Junie B. Jones

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Junie B. Jones
Author Barbara Park
Illustrator Denise Brunkus
Genre Comic novel
Publisher Random House

Junie B. Jones is a children's book series written by Barbara Park and illustrated by Denise Brunkus. Published by Random House from 1992 to 2013, the stories begin with Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, in which Junie B. is an "almost six year old" starting her first day of kindergarten.

Description[edit]

Aimed at beginning readers, the series centers on Junie B. Jones, a young girl who is just entering kindergarten in the first book in the series, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus (1992).[1] In the opening sentences of that book, she declares, “My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don’t like Beatrice. I just like B and that’s all.”[1]

Characters[edit]

Juniper Beatrice "Junie B." Jones: The series' title character and main protagonist, Junie B., lives with her parents Robert and Susan, and her baby brother Ollie. Her birthday is in the month of June. She also has a dog named Tickle. She is 5 years old in the first kindergarten adventures, and 6 years old in the first grade stories. Junie B. is friendly and has a bright personality.[2] In kindergarten, her two best friends are Lucille and Grace. In the first grade, her best friends are Herb, José, and Lennie. Junie B. has two rivals: Jim in kindergarten and May in first grade. In kindergarten, her classroom is Room Nine, and in First Grade, Room One. Junie B.'s favorite foods are spaghetti and meatballs, lemon pie, and ice cream. She has many catchphrases, such as "Wowie wow wow!", "Yeah, only", and "Hello! How are you today?". She is afraid of roosters because she thinks "they can peck your head into a nub", ponies because she thinks "they can stomple you to the ground and kill you", and clowns because she thinks "they are not normal people". She is shown to have reddish-brown hair and blue-green eyes. In the kindergarten series she was shown with short hair and a bow, she wears a pink sweater, purple skirt, white socks and signature black Mary Jane shoes. In the first grade series she had longer, messier hair, wore pants, and the bow was dropped, being replaced by her purple glasses. In Junie B. Jones is A Beauty Shop Guy, she is shown that she wants to be a beauty shop guy herself, though in Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth she wants to be a janitor when she grows up. In Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business, her grandpa lets her put syrup on her waffles without saying "WHOA! WHOA! WHOA!" Its also implied that she and her family possibly lives in Arizona.

Robert "Bob" Jones: Junie B. and Ollie's loving father, whom Junie B. calls "Daddy." He takes Junie B. to the beauty shop with him in Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy, where she causes a disaster. In Junie B., First Grader: One Man Band, he teaches Junie B. to juggle. Robert is said to be playful and silly around his daughter. In Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy, Junie B. says "he has other names too. Some people call him Bob, and other people call him Bobby. Plus today Mother called him Ace."

Philip Johnny Bob: Junie B.'s beloved stuffed elephant. She brings him on trips with her, as seen in Junie B. Jones is a Party Animal and Aloha-ha-ha!. Junie B. seems to feel a lot safer when he is around, as shown in Junie B. Jones has a Monster Under her Bed and BOO! And I MEAN It!. In "Aloha-ha-ha!", Junie B.'s mother brings her a new Hawaiian Barbie doll which Junie B. names Delores. Philip Johnny Bob is shown to dislike Delores because of her "pointy, hard hands" poking him in the backpack while on the trip to Hawaii. Delores is only mentioned in this book.

Susan Jones: Junie B.'s and Ollie's protective but caring mother, whom Junie B. calls "Mother." Since Junie B. loves ice cream, Susan made a rule at the grocery store that Junie B. can't shout "I WANT ICE CREAM!" and not to call her a "big meanie" when she won't buy it. In "Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying", she gets very annoyed with Junie B. spying but despite her attempts, Junie B. continues to spy on people. It's possible that Susan's maiden name was Susan B. Miller, and that Frank and Helen Miller are Susan's parents. She is shown to have short, blonde hair and wears make-up. In Top Secret Personal Beeswax, Junie B. says "sometimes Daddy calls her Buttercup. That is ridiculous, I think." In Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School she is said to have been at a school called Brainerd Elementary in 1st grade between 1983 and 1984 on her old report card, which she did not do so well on. Junie B. sees the report card and says "Mother was a bad kid."

Oliver "Ollie" Jones: Junie B.'s baby brother. He is born in the book Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business. He is said to be ten months old in the month of October, so he is probably born in December. Junie B. often dislikes her brother, and they have somewhat of a sibling rivalry, stating that the family didn't actually need a baby but no one consulted her about it. However, she does show that she cares for him sometimes, like in Junie B., First Grader: Toothless Wonder where Junie B. concludes that Ollie's first tooth was the baby tooth Junie B. lost, and she smiles at him. Ollie's first word was "moo" which was revealed in Junie B., First Grader: BOO...and I MEAN It! which was the reason he was dressed up in a cow suit. In Junie B. Jones and That Meanie Jim's Birthday he is shown to have a hard time to get to sleep.

Frank Miller: Junie B.'s grandfather, or as she calls him, Grampa Miller. Grampa Miller, along with his wife, Helen Miller, babysits for her and her brother while their parents are at work. Junie B. calls Grampa Miller her "favoritest babysitter 'cause he doesn't even follow the 'structions!" In Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business, he is shown to be a smoker and smokes a cigar indoors and in "Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl" it mentions that he enjoys an occasional beer. Junie B. enjoys helping him fix the upstairs toilet and "touching the big ball that floats on top."

Helen Miller: Junie B.'s grandmother, Grandma Miller. Grandma Miller also babysits for Junie B. and her brother on occasion. She is also known to try and help Junie B. when ever she in a crisis, such as in Meanie Jim's Birthday, Grandma tries to help when Junie B. isn't invited to a party. Junie B. often calls her grandmother by her first name, Helen, much to Helen's annoyance. Grandma Miller has a pet canary bird named Twitter.

Tickle: Junie B.'s dog of unknown breed. He has short yellowish fur. He has been around since before Junie B. was born. Junie B. practices hairstyling by cutting his fur in Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy. Also, she once fed him sugary cereal, causing him to throw up on a rug. Susan will not allow him on Junie B.'s bed, as revealed in Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed. He appears less often in the first grade books, implying that he may have died after Junie B.'s Top Secret Personal Beeswax. He and Junie B. watch her parents make Ollie's room in Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business.

Flo Miller: Junie B.'s Aunt, sister of Junie B.'s Mom. She is in "Junie B. Jones Almost a Flower Girl", where she is getting married to her future husband. She named Junie B. alternate flower girl, since her sister-in-law was already chosen to be the flower girl.

Friends[edit]

Lucille: Junie B.'s rich, beautiful, but rather spoiled best friend in kindergarten. She has a grandmother who pampers her and always gives her what she wants except dogs, since Nana is allergic to them. Although Lucille is in Junie B.'s first grade class, she and Junie B are still good friends, but she gives 2 twins a turn to be her best friend in the beginning of the first grade and befriends the African-American twins, Camille and Chenille (who both resemble Grace somewhat). Junie B. says that she doesn't like Lucille very much in the first grade series, although they somewhat get along during an egg hunt. She also didn't like her in Junie B. Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth. In the kindergarten books, she is shown to have brown hair, although in the first grade books, she is shown to have blond hair. She likes to wear lacy socks with bows on them. She also has an older brother. She tries to make her nana get a poodle, but Junie B. ruins her chance.

Grace (That Grace): Junie B.'s athletic, African-American best friend in kindergarten. Like Junie B., she has a baby brother. Grace is a very fast runner and wears pink high-top sneakers. In contrast with Junie B., Grace is very well-behaved, and she speaks with proper grammar. She sits with Junie B. every day on the school bus in Kindergarten. In first grade she makes a new friend named Bobbi Jean Piper, whom Junie B. shares a rivalry with. In kindergarten, Junie B. calls Grace "That Grace". Grace is known to be competitive and a bit of a show-off. She sometimes fights with Lucille. She also has a younger brother and an older sister. Warren becomes Grace's boyfriend, Junie B. is not ok with it, showing feelings of jealousy. Her grandmother has a condo in Florida. She is not in the same first grade class that Junie B. is in.

Ricardo: Junie B.'s "boyfriend" in kindergarten until Junie B. Jones is (Almost) a Flower Girl where Junie B. confronts him about chasing "New" Thelma during recess and says that only boyfriends and girlfriends should chase each other, in which Ricardo tells her that they should start "chasing other people" and leaves, much to Junie B.'s dismay. He likes monkeys.

Paulie Allen Puffer: A boy in Junie B.'s kindergarten class that often tells her scary or funny stories which she always believes are true. In Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, he tells her about the monster that lives under the bed which rekindles her fear of monsters. In "Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying", he discovers a dead cat that was ran over by an ice cream truck. Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl he tells her that being in the first grade is really fun because they are the boss of the kindergarteners. He seems to be one of the oldest students in the class, since he turned six in "Junie B. Jones and that Meanie Jim's Birthday." He is best friends with Jim. In Junie B., First Grader: BOO...and I MEAN It! it is said that he tells Junie B. "five scary secrets" from kindergarten. He also has an older brother in the seventh grade.

William: A very shy and soft-spoken boy who Junie B. says would be easy for her to beat up. She refers to him as "Crybaby William". He can be upset very easily as seen in Junie B. Jones and That Meanie Jim's Birthday when she runs past him stealing his invitation. He also has stage fright as seen in Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy when he became nervous after the teacher asked him if he'd like to take out his pet bullfrog and also in Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl when he tries to run away to the school parking lot during graduation rehearsal. Also in Junie B. Jones Is Captain Field Day when it was almost William's turn to play a game, he told Junie B. Jones he was never good at it, but he came through in the Pull Up game. His crickets die in Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business.

Herbert (Herb): Junie B.'s best friend in first grade. He seems to dislike May as much as Junie B. does. In Junie B.'s Top Secret Personal Beeswax, he and Junie B. seem to have a crush on each other. He was in a different school before first grade.

José: Another one of Junie B.'s best friends in first grade. He is Hispanic and speaks Spanish. He plays soccer. Sometimes, he greets Junie B. in Spanish. He won the bouquet of flowers for his mom in Junie B., First Grader: Dumb Bunny. He has a sister. José has his own remote control.

Leonard aka Lennie: Another one of Junie B.'s best friends in first grade. He is quiet and almost always agrees with Junie B.. Lennie has spiky hair. He has a washcloth puppet. In Dumb Bunny, he and Shirley mention that they are Jewish.

Sheldon Potts: A good friend of Junie B. in first grade. He is one of a handful of characters whose first and last names are known. Sheldon is known for showing his bare feet in class when taking off his shoes and socks. He can be awfully shy in front of a crowd as revealed in Junie B., First Grader: One Man Band. In Junie B., First Grader: Dumb Bunny, he and Lucille are shown to have a crush on each other. He is shown to have blonde hair. Sheldon takes multi-vitamins due to his many food allergies.

Shirley: Another good friend of Junie B. in first grade. Although there is not much is known about her, she sometimes chats with Junie B. She is shown to have short black hair. She has a dog named Stinky. In Dumb Bunny, she mentions that she and Lennie are Jewish.

Roger: A boy with freckles who was in both the kindergarten and first grade classes. Not much is known about him. A boy named Jeff Hooks stole his money once, as revealed in the Christmas book.

Jamal Hall: A boy in the kindergarten class. His mother is the art teacher.

Charlotte: A girl in the kindergarten class. She doesn't always get along with Junie B. In the book Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket, Charlotte sees Junie B.'s drawing of a rooster stuck under a tree and says that she hates it, to which Junie B. replies "You wouldn't say that if your head was a nub, sister." She somewhat resembles May except she doesn't have freckles and wears glasses.

Rivals[edit]

May: a girl who sits next to Junie B in the first grade part of the series. Junie B. does not like her because she won't say her B in her name and just calls her Junie Jones. She tattletales to Mr. Scary about Junie B. They get into arguments a lot and May gets annoyed with Junie B. when she does something Mr. Scary had told her not to do. Junie B. calls her as Blabber-mouth May. They are never shown to like each other at all. Her last name is Murkee, as revealed in Turkeys We Have Loved And Eaten (And Other Thankful Stuff). She says that E stands for excellent in her report card in one of the first grade books.

Jim: Junie B. and Jim are said to hate each other until Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentine when he gives a nice valentine to her. He tries to keep it a secret but he accidentally gives the game away when she catches him looking at the card while the rest of the children are on the playground. He tries to cover it up but he realizes that it is too late when she says his words are "sputtery." He then admits that he's always liked her and that she makes Room Nine "sparky." Although the reason is unknown it seems that not a hint of friendship is shown throughout the rest of the series, though in Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl after she get grape juice stains on her graduation outfit he suggest that everyone else color on their clothes so she would feel better. Jim as well as most of the kindergarten children are never shown again and calls her "Goony Bird Jones." He says that Junie B.'s brother is not a monkey in Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business.

the Pink Fluffy Girl: a fellow student at Junie B.'s school who wears a pink jacket is well known for stealing her beloved mittens in Junie B. Jones is not a Crook. How ever she gets caught and gets her comeuppance for stealing and Junie B. gets her mittens back.

Bobbi Jean Piper: Grace's new friend in first grade. She sat next to Grace and Junie B. is not okay with it.

Teachers[edit]

Mrs.: Junie B.'s kindergarten teacher and in charge of Room Nine. In all of the Kindergarten adventures, Junie B. says: "Her name is Mrs. She has another name too but I just like Mrs. and that's all." In the first book, Junie B. says that she does not remember the teacher's last name. In Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying, Junie B. catches Mrs. stealing grapes while at a grocery store and kissing her husband. She will miss Junie B. as shown in the last kindergarten book in the series.

Mr. Scary: Junie B.'s kind, warm, first grade teacher at this time. She believes that he made up his name because he is actually very nice and "doesn't even scare her, hardly." He makes his class keep journals, where they write about whatever subjects they want. Mr. Scary often has to break up Junie B. and May's arguments. He can also be very firm when Junie B. and May tattle on each other.

Principal: The principal at Junie B.'s school, whom she believes lives in his office and is "the king of the school, only he doesn't actually wear a crown." She refers to him only as "Principal." His first appearance was in the Stupid, Smelly Bus, where he sternly scolds Junie B. for not getting on the bus and hiding in the school. They get to know each other pretty well during the kindergarten series since Junie B's antics often wind up getting her sent to the office. Junie B. does not like to go to his office because there is a "grouchy typing lady" in there that is somewhat mean, never smiles, and always "forces" her to sit in a blue chair which she says is "where bad kids have to sit." Her mom eventually made a rule at home that getting herself sent to the office would get her "grounded, young lady."

Gus Vallony: The janitor who is often friendly around Junie B. He helps her out when she is accidentally locked in the school in Stupid, Smelly Bus, where he was originally known as the "man with the can". She dresses up as a janitor for career day in Big Fat Mouth. He was born in an unknown foreign country. He cleans up "splat-o" (vomit) in Shipwrecked.

Mrs. Gladys Gutzman: The school cafeteria lady. She brings cookies to the kindergarten students. In Boss of Lunch, Junie B. helps her out in the cafeteria after she complains about how the first graders don't get cookies.

Mrs. Weller: The school nurse. In Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying she puts a band-aid on Junie B.'s head after Lucille tells her "it's not a good idea to keep secrets inside your head", after which Junie B. runs into the office yelling "my head's gonna blow!" In First Grader At Last! she tells Junie B. that she needs glasses after Mr. Scary finds out she has issues reading from the boards.

Mr. Woo: The Bus driver, who drives Junie B. and the other kids to school. He is friendly towards the kids, but often gets frustrated with them from time to time.

Grouchy typing lady: Principal's secretary who works at the front office. Junie B. often fears her because she is "grouchy".

Mr. Toot: The music teacher, who is also in charge of the annual Holiday Sing-Along.

Mrs. Hall: The art teacher. She was mentioned in Junie B. Jones and the Yucky Blucky Fruitcake. She has a son named Jamal.

Books[edit]

Since the original book was published by Random House in 1992, twenty-eight other Junie B. Jones books have been published. Twenty-seven books belong to the Junie B. Jones Series and there is also a Junie B. Jones Journal. The Junie B. Jones series has also been translated into Spanish and French.

Challenges[edit]

The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009.[3] Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling and grammar.[citation needed] While Junie B. Jones writer Barbara Park appreciated being on banned lists with writers she respected (like Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison), she stopped reading information about her books because the comments were "too hurtful".[4] Park once wrote that some people "believe that the value of a children's book can be measured only in terms of the moral lessons it tries to impose or the perfect role models it offers. Personally, I happen to think that a book is of extraordinary value if it gives the reader nothing more than a smile or two. In fact, I happen to think that's huge."[5]

Adaptations[edit]

Plays[edit]

  • Junie B. Jones, theatrical adaptation by Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich, Theatreworks USA[6][7]
  • Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business, theatrical adaptation by Joan Cushing
  • Junie B. Jones The Stupid Smelly Bus Tour, Random House,[8] Tour by Momentum Worldwide
  • 2008 Tour - Caitlin Thurnauer as Junie B. Jones, Jay Paranada as Mr. Woo. Tour Managed by Michael Barth
  • Junie B. Jones Top-Secret Personal Beeswax educational video game for the LeapFrog Leapster Learning System
  • Junie B. Jones: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, theatrical adaptation by Allison Gregory; Childsplay. Music composed by Rob Witmer
  • Junie B. Jones: First Grader: Shipwrecked, theatrical adaptation by Allison Gregory; Childsplay
  • Junie B Jones and a Little Monkey Business, theatrical adaptation performed at B Street Theatre.

Film[edit]

The only mentioning of a theatrical feature film based on the books comes from a question and answer thread from Barbara Park where she stated that "Junie B has been pretty successful already living in the readers' imaginations, so I am happy with that."[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fox, Margalit (2013-11-18). "Barbara Park, Author of Junie B. Jones Series, Dies at 66". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-05. 
  2. ^ Junie B. Jones Books (BellaOnline.com)
  3. ^ "Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009". American Library Association. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2017-01-24. 
  4. ^ Grossman, Anna Jane (July 26, 2007). "Is Junie B. Jones Talking Trash?". The New York Times. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  5. ^ Minzesheimer, Bob (November 17, 2013). "'Junie B. Jones' author Barbara Park dies at 66". USA Today. Retrieved 2017-02-05. 
  6. ^ Van Gelder, Lawrence (2005-11-12). Irrepressible, Bespectacled Girl Tackles First Grade. The New York Times.
  7. ^ Welcome to TheatreworksUSA
  8. ^ Official Junie B. Jones site.
  9. ^ http://www.randomhouse.com/kids//junieb/author/author.html

External links[edit]