Park, B., & Brunkus, D. (1998). Junie B. Jones smells something fishy. New York: Random House.
Junie B. is very excited that Pet Day is coming up in her classroom. When she finds out that she can only bring a picture of her dog because he is too big to bring to school, she sets off on a mission to find a new pet in time to bring for Pet Day. Her grandmother offers to let Junie B. bring her bird to school, but that doesn’t work since she and the bird don’t like each other, due to an unfortunate potato incident. Will Junie B. find a pet in time to bring on the special day? Or will Pet Day be a bust for her?
I can’t get enough of Junie B. Jones. I think Park’s diction is pure comic genius. This is an author who knows her way around a five year old. The way Junie talks sounds exactly like a 4 year old I used to teach named Nila. She and Junie B. share many personality traits; enthusiastic, stubborn, articulate and impulsive. The kind of kid who makes a teacher feel like she’s losing her mind and whom a teacher also completely adores. The criticism this series has received for improper grammar is some that I find misplaced. Something vitally important to the essence of these books would be lost without Junie’s imperfect voice narrating it.
I did a sad sigh. “Where’s the justice here, Helen?” I asked.
Grandma smiled very understanding.
Then she gave me a hug.
And said don’t call her Helen.
No kindergartener’s grammar will be worsened for reading these books. Literature needn’t always be a lesson, certainly not a grammar lesson. The Junie B. Jones books, as they are, provide young readers with a voice they can easily recognize and with which they can identify.
Carolyn Phelan (Booklist, March 15, 1999 (Vol. 95, No. 14))
Readers who are getting into chapter books will find plenty to enjoy here, from Junie‘s antics to her fresh use of language to the expressive line drawings. A funny entry in a popular series.
Tracy Defina (Children’s Literature)
Junie B. Jones, the funny kindergartner, is back. It’s pet day at school, but she can’t just bring any pet. Junie wants to bring her dog, but the rules say caged animals only. Although she is allowed to bring a picture, she wants to bring a real animal. Will it be Grandma Miller’s bird she hates, a worm she can’t find, or a dead fly? When Grandma and Grandpa return from a fishing trip with a huge large-mouthed bass, Junie thinks her problem is solved. Then Grandma steals her new pet. Finally, in the freezer of all places, Junie finds the perfect pet: a fish stick. Young readers may enjoy this silly story about a demanding little girl, but be aware that her improper English doesn’t set the best example for writing and speaking.
Use in Library
Let’s do some animal classification. The students will identify the animals named in the book. Then we will classify them after doing some internet research.