An easy chapter book like a picture book is a category of children’s books. Categorizing children’s books makes it easier for parents and educators to choose age-appropriate reading material for children. The stories are short in length and they are simple. In Barbara Park’s story June B. “Jones First Grader at Last”, she asserts that all children go through similar difficulties when making and losing friends. Parks supports her claims about children’s habits by having the reader jump into the life of the first grader known as Junie B. Jones.
Another similar story that takes place in the life of a child is a story called “The Case of Hermie the Missing Hamster” by James Preller. The main character whose name is Theodore Jones is challenged to solve a mystery for a friend. Both chapter books are fun and age appropriate for children who are at the ages of seven to nine. They each have a unique theme, a main character and a plot. Literary responses that take place throughout the novels are emotional and interpretive. The reader has a sense of what each character is feeling. Each book gives the opportunity for children to predict and analyze events in the story.
Each novel focuses on a certain theme. The main idea is very similar because the point of view is coming from the first person. In other words the reader is inside the character’s mind and is able to understand their perspective. Junie B. Jones is a young girl who’s starting the first grade. She loses friends from kindergarten but is learning how to make new friends. Just as everything is going her way, she finds out she needs glasses. Everyday is a battle for June B. Jones. She never knows what to expect and is constantly wondering what the other children might think.
The story has a primary theme and is explicit. The main character expresses exactly how she feels. She lets the reader know what is going on. In “The Case of Hermie the Missing Hamster”, Theodore Jones is known as the best detective in the entire second grade. Theodore and some friends try their best to sole different mysteries. Whether it’s missing cupcakes, stolen baseball mitts or lost hamsters, he always finds a way to get the job done. The author implies that with hard wok and by working together anything is possible. It has a primary theme and the structure is implicit.
The main idea is not stated but it is obvious throughout the story. The story has linguistic and logical mathematical theories. There are clues, critical thinking and discussions taking place in the book. Both characters are unique and deal with their own situations. The characters are around the same age group. June B. Jones is in the first grade. Theodore Jones is in second grade. They both deal with everyday situations such as parents, school and friendship. June B. Jones is starting the first grade and is excited to meet new friends. Just as everything is going her way she finds out she needs glasses.
Her character appears to be emotional and sensitive. June B. Jones over thinks things. She cares abut what other people think about her. She is spunky, sweet, shy and has an attitude on her. The character is memorable and is in the interest of children because June B. Jones wants people to like her. Most children who are around the ages of six to nine want to get along with everyone. They want to impress others. Theodore Jones on the other hand, is a curious, outgoing, intelligent boy who likes solving problems. He claims himself as the best detective in the whole second grade.
Theodore Jones has more confidence within himself than Junie B. Jones does. June B. often doubts herself and questions her thoughts when she’s going through something. Theodore Jones deals with difficulties and overcomes it. When he was solving the case he realized that the mystery was tougher than he thought. Being positive and having the right mindset allowed him to accomplish his goal. Theodore Jones is more of a leader than Junie B. Jones. “The Case of Hermie the Missing Hamster” is in interest to children because it shows that hard work really does pay off.
Both characters in each novel are round. They each share their insights, perspectives and beliefs. Junie B. Jones is dynamic. She is always changing her mood from one minute to the next. Theodore Jones is static. Each character’s personality truly defines who they are. Seeing things out of their eyes is what makes the story more interesting and fun for young readers. The plot is universal. Each child has a problem and learns how to deal with it differently. Junie B. Jones needs glasses. No matter what she says or does, at the end of the day she still needs to be able to see clearly.
Embarrassed and disgusted, Junie B. Jones is afraid that she’ll lose her new friends. She thinks they’ll make fun of her. Junie B. Jones tried hard to impress her new friends by making them laugh several times. She strongly believes that they will turn away because only “nerds” wear glasses. The type of structure that occurs throughout the story is epiphany. Junie B gets an insight into reality. She realizes that not everyone is as mean as she thought. Junie B. Jones made her problem bigger than what it really was. The type of conflict encounters with person versus environment.
She had a problem and was not sure how to deal with her classmate’s reactions. Her friends ended up surprising her when they thought she was cool with her new glasses. “Your eyes are amazing Junie B. Jones, I can’t see anything so your eyes must be special” (66). Junie B. Jones felt good inside. She learned not to make assumptions about other people. Theodore Jones had been asked to solve a mystery for one of his friends. It is his job to find a missing hamster. He gathers clues, facts and information from everyone in order to solve the problem. Some things were not making any sense.
It seemed impossible to find the hamster. Instead of giving up Theodore tried even harder to get a conclusion. He wanted to make his friend happy. He also wanted to have another successful mystery solved. The structure of the plot was rising in action. Each clue led to one thing to another. The type of conflict associated with the story is person versus self. Theodore kept contradicting himself. He was trying to understand why he could not figure out the mystery. Everything suddenly made perfect sense. Soon enough the hamster was found alive and healthy. A surprise came along with it as well.
The hamster was found along with her new babies. It is really important for young children to learn how to transition from basic books to beginner chapter books. They also need to get into the habit of choosing an appropriate story of their interest. Emphasizing a child’s strenghs and qualities can improve their intellectual abilities. “Junie B. Joes” and “The Case of Hermie the Missing Hamster” are stories that all children would enjoy. They are fun and creative. It has memorable characters, simple sentences, illustrations and some rising action plots that any child could relate to.