given a Junie B. Jones book for her 6th b'day, and unfortunately, in that particular volume, she wasn't receiving consequences or very many consequences for her disrespectful and naughty behavior. We decided to give it away to someone else who would appreciate that kind of thing more than I would! :)

Some children aren't as affected by the disobedient, disrespectful behavior found in many popular children's books these days. Some children are. I decided to play it safe, since I had no way of knowing one way or the other until after the fact. I chose to instead find literature that promoted the family values we believe in and support.

Turns out that one of my girls would have been quickly influenced by the naughty behavior, and one of them wouldn't have been influenced at all. I was glad I avoided those kinds of books.

But this is a decision that each family must make, and my decision may not be the best decision for your family or any other family. It's what worked for us. Thankfully, we were able to find enough books, especially read alouds, that met our specifications for our family.

Honey for a Child's Heart has some great booklists that are generally respectful and honoring in nature.

Just a thought!