Most helpful critical review
60 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Might not be a favorite of sensitive parents
on December 18, 2007
I am normally a huge fan of Skippyjon Jones and loved the other books in the series we've read, so I hate to say anything negative. I bought this book for my 4 yr old twins and while the same adorable Skippyjon Jones is still so entertaining and funny, I was a little uncomfortable with some of the subject matter. First of all, Skippy "steals" dogbones that belong to the bully neighborhood dog, Darwin. I wasn't too keen on that, but I guess it presents an opportunity to talk to your children about the fact that stealing is wrong. Then, after Skippyjon comes out of his hilarious fantasy, Darwin is banging on Skippyjon's door, the bones come tumbling out and, "The next thing he knew, the kitty boy was waking up on the couch." Turns out he doesn't remember what happened, but apparently got worked over by Darwin. The picture shows Skippyjon on a chair with a bandage on his head and an icebag. His mom is competely nonchalant about the whole thing and seems to have no idea?!? he was beat up. When he asks what happened, she "proudly" tells him he decided to return the bones - all of them. Finally, he is back in his room at night and pulls out his stuffed animal with some little bones he somehow managed to hide and sings, "Oh I'm Skippyjonjones, And I'm not a dog fighter, But I still have some bones 'Cuz I'm the decider." What does that mean?!? A wee bit of control-freak behavior going on here and I guess he got away with the stealing after all. A little disappointing and not the best message.
I know Skippyjon is a little stinker at times, but it was depicted in a much more innocent fashion in the previous books we've read. So I was kind of surprised that he seemed like he was deliberately doing things I wouldn't want my children to do (stealing, fighting, manipulating, etc) and didn't seem to learn anything in the end about his behavior. These issues or the way it's presented might not bother some parents, but if you're concerned about your children's exposure and consequently copycatting others, as kids so often do, then you might want to pass on this one and stick with Skippyjon Jones In the Doghouse until you're ready to tackle discussions regarding these issues.
Other than those few things, the book was fun and funny to read and I love that it promotes using your imagination and teaches a bit of Spanish. On a complimentary note, the series is so good and clever that I just expected more. Please don't let it sway you from checking out the other books. They really are gems. Your kids will LOVE Skippyjon Jones and we can all relate to him in one way or another. The twins didn't like this one as much as some of the others, but they got excited as soon as I pulled the book out as they love the character so much. I'd also highly recommend the sweet tale of "The Grannyman" which led to the Skippyjon series.
I'm still a fan, just hope the author takes him back to a more innocent little guy next time and if she decides not to, that he at least learns from his mistakes.