The first time I read a Junie B. Jones book to my kids, I considered throwing it away. I’m trying to teach them to speak clearly and correctly, and Junie B. talks like a hillbilly. Plus, she’s sassy and difficult.
But, they were enthralled with the story of a kindergarten girl who “runned speedy quick” into her classroom to sit next to her “bestest friends”…and thus our love of the chapter books written by Barbara Park began.
Sadly, Junie B.’s creator died last week. But her legacy will live forever. Barbara Park penned more than 30 books, and every 2nd grade girl I know (and at least one kindergarten boy 🙂 ) loves reading the Junie B. series. I had to look past the language and understand that the story that captured my children’s imaginations was what would turn them into lifelong readers.
If you have a beginning reader in your family and/or kids who are looking forward to kindergarten, then you’ll definitely want to start a collection of Junie B. Jones books. There are very few illustrations in each book, but that will not matter once the stories begin to unfold. (tip: try using a hillbilly accent when reading the part of Junie B….I couldn’t help myself!)
P.S. One of the “bestest” birthday parties we ever attended was Junie B. Jones themed complete with “Room 9” class activities, Junie’s favorite foods and adorable journals and pens as party favors (room 9 students write in their journals each day). Just a thought if you’re looking for a creative party idea!