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Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! (P.S. So Does May) Paperback – September 22, 2009


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Frequently Bought Together

Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! (P.S. So Does May) + Junie B., First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff) (Junie B. Jones) (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) + Junie B., First Grader: Boo...and I Mean It! (Junie B. Jones, No. 24)
Price for all three: $13.47

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 400L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375828095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375828096
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

From USA TODAY:
"Junie B. is the darling of the young-reader set."

From Publisher' Weekly:
"Park convinces beginning readers that Junie B.—and reading—are lots of fun."

From Kirkus Reviews:
"Junie's swarms of young fans will continue to delight in her unique take on the world....A hilarious, first-rate read- aloud."

From Booklist:
"Park, one of the funniest writers around . . . brings her refreshing humor to the beginning chapter-book set."

From Time magazine:
"Junie B. Jones is a feisty six-year-old with an endearing penchant for honesty."

From School Library Journal:
"Readers will relate instantly to the trials and tribulations of this first grader....She is always endearing and wonderfully funny."

About the Author

BARBARA PARK is best known as the author of the wildly popular New York Times bestselling Junie B. Jones series, which has kept kids (and their grown-ups) laughing—and reading—for over two decades. Beloved by millions, the Junie B. Jones books have been translated into multiple languages and are a time-honored staple in elementary school classrooms around the world. Barbara once said, “I’ve never been sure whether Junie B.’s fans love her in spite of her imperfections…or because of them. But either way, she’s gone out into the world and made more friends than I ever dreamed possible.”

Barbara Park is also the author of award-winning middle grade novels and bestselling picture books, including Skinnybones, Mick Harte Was Here, and Ma! There’s Nothing to Do Here!

Barbara Park was born in New Jersey in 1947 and spent most of her adult life in Arizona, where she and her husband, Richard, raised two sons. Barbara died in 2013, but her legacy lives on in the laughter her books give to readers all over the world.


More About the Author

I grew up in Mt. Holly, New Jersey. It was a small town surrounded by farmland . . . the kind of town where you greet people by name on Main Street. It was only an hour's drive to the ocean. So every summer we spent family vacations on Long Beach Island. My brother and I would ride the waves during the day and play miniature golf at night. It's the kind of idyllic memory that stays in your head long after you've grown up and moved away.
After graduating from high school and spending two years at Rider University, I transferred to the University of Alabama where I met my husband, Richard. Eventually his job brought him to Arizona. We both fell in love with the desert and wanted to stay here forever. Still, during the heat of the Arizona summers, those ocean memories would come rushing back. So-after years of sweaty summers-my husband and I finally built a house on Long Beach Island, the same island where my brother and I rode the waves as kids. In the story business, that's called "coming full circle." These days, Richard and I divide our time between the desert and the ocean. In the words of Junie B. Jones, I'm a lucky duck.

Q. What inspired you to start writing?

In my case, it was sort of "reverse" inspiration. I got a degree in secondary education. My plan was to teach high school history and political science. But, because of a scheduling problem my senior year, I ended up doing my student teaching in the seventh grade. The word disaster doesn't really cover this one. I'll spare you the details. But as I ran screaming from the school building every day, I knew that I would never be a teacher. My husband and I married after graduation, and started a family. A few years later, when I was ready to go to work, I was still haunted by the memories of student teaching. So I was "inspired" to try my hand at writing instead.

Q. How did you go about getting published?

The first children's novel I wrote was Operation: Dump the Chump. As soon as it was finished, I bought a copy of Writer's Market, found some addresses, and started sending it off to publishers who were accepting unsolicited manuscripts. It was rejected three times. All three rejections managed to work in the classic industry one-liner, "It isn't right for our list."

The fourth time I sent it to Alfred Knopf, Inc. A few weeks later, they called and said it was exactly right for their list. I felt like I'd hit the lottery.

Q: You've written middle-grade novels, early chapter books, and picture books. Which do you like writing best?

I can't really say which I like best. But after all the Junie B. books I've written, those certainly come the easiest. The middle-grade novels are more of a challenge. But in some ways, that makes them more rewarding. The last two I've written (Mick Harte Was Here and The Graduation of Jake Moon) were both about very sensitive topics, so it took a long time to get them exactly right. But I think those two books have made me the most proud.

Q. Tell us about your most recent picture book.

It's called, MA! There's Nothing to Do Here! It's about a baby in utero who is bored out of his mind. The idea for it was born (so to speak) when my daughter-in-law, Renee, invited me to my first grandson's ultrasound. Although I had never had an ultrasound myself, I'd seen pictures of other babies in utero. But I wasn't prepared for how amazing it would be to see my own little grandbaby on that screen. I felt like I was watching the Discovery Channel.

Q. How much did you continue to think about the baby after seeing the ultrasound? How did this develop into the idea for the book?

A. On the way out of the doctor's office, I remember thinking, Okay, so now we're all going back to our busy lives. But the baby is still in there just floating around. Except for an occasional kick or hiccup, he's got absolutely nothing to do.

A few months later-when I was getting ready to give Renee a baby shower-I wrote this poem, framed it, and gave it to her as a shower gift.

Q. Of the characters you've created, who is your favorite?

A. This would be a bit like picking a favorite child. I don't have a single favorite character, but again, I lived with the characters Mick and Phoebe Harte and Jake and Skelly Moon for a very long time. So those four are the most dear to me.

The characters I've had the most fun with have been the little ones. Little kids are so free to say whatever is on their minds. They aren't silenced by peer pressure and the notion that they have to sound cool. Molly Vera Thompson in The Kid in the Red Jacket is six, and Thomas Russo in My Mother Got Married and Other Disasters is five. They both were such fun to write about that they led to the creation of Junie B. Jones.

Q. Is Junie B. modeled after you as a child? Did you ever do any of the things that Junie B. does?

A. I was sent to "Principal" in first grade for talking. There were lots of notes sent home that year, as well. My father was on the Board of Education. Not good.

Q. There's been some criticism of the Junie-speak in the series. How do you answer concerns that Junie's grammar is not good for young readers?

A. Honestly, most of the grown-ups I hear from are writing to tell me that Junie B. Jones got their reluctant readers to read. I have drawers full of letters from parents and teachers that are so meaningful to me, I can't bear to part with them. These are adults who understand that fictional literature plays a whole different role in children's lives than a book of grammar or a basic reader.

That having been said, there are always going to be a handful of people who denigrate books that speak in a voice other than their own. I've stopped trying to explain the concept of literature to people like that. Wasted time better spent.

8. What makes you laugh?

My sense of humor is a little bit off-center, I think. In the movies, I usually laugh at parts that no one else seems to think are funny. Then there are movies like Young Frankenstein where I laugh from the opening scene straight through to the end.

Lots of other things make me laugh, as well. My husband and sons make me laugh. My dog. My grandsons. Friends. The absurdities of life. My lopsided cakes. The list goes on . . .

What advice do you have for teachers that are aspiring writers? For kids?

There's nothing revolutionary in my advice, I'm afraid. It's the same old stuff. Write as much and as often as you can. Try different genres to find your niche. Then rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. And-above all-be your own worst critic.

Customer Reviews

Our family loves the Junie B. Jones books.
Pamela F. Stevens
I have an 8 year old daughter and she enjoys reading the Junie B Jones books.
Anjelica S Jauregui
I love this book it's absolutely a great book for kids who like to read.
Diana Kay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By George Buttner VINE VOICE on November 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! (P.S. So Does May) is the absolutely newest book in the Junie B. Jones series and it's full of holiday cheer.

It's the holiday / Christmas season for Junie B. and her friends and classmates. Her class has been chosen to wear jingle-bell hats and perform carols. Only here's the thing --- May's spying and peeping and tattle-taling threatens to ruin it all for Junie B. Jones, or as May calls her, just Junie Jones. Things get even "worser" for Junie B. when she's chosen to be May's Secret Santa. Junie B. has a plan for a gift that will really spite May, but as she sees May's joy at the holiday season, she begins to wonder about her plan.

This is a great book that shows the true spirit of the season. Readers will feel what Junie B. feels as the events unfold. and the ending is very satisfying.

The only thing I miss about the newer books is the letter from Barbara Park at the end. This was always a nice touch and it feels like a small something is missing for it not to be there.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Kimes on July 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is what my 8 year old daughter, Emily, says about this book. "Great job. I have a way to prove that I love your series of Junie B. books. I have every single book in the whole entire series so far. I even have Junie B. First Grader Aloha-ha-ha.I've never had a better book than this one!"
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pamela F. Stevens on November 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Our family loves the Junie B. Jones books. So when this newest one came out, we bought it right away. I think this is the best Junie B. book so far. It teaches about choices that children make and what is really important. The ending is great! My 6 year old and 4 year old loved it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dream factory on September 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
It's holiday time and Room One is doing lots of happy things to celebrate. Like wearing elf costumes! And singing joyful songs! Only how can Junie B enjoy the festivities when Tattletale May keeps ruining her holiday glee? And here is the worst part of it all! When everyone picks names for Secret Santa,Junie B gets stuck with Tattletale you know who! It's enough to fizzle your holiday fun! Hmm...or is it? Maybe-just maybe- a Secret Santa gift is the perfect opportunity to give May EXACTLY what she deserves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jane Austen on February 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My six year old grandson loves the "Junie B. Jones" series of books! I won't comment on each individual book because he hasn't heard or read a "Junie B. Jones" book he didn't like! If all else has failed at getting your 5-8 yr. old interested in books...read him/her one of the Junie B. Jones books. They'll love it! Barbara Park is a genius when it comes to thinking and talking like a child! And Denise Brunkus' illustrations are so clever and humorous. Great work!!
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19 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Don Jolio on January 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book and several other Junie B. Jones books were given to my daughter by a family member. I was appalled by the abuse of the English language. Fans of these books say that "Kids are going to talk that way anyway, so it's just realistic." If you want to dumb your kid down to join the legions of morons, then by all means, purchase these books, and you will be well on your way to achieving your goal. If a 10-year old wants to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, with its linguistic non-conformities, I have no objection. When you write books for early readers, however, you do a great disservice by teaching them to abuse the language they are just beginning to learn. Grammar and spelling aside, I found nothing particularly interesting or imaginative about these books. The main character also behaves in ways which fans call `realistic', but good parents would hate to see their children imitating. I would never support banning them, but as a parent, I am hoping that my children will look elsewhere for books for early readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jerome W. Smith on November 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I wish school had been this much fun for me. This is a very easy read and my nine-year-old daughter loved it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By where's naldo on June 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
Have you read Junie B Jones? I just purchased the box set and began reading them to my kindergartener. I was horrified from the beginning at the very attitude and rude, ignorant spirit of Junie B Jones. She hates her name, the bus, the people on it, the teacher and her new school. What a negative thing to meet someone on the bus and instantly HATE them. Is this the kind of human interactions that we should be teaching our children? She yells, throws fits and generally has attitude about everything. The grammer is written from a 6 year old's perspective, which does nothing to educate our children about the way things should be phrased. This is not the picture of kindergarten, nor the worldview that I would suggest to my children or anyone else's for that matter. After 4 chapters, the entire series is in the trash as a waste of money. Think twice about what you are reading to your impressionable young children (or letting them read for themselves!)
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