Thursday, May 12, 2016

Junie B Jones Is Captain Field Day by Barbara Park & illustrated Denise Brunkus

Junie B Jones! The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all. 

For a long time, I refused to read my kids the Junie B books. Do kids really need instructions on how to misbehave and be disrespectful? Why would we read kids stories that have mixed up grammer and word usage? Isn't that just confusing everything? 

I was touchingly ignorant of kids at that point. Kids tangle up words and murder grammer, whether you read them Shakespeare or Junie B. Kids also behave atrociously from time to time, no matter how well you raise them. Kids have to figure this out for themselves. And they aren't going to take advice from Junie B any quicker than they are going to take advice from me. As a parent, I like to think I can control my children. To an extent, I do, but really, what I am really trying to do is to teach them to control themselves. In a backwards way, Junie B teaches them about control. This is what happens when you get out of control, kid. Bad things. Your teacher, parents, and principal all come down hard on you and all the kids look at you funny. So think twice before yelling in class.

Junie B goes where others fear to tread. 

Junie B is quite the girl. Despite the poor behavior control, she is rather fun and bouncy. 

This book is about her being the captain of her kindergarten field day. She is so excited about field day, she shouts the news to her dog, Tickle and then in her sleeping baby brother's ear. Her mother didn't like that last one so much.   

At school, Room Nine, Junie B's room, was very excited. Junie B and Lucille and Grace had to skip all over the room. Until Mrs., the teacher, had to holler their names.

The room chose their captain by drawing names. Junie B could not believe her good luck in drawing the captain paper. 

For some reason, no one else was as excited about that as she was. 

Junie B was pretty sure being Captain of field day was pretty similar to being a superhero. Despite Mrs explaining exactly what a captain was, Junie B still thought she out to have a cape of some kind. Mrs. pins a towel on Junie B's shoulders. 

Again, no one else was as excited for Junie B as she was. 

When they got outside, Junie B realized she had to shake New Thelma's hand, since New Thelma was the Captain of the other kindergarten class. 

"Yeah, only here's the problem, " I said. "I don't actually like that girl. And so I will just shake hands with the Room Eight teacher instead."

No can do. Shake New Thelma's hand, she must. 

Somehow, being the captain and being the superhero isn't as marvelous as Junie B expects. She still makes mistakes and people get irritated with her. Even though she has a cape! 

When her shoe flies off during the relay, every gets angry with her for sitting down and putting it on again. Suprisingly, they expected her to run in her sock foot. 

Who does that? Not Junie B.

But as Captain, she reassures Crybaby William that he doesn't have to throw a softball beause Paulie Allen Puffer will take care of winning that for Room Nine. 

But then, he doesn't. His ball misbehaves and makes a hole in the sand instead.

New Thelma cheers for Strong Frankie in Room Eight, who wins the softball throw. 

I tapped on her.
"You are getting on my nerves, madam," I said.
New Thelma giggled in my face.
That girl is a nitwit, I tell you. 

Strong Frankie goes ahead and wins the tug of war for Room Eight as well.

Strong Frankie thinks Room Eight might skunk Room Nine and win all the events. Junie B has words with Strong Frankie. 

But it looks like Strong Frankie might be right. Because nobody will step forward to try the chin up competition, the last event of the field day.

But then, Crybaby William comes to the rescue and somehow (because those things are really hard) does more chin ups than Strong Frankie. Which means Room Nine is not skunged and turns Crybaby William into Super William. Junie B gives him the cape to show him how much of a hero he is. 

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