Several popular series and protagonists continue in new titles. The titular heroine joins her favorite cafeteria lady, Mrs. Gutzman, by donning apron, mitts and a hair net, but things go a little haywire behind the lunch counter in Junie B., First Grader: Boss of Lunch by Barbara Park, illus. by Denise Brunkus, the latest installment in the bestselling series. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
In the nineteenth entry in the "Junie B. Jones" series, Junie has moved on to first grade and is keeping a journal. Several entries are included in the text, along with a blue ribbon bookmark. Junie loves her new lunchbox and can't keep from opening it, which occasions a class argument about which is better, "bought" or "brought" lunch. When Junie discovers that a beloved aide from kindergarten is now working in the cafeteria, she is able, somewhat improbably but never mind, to help out behind the counter. She gets her own hairnet, plastic "mitts," and a chance to lord it over her classmates, which she does, calling the lunch of the day "tuna noodle stinkle." That makes her lose her job. Fans of the irrepressible and precocious six-year-old will lap up this morsel, but it, like a cheese doodle, lacks much substance or nutritional value. 2002, Random House,
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Junie B. is excited because she has a brand-new lunch box. She can't resist sneaking peeks in it during class and is caught by her teacher. The child instigates a discussion about why brought lunches are better than bought lunches and sums it all up by saying, "'Cause brought lunches are made special by our very own mothers!" Later that day at lunch, she sees a cafeteria worker who used to bring milk and cookies to Junie B.'s kindergarten class, and asks why her class doesn't get them this year. The woman explains that first graders get cookies when they buy their lunch. Junie B. convinces Mrs. Gutzman to let her be a helper in the cafeteria where she thinks that she'll be the boss and get to eat as many cookies as she wants. This cleverly written beginning chapter book is as funny as ever and young readers will laugh with the child as she learns that working in a cafeteria isn't just about eating cookies. A few black-and-white drawings in each chapter capture the confident little girl and her many adventures.-Kristin de Lacoste, South Regional Public Library, Pembroke Pines, FL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Junie is adjusting to the new world of first grade, where she is learning to follow rules and settle down-at least a little bit. She has a new lunchbox and she just cannot keep her hands off of it. Mr. Scary, her teacher, has exhorted her to leave it alone until lunchtime, even if she is extolling the virtues of a homemade lunch. "'Cause brought lunches are made special by our very own mothers!" May, the prissy, perfect girl who loves to annoy Junie is more than happy to tattle on her or to point out the virtues of the cafeteria lunch. "All school lunches have to be delicious and nutritious. It's a rule." Junie is left with her sandwich while the children all choose a cafeteria hoagie. Well, rules are made to be broken and no one can break them quite like Junie B. She ends up as a lunch helper, fancying herself as being in charge of the kitchen, despite her mother's gentle admonition: "A helper is not the boss." Though she loves her job as the napkin arranger and sink sponger, she is cut down to size when she is asked to greet the older kids. Park's particular gift is her ability to have Junie, the narrator, add interesting vocabulary and phrases to her speech. She really seems older than the Junie in the kindergarten books, more real, and more sympathetic. Who couldn't relate to the little girl who wants to help but somehow manages to call the lunch "Tuna Noodle Stinkle" and compounds the mistake by screeching it at the top of her lungs? Hooray for Junie and hooray for the grown-ups in her life who accept her, loud mouth and all.
From the Publisher
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."
"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."