Reviews

B for Beatrice

Patty Osborne

Junie B. Jones books (Penguin Random House) follow Junie B. through kindergarten and grade 1, and include challenges like having to sit beside a tattletale, getting caught copying her neighbour’s homework, getting snubbed by her best friend, getting herself into trouble because of her “big fat mouth,” and ending up in the “bad kid’s chair” in the principal’s office. As Junie B. says, “Punishment takes the friendly right out of you.” For the most part the adults in Junie B.’s life remain calm in the midst of Junie B.’s passion and stubbornness but she notices that they sometimes “do a big breath” or “roll their eyes way up to the ceiling” and her mother sometimes rubs the sides of her forehead with her fingers because she gets “mybrain headaches.” My granddaughter is not at all like Junie B., but like any good storyteller, as soon as she starts reading she takes on a Junie B. persona that makes both of us laugh out loud. If you aren’t already sold on the Junie B. Jones books, you should know that the series has been challenged (which Junie B. might explain as meaning “almost banned by some adults”) because of poor grammar and punctuation and an often-disrespectful attitude. Another reason to love that kid!

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