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Janet's Thingamajigs

by Beverly Cleary

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1264209,394 (3.33)None
Janet creates envy in her twin brother Jimmy by hoarding special treasures in her crib, until the arrival of real beds reminds them that they are both growing up.

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Summary: This is a story about a little girl named Janet and her twin brother Jimmy. At the beginning of the story Janet begins collecting small objects like paper clips, rocks, and feathers that she calls her thingamajigs, a word she got from her mother. At first she leaves them on the chair in the living room and becomes upset when her brother Jimmy tries to play with them. Her mother tells her to put them away in a safe place so she puts the objects in a paper bag and puts it in her crib. She does this many times until she has a lot of bags in her crib. Then one day Janet and Jimmy's mother surprises them with adult beds. Jimmy tells Janet there will not be room in her new bed for her bags. She decides she does not need her thingamajigs anymore because she is a big girl.

Review: This book would be good for young children because there are several aspects of it that they can relate to such as starting collections of things and getting to move into big kid beds. Its is also an easy read that would be good for an emerging reader. Beverly Cleary uses a lot of repetition and pattern in the story so once children learn the concept of the book it is easy for them to predict what will happen next in the story. There is also a good lesson about sharing in this book that could be useful in the classroom. Even thought the story was not that interesting to me I liked that it was simple enough for a young reader to understand. The illustrations are nicely done and they would help an ELL student to understand the story without understanding all of the words. ( )
  kkerns3 | Oct 25, 2014 |
Summary: Janet collects little treasures she calls “thingamajigs” and keeps them in paper bags in her crib. She keeps them there so her twin brother Jimmy can’t touch them, which he wants to very badly. One day, the twins get new big beds and both decide they are too big to play with the thingamajigs anymore.

Personal reaction: I thought this was a cute story about sibling rivalry. One only wants it if the other one does. When Janet doesn’t want the thingamajigs anymore, she gives them to her brother, but now he doesn’t want them either; reminded me of my own kids.

Classroom extension:
1. I would read this to my class on the first day of school and talk about being mature and sharing with others.
2. I would have the students make an art project after reading this story. They could draw treasures they own that that don’t like to share. Or, I would have small thingamajigs like the ones in the story they could make a collage with by gluing them on cardboard.
  sharlamccall | Oct 30, 2011 |
Janet and Jimmy are twins who fight all the time over Janet's little toys she calls thingamajigs. She collected these little toys and put them in paper bag and kept them in her crib so Jimmy would not touch them or play with them. Their mother then surprised them with big beds. Jimmy asked where Janet was going to keep her paper bags. Janet nor Jimmy wanted the paper bags filled with thingamajigs because they were big kids and were growing up. These could be read when teaching that we should not fight with our siblings over little things because when we grow up they won't matter. ( )
  PaigeCostella | Oct 24, 2011 |
Janet's Thingamajigs is about a little girl who collects little objects everyday and puts them in a brown paper bag and then places them in her crib. She does this so her twin brother can not touch her thingamajigs. Her Mother tells her they are getting a surprise one day, which turns out to be big kid beds. Janet then decides she is too big to have so many brown paper bags full of thingamajigs in her bed.

I can relate to this story by being a twin myself and knowing how frustrating it is to have to keep my toys/stuff away from my twin. I can also relate to the transition of growing up in this story.

I can have the student's find thingamajigs and place them inbrown paper bags. I can also incorporate this story into a transition time for young children going to a different grade, or if there are certain transitions at that child's home.
  katyguerra | Sep 9, 2010 |
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Janet creates envy in her twin brother Jimmy by hoarding special treasures in her crib, until the arrival of real beds reminds them that they are both growing up.

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