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The Assassination of Junie B. Jones

Hello, Dear Readers!

Today I get to participate in a fun activity started and run by the super hilarious blogger Ninja Mom. It’s the Character Assassination Carousel, where writers make fun of children’s books! Woohoo!

I’m inspired by a paper I found in my son’s backpack last year — he created a fake book jacket for one of his school novels, Watership Down. It’s classic heroic fantasy novel about rabbits, so of course he hated it.

He wrote these reviews:

The worst jumble of words to ever be barfed onto paper.” –The New York Times Book Review

Fine, the book’s great. Just put the gun down!” –Scholastic Publishers

Have you ever dreaded reading that book to your child? Perhaps it’s an extra long and detailed account of Cinderella, and, although you love spending time with your little one, you can only think about how you really need to take a dump and want to play Words with Friends, maybe even at the same time.

Other times your child wants a story with such an annoying character that you’d rather the book disappear forever.

My book nemesis is Junie B. Jones. Junie B. is supposed to be funny, but sometimes I want to lock her in a closet.

image of Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy

Junie B. makes me cringe.

She’s mean to other kids, so I want to be mean to her. Or laugh at her and join in with making fun of the other kids — I’m not sure. Just another reason I’m not a teacher. Junie B. does not bring out the best in me. She calls kids names, talks about how she can beat them up, and says rude and sassy things to everyone, including adults. I’m not sure if I love her or hate her.

But worst of all, she uses terrible grammar. Every time we used to read a Junie B. Jones book, I had to stop every 5 lines or so to correct her grammar. Here’s an example of Junie’s narration: “Then she quick handed me the jar. And she runned right out of the room.”

Arrghh! My kids were already disadvantaged when it came to spelling because we lived in the deep and dirty south — around people with heavy accents — for quite a while. When my daughter entered kindergarten, she thought that “thing” was spelled “thang” because that’s how she pronounced it. It was cute, but I could just imagine her college essay: “I want to contribute to the research center of this university science department more than anythang.” I didn’t need my impressionable children saying “runned” too. (My computer’s spell checker is about to have a heart attack.)

Junie B. is funny, but she lets her freak flag fly high. In Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, she can’t decide what to bring for her class Pet Day. At her family’s suggestions, she considers ants and worms but finally decides on the perfect pet: a fish stick. Yes, a breaded, frozen fish stick was her pet for Pet Day. That’s strange, and I think she needs a private school for either geniuses or special ed. I’m not sure about that girl.

This makes more sense when you read about the author — she’s odd. In an author interview on Amazon.com, Barbara Park discussed her most recent picture book. Here’s how she describes the 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…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.”

You can’t make this stuff up, folks. When I read about that picture book, I quick runned in the opposite direction.

Just kidding, Barbara! It sounds great. Just put the gun down.

Read more in the Character Assassination Carousel! Last week: Bethany at Bad Parenting Moments ridicules The Rainbow Fish. Coming next week: Domestic Goddess at The Underachiever’s Guide to Being a Domestic Goddess.

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14 Comments
  1. Dear TCB-
    Very funny post.
    I especially like the bit about how genius I was to choose a fish stick as my pet! However, please keep your snarky comments about my grammar to yourself. You obviously don’t know nothin about writin good.
    With appreciation,
    JBJ

    • This kinda freaked me out because I thought it was someone from Scholastic or whoever publishes those books! I thought I was going down for copyright infringement, and I quick wetted my pants.

  2. Glad I found your blog. You did a superb job of urging me to throw another book on the “Avoiding like the plague and hoping my kids don’t acknowledge it” pile. They’re two, though, so I’m currently being berated with Curious George and Green Eggs and Ham…*sigh*

    Nice to meet you!

  3. Great post – I have never heard of Junie B. Jones but I would do a character assassination on Angelina Ballerina. That little mouse bitch needs to go.

  4. Excellent! I hope your spell checker recovers, but if it’s like mine it barely ever worked anyway. Ain’t no thang!

  5. Junie B. makes me grind my teeth. My oldest daughter loved her (she is now in high school and I’m proud to say overcame Junie’s grammar hurdle: Newflash! Books are supposed to HELP your children develop).

    And I was more than a little proud when my youngest daughter shunned her.

    I’m now waiting to find the person I hate the most to pass those books along to, maybe with a nice battery operated toy that has no off switch.

    Ellen

    • News Flash! Not Newflash. I hope I made Junie B. proud.

    • AMEN, although I love Captain Underpants. Maybe if Junie B. talked about poop more I could accept her grammar flaws. What kindergartener really talks like that? Not anybody I’d want my kid hanging out with. I’m not perfect, but I am snobby, so I got that goin’ for me. This reply doesn’t make sense. I’m testing the limits of how much wine I can drink on a Thursday night.

  6. I was waiting for someone to nab Junie B. Jones for CAC. Can you imagine how hard it would be to translate these books into a foreign language? How would you translate “runned?” The title would probably be “Junie B. Jones’ nose inhales the scent of Mrs. Paul.”

    • HAHA! Yes, they probably don’t translate well at all. My daughter can translate some of the Chinese character tattoos, and it provides lots of entertainment for us. Bad translations are the best!

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