|Book Reveiw 7-20
Sunday, October 26, 2008
By Denise Turney
Rarely have I come to love a character so deeply that I read books just so I can see what new is going on with the character. Junie B. Jones is one of those characters. In Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peeky Spying the remarkable “almost” six-years-old girl doesn’t disappoint. One read of these series books and you’ll soon realize that Barbara Parks, the book’s author, knows how to communicate with children. Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peeky Spying is written in first person. That’s right. “Almost” six-years old Junie B. gets tell the story. The book is written as if a Kindergartener were talking, reliving her efforts to be sneaky so she can gain information without being found out.
At the start of the story Junie B. brags to a classmate that she can get in and out of places without being noticed. She knows how to listen in on conversat ions without anyone knowing she’s nearby. This absolutely delights Junie B. She’s proud of her tip-toeing skills. She sneaks in on her baby brother, gets him all riled up by tickling his nose so she’ll have him to play with and he starts crying. Then Junie B. runs and hides in the closet, just before her mother comes into her baby brother’s room to investigate what’s the matter. She hides in the clothes hamper and jumps out on her grandfather while he’s taking out his false teeth. Junie B. is all for fun. As she says, she is the “bestsest spier in the world”.
But a trip to the grocery store with her mother so they can purchase ingredients to make cookies for school, teaches Junie B. a lesson about spying. Junie B. doesn’t count on it, but she and her mother aren’t in the grocery store long when to Junie B.’s absolute surprise, she looks up and sees her Kindergarten teacher walk in the grocery store with a man Junie B. has never seen before. Turns out the man is her teacher’s husband but Junie B. doesn’t know that. She spies the two kissing. And more than that, Junie B . sees her teacher eating grapes before she’s paid for them. And if that’s not like stealing, then Junie B. doesn’t know what is.
One assumption after another and before long Junie B. has herself smack dab in another mess. In fact, this time her spying lands her in the principal’s office.
It’s been years since I was a kid, but I learned from reading this story. Things are not always what they seem and there are reasons that people do what they do and we often make judgments before we know the reasons. This is a great book full of laughter, kid trouble and intrigue. The writing is excellent; the story is well crafted.
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