Junie B. Jones, at the start of the series (and in the later books, a first grader) is a kindergartner, and starts the series near her sixth birthday. Her favorite foods include sugar cookies, lemon pie, spaghetti and meatballs, and whipped cream in a can; she does not like Tuna Noodle Stinkle or peas. Other favorites include blueberry pancakes, fruit loops, chocolate covered raisins, grape Kool-aid, orange popsicles, cherry jello, and strawberry shortcake. Junie is not a fan of her grandma’s bird Twitter, or roosters. She was born on June first. When she gets scared while in the dark, her and her stuffed animal Philip Johnny Bob sing “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow”; she also likes to miss the bus so that her mother has to drive her. When Junie grows up, she either wants to be a janitor or work in a beauty shop. She narrates all the novels in the series.
“Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus” is the first book in the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park. It is about Junie’s first day of kindergarten. When Junie B. Jones starts kindergarten, she does not like the bus she is supposed to ride to and from school on. It’s loud, the door looks like it will cut her in half should it close on her, and the bus emits a nasty black smoke. She is told by a classmate that on the ride home from school, someone will pour chocolate milk on her head, she likes the bus even less. She decides to do something to avoid getting milk poured on her, something clever.
Readers who liked the book echo those reviews by people who did not like the book; parents should not allow their kids to read the book if it may rub off onto the child and make them just as poor mannered as Junie. These readers cautioned parents on letting their children read a book with stupid and smelly in the title. Fans also said that her flaws make the story great, they give them comedic momentum, making them enjoyable. The books are relatable for kids because Junie says and does things that kids may want to do, but don’t because they know they would get into trouble. Junie allows for the kids to live vicariously through her without getting into any real trouble of their own. Some readers liked the way the author shows some of the things that can happen when you act the way Junie does; it may be good to try and do in a book series, but not for real.
Some readers did not like the book because they felt the need to tell their kids everything that happened in the book was not appropriate behavior. They find that the little girl narrator has poor grammar that is so bad that some parents believe their kids will begin to talk like her. They believe that Junie is rude to everyone and a hateful child (always saying that she hates everything or everybody she comes across); parents believe that this kind of talk makes the kids who read the book believe that it is normal behavior to hate things. They also think that she is a nosy and reckless child who calls the police to send an ambulance, fire truck, and police car for a supposed emergency that she claims to be having. Junie also goes through other people’s things and gets into stuff that she shouldn’t.
“Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business” is the second book in the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park. Junie does not like babies, but all that is about to change. Junie’s mother gives birth to a baby brother for Junie. His birth is a big deal, to everyone involved. She tells everyone in her class that he is a monkey, and not a human. Junie is able to get her two best friends to fork over all they have just to get a look at the newborn brother; she has already gotten some pretty nice items from them. It gets her time in the principal’s office.
Fans of the book think that the books should be read with a parent or teacher present so that they can explain each and every way that Junie is not a role model for them to act. At the same time, they believe that the books portray six year old children in a real manner. Most who are in favor of reading these books to their children find that Junie B. serves as an example for their kids on how not to act. Some think that book is a great read, easy for them to grasp the words and story; it is perfect for their reading level and is a great bridge to get them further accustomed to reading by themselves.
Some readers think that some kids have become rude, are without respect, and have bad manners because of reading this book. These reviewers found the book crude, rude, and without respect. They did not understand how some reviewers thought it was a cute series. Most comments about these books involve the language or grammar being bad, but they seem not to realize that a six year old is narrating.
The author has responded to the criticism of the “Junie-speak” in the series. She says that of all the letters that she gets, the most are from parents that tell her that the Junie B. Jones books got their young reluctant readers to read. She thinks that some people do not understand voices that are not their own and will not understand that she writing fiction and her novels are only to be enjoyed by children. They have a different impact on children than a regular book full of proper grammar or a typical reader. She believes that literature like this is very important to children.
Some of the character of Junie is based on Parks’ own childhood; at least when she was in the first grade. A lot of letters were sent home, and she was sent to the principal’s office for talking.Book Series In Order » Characters » Junie B. Jones