Junie B. Jones and the stupid smelly bus

Barbara Park

Book - 1992

In her own words, a young girl describes her feelings about starting kindergarten and what she does when she decides not to ride the bus home.

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New York, NY : Random House c1992.
Main Author
Barbara Park (-)
Other Authors
Denise Brunkus (illustrator)
Physical Description
69 p.: ill
  • 1.. Meeting Mrs.
  • 2.. Feeling Squeezy
  • 3.. The Stupid Smelly Bus
  • 4.. Me and Lucille and Some Other Kids
  • 5.. Principal
  • 6.. A Good Hider
  • 7.. Peeky Holes and Spying
  • 8.. The Dangerous Nurse's Office
  • 9.. Zooming Speedy Fast
  • 10.. Me and That Grace
Review by Booklist Review

Gr. 2-3. Park, one of the funniest writers around, usually reserves her talent for middle-graders. Now she brings her refreshing humor to the beginning chapter-book set. The perennial question, Will kids read about those younger than themselves? is enthusiastically answered in the affirmative in this case. It's hard for anyone to resist Junie B. A cross between Lily Tomlin's Edith Ann and Eloise, Junie B. (she insists on the B.) is on her way to kindergarten, but that doesn't mean she has to go gently into that abyss. In riotous first-person she describes how she learns the concept of school busing ("WHERE'S THE STUPID SMELLY BUS GOING TO?"), meets her new teacher and the principal ("The principal is a baldy"), and makes new friends ("That Jim, I hate"). To avoid riding the bus home on her first day, Junie B. hides out under the teacher's desk and has a very enjoyable time sticking gold stars on her forehead and writing with "Brand-new chalk that's not even out of its little box yet!" Fortunately for readers, Junie B. is found, paving the way for another book in the series. Pencil illustrations by Denise Brunkus add to the fun. (Reviewed Dec. 1, 1992)0679926429Ilene Cooper

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

One of the initial titles released under the First Stepping Stone imprint, chapter books aimed at newly independent readers and arranged in series, Park's ( Skinnybones ) jolly caper is the first installment to feature Junie B., a feisty almost-six-year-old who is not at all happy about riding the bus on the first day of kindergarten. In fact, she doesn't like a single thing about this vehicle: not the kids who get on it (``Loud kids. And some of them were the kind who look like meanies''); not the door (``If it closes on you by accident, it will cut you in half, and you will make a squishy sound''); and not the black smoke it emits (``It's called bus breath, I think''). Other equally candid, on-target perceptions fill Junie B.'s first-person narrative, which is peppered with reader-involving questions (``Only guess what?''; `` 'Cause guess why?'') that help to propel the story at a whiz-bang pace. When a classmate tells Junie B. that kids will pour chocolate milk on her head on the way home, the spunky child finds a way to avoid the dreaded bus. Park convinces beginning readers that Junie B.-- and reading--are lots of fun. Ages 6-9. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3 --Park is truly a funny writer. Although Junie B. is a kindergartner, she's sure to make middle graders laugh out loud when they read about her adventures on the first day of school. Even the most insecure readers will feel superior because they know so much more than she does. Brunkus's occasional black-and-white pencil illustrations are appealing and reinforce the mood of the text. Junie B. is a real character; she talks a lot, is funny without knowing it, and honest to a fault. This book will get lots of peer recommendations, and younger kids will enjoy listening to it when read aloud. It's a real hoot! --Gale W. Sherman, Pocatello Pub . Lib . , ID (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

Junie B. Jones is a likable character whose comic mishaps on her first day of school will elicit laughs from young readers. But the first-person narration by a kindergartner quickly becomes tedious, and the net result is more annoying than amusing. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

In the ``First Stepping Stone'' series, a genuinely funny, easily read story. Junie didn't like riding the bus to her first day of kindergarten, so when it's time to go home she hides in a supply closet until everyone but the janitor has left. She has a fine time exploring the contents of her teacher's desk, the school library, and the nurse's office--until she has to go to the bathroom and finds it locked. Only when Junie calls 911 to report this emergency is she located by the frantic adults who've been searching for her. Junie's abrupt, ungrammatical narration sounds just like the feisty young lady seen in the b&w drawings, with droopy socks, wispy hair, and spit-shined (literally--she licks them) shoes. Kids may need some persuading to read about a younger child, but they're sure to enjoy the understated humor. (Fiction. 6-9)

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Chapter 3: The Stupid Smelly Bus The bus wasn't like my daddy's car at all. It was very big inside. And the seats didn't have any cloth on them. The little curly girl was sitting near the front. And so I  tapped on her. "Guess what?" I said. "Mother said for me to sit here." "No!" she said. "I'm saving this seat for my best friend, Mary Ruth Marble!" Then she put her little white purse on the place where I was going to sit. And so I made a face at her. "Hurry up and find a seat, young lady," said Mr. Woo. And so I quick sat down across from the curly mean girl. And Mr. Woo shut the door. It wasn't a regular kind of door, though. It folded in half. And when it closed, it made a whishy sound. I don't like that kind of door. If it closes on you by accident, it will cut you in half, and you will make a squishy sound. The bus made a big roar. Then a big puff of black smelly smoke came out the back end of it. It's called bus breath, I think. Mr. Woo drove for a while. Then the brakes made that loud, screechy noise again. I covered my ears so it couldn't get inside my head. 'Cause if loud, screechy noises get inside your head, you have to take an aspirin. I saw that on a TV commercial. Then the bus door opened again. And a dad and a boy with a grouchy face got on. The dad smiled. Then he plopped the grouchy boy right next to me. "This is Jim," he said. "I'm afraid Jim isn't too happy this afternoon." The dad kissed the boy good-bye. But the boy wiped it off his cheek. Jim had on a backpack. It was blue. I love backpacks. I wish I had one of my very own. One time I found a red one in a trash can. But it had a little bit of gushy on it, and Mother said no. Jim's backpack had lots of zippers. I touched each one of them. "One... two... three... four," I counted. Then I unzipped one. "HEY! DON'T!" yelled Jim. He zipped it right up again. Then he moved to the seat in front of me. I hate that Jim. After that, the bus kept stopping and starting. And lots of kids kept getting on. Loud kids. And some of them were the kind who look like meanies. Then the bus began getting very noisy and hot inside. And the sun kept shining down on me and my fuzzy hot sweater. And here's another hot thing. I couldn't roll down my window because it didn't have a handle. And so I just kept on getting hotter and hotter. And it smelled in the bus, too. The bus smelled like an egg salad sandwich. "I want to get off of here," I said right out loud. But nobody heard me. "I hate it in this stupid smelly bus." Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though. 'Cause I'm not a baby, that's why. After that, my nose started running. Only the bus didn't have a glove compartment. Which is where you keep the travel tissues, of course. And so I had to wipe my nose on my fuzzy pink sweater sleeve. Then I stayed on the bus for about an hour or three. Until finally I saw a flagpole and a playground. That meant we were at kindergarten! Then Mr. Woo drove the bus into the parking lot and stopped. I jumped up very fast. 'Cause all I wanted to do was get off that stupid smelly thing! Only guess what? That Jim pushed right in front of me. And the curly mean girl did, too. And then people started squishing me real tight. And so I pushed them away. And they pushed me right back. That's when I fell down! And a big foot stepped on my skirt that looks like velvet. "STOP IT!" I yelled. Then Mr. Woo hollered, "HEY, HEY, HEY!" And he picked me up. And helped me off the bus. Mrs. was waiting for me just like my mother said. "Hi! I'm glad to see you!" she called. Then I ran over to her. And I showed her the big footprint on my skirt that looks like velvet. "Yeah, only look what happened. I got stepped on and so now I'm soiled." Mrs. brushed it. "Don't worry, Junie," she said. "It'll come off." After that I just folded my arms and made a frown. 'Cause guess what? She forgot my B. again. Excerpted from Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.