Friday, November 18, 2011

Children's Book Review: Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus


Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus
Written by: Barbara Park
Published: Random House Children's Books, 1992
80 pages
Ages: 6+

Remember when it was scary to go to school? 'Cause it was your first day and you didn't know anything. Meet Junie B. Jones, kindergartner. She's so scared of the school bus and the meanies on it that when it's time to go home, she doesn't.

This is the first in a series of 30 books about the main character, Junie B. Jones. She's beginning her first day of kindergarten and has lots of concerns.  When I taught 3rd grade the kids loved to read this series so I was always buying them for the classroom. I will admit though, that I never actually read any of them myself!

 Around last March we started reading this book as a family read-aloud. I picked it because I thought my daughter would be able to relate to Junie B. Jones, since she was starting kindergarten in September, and it was easy enough for her to read.

Warning:  You will either love the books or hate them!  We love them.  Some people have problems with the language used, as seen right in the title "stupid smell bus." For us, this is a review of what's appropriate language and what's not. The events in the books are great discussion starters, where we ask our daughter, "What would you do?"  Or, "do you think Junie B. made a good decision?" The series continues with Junie B. going into first grade and eventually second grade. 

Junie B. Jones says and does things that have my husband and I laughing out loud.   Reading a chapter a night aloud is part of our bedtime routine. My daughter, my husband, and me taking turn reading a page aloud while my son listens and looks at the pictures!  We are currently reading Junie B. Jones First Grader at Last:  Toothless Wonder.  I don't know what we'll do when we finish reading the series! 

Family rating:  2 thumbs up!

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