3 out of 4 stars
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Here Comes Little Jenna Jafferty is as much a warning as it is the title of a children’s book. Terra Kern presents young readers with an adventurous, spirited child in her short chapter book. In each chapter, Jenna engages in some type of mischief or mayhem. She has many adventures from fishing with her dad to driving a car before the age of 3! Jenna is able to single-handedly keep her parents on their toes, but sometimes her older sister, Janine, is happy to participate in the fun, making it only that much more disastrous for Mr. and Mrs. Jafferty.
Kern quickly captures her readers’ interest with Jenna and Janine’s antics. Before the first chapter ended, I was laughing and shaking my head in disbelief. Children live their lives in such a carefree way with no concern for safety, cleanliness, or rules. This lively spirit shines through in the stories Kern tells of these two girls. I cannot imagine the horror a parent would feel to have to clean up some of Jenna and Janine’s messes. Although I was shocked by some of the things the girls got themselves into, I could also believe children really are mischievous enough to do just the things Jenna and Janine did, if not worse.
What makes the stories even better is that Jenna and Janine are both kind-hearted young girls. They never have the intention of causing harm to anyone, and they are always apologetic when they realize they have done wrong in their parents’ eyes. Mr. and Mrs. Jafferty are the epitome of loving parents. They are never too harsh with their children and shower them with love. Both the children and the parents serve as excellent role models as a result.
I highly recommend this book to parents for their 8 to 11-year-old children. This is a great book to be read out loud because Kern incorporates a sentence or two into every chapter that is full of funny sounding rhyming words. For example, “Jenna did a lot of growing and sowing, blending and befriending, playing and straying, learning and yearning, as well as getting scraped and taped.” This would be an excellent book for children who are developing their reading skills to the point that they are starting to read chapter books. Each adventure is fully described in a single chapter, making the chapter breaks excellent stopping points for young readers. The chapters are the perfect length and contain just the right amount of humor to hold a child’s interest.
I would love to rate Here Comes Little Jenna Jafferty 4 out of 4 stars, but the number of missing commas and other minor errors require that I give Kern’s book only 3 out of 4 stars. If another round of editing weren’t required, I would not hesitate to give 4 stars. Jenna’s adventures will easily be loved by children, especially if they are already fans of Junie B. Jones. Jenna made me think of what Junie was probably like prior to her elementary school days. If you see Jenna Jafferty heading your way, just be prepared for the mayhem that is about to ensue!
Here Comes Little Jenna Jafferty
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