For Parents

About The Series

Meet the World's Funniest kid—Junie B. Jones!

With over 60 million books sold and heralded as "the darling of the young-reader set." by USA Today, the New York Times bestselling Junie B. Jones series is a classroom favorite that has been keeping kids laughing–and reading–for over 20 years. Barbara Park has won multiple children's choice awards and been featured on the Today Show and in The New York Times, USA Today, and Time magazine. As Publishers Weekly says, "Park convinces beginning readers that Junie B.–and reading–are lots of fun." With thirty titles and translated into over a dozen languages, Junie B. Jones continues to win the hearts of young readers–and their grownups– all over the globe.

“I have a six-year-old daughter who was fighting us on learning to read. One day, I heard her teacher reading a Junie B. story. We went to our library and checked out every Junie B. book they had. Now we go through one every three days!”—Sandra L., Idaho


From The Press

Find out why over 60 million readers love the New York Times bestselling Junie B. Jones series.

“Junie B. is the darling of the young-reader set.”—USA Today

“Junie B. Jones is a feisty six-year-old with an endearing penchant for honesty.”—Time

“Junie B. is still sassy, hilarious, and insightful. Park obviously understands the passions and fears of first-graders.”—Booklist

“Park convinces beginning readers that Junie B.—and reading—are lots of fun.”—Publishers Weekly

“Readers will relate instantly to the trials and tribulations of this first grader…. She is always endearing and wonderfully funny.”—School Library Journal

From Grownups

“My second-grade son has never been all that interested in reading. He came home one day asking if I have ever read about Junie B. Jones. I bought a set of Junie B. books, and now I walk past his room and he is reading on his own!”—Nancy G., Indiana

“I have a six-year-old daughter who was fighting us on learning to read. One day, I heard her teacher reading a Junie B. story. We went to our library and checked out every Junie B. book they had. Now we go through one every three days!”—Sandra L., Idaho

“Our family wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed your Junie B. Jones books. Our son brought one home from school and we read it together. We all laughed through the whole book.”—Idaho family

“My daughter and I love Junie B. Jones. She had some difficult times reading in second grade. Your books really helped her have fun while she reads.”—Barbara M., New Jersey

“I would like to let you know how much pleasure your books have given us. After my older daughter finishes them, I read them to my six-year-old. You give this world such a gift with your books.”—Amy D., Florida

“I’ve been teaching for 29 years. My class has never enjoyed story time as much [as when I started reading Junie B. Jones.] The class enjoyed her not-so-perfect grammar. We used her sentences for our daily oral language lesson.”—Angie T., Pennsylvania

“In my experience, students no matter what their age have enjoyed your Junie B. books. Whenever the day is particularly hectic, I can rely on a Junie B. time-out for a relaxing laugh and a reminder to look on the lighter side. You have saved my sanity more times than you can ever know!”—Shelley M., Maryland

“You have made even my most reluctant readers look forward to each new chapter.”—Mary Ann O., Illinois

“Junie B. has touched the hearts of all my students throughout the year. She has become a part of our school lives . . . and in a way, another member of our class.”—Amy P., New Jersey

“I’ve been a teacher for more than 30 years and just discovered Junie B. Jones. I noticed that children have an increased enthusiasm for reading as a direct result of your books.”—Rona G., Maryland

From Kids

“I cannot tell you how much I love reading your books! My mom and I laugh so hard, our stomachs hurt and we get tears in our eyes.”—Kristi O., Pennsylvania

“I love Junie B. Jones! Every time I go anywhere in the car, I bring at least five Junie B. Jones books. I can’t leave home without them.”—Liz O., New Jersey

“Your books are so cool. You write your books so they relate to life.”—Kayla O., Pennsylvania

“I love Junie B. Jones books. I think they are so funny I could read them all day and laugh out loud. But in the afternoon, I want to watch Arthur.”—Laura P., Iowa

“I love your books so much whenever I’m in bed I always shout ‘Mom! Where are my Junie B. Jones books?!’”—Tim K., Pennsylvania

“You write the best books in the world.”—Manuel L., Colorado

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You Must B. Joking

Hurray! Hurray! If you’re looking for the You Must B. Joking! page, you’ve come to the right place! There’s no sweepstakes right now, but you can enter your FUNNY JOKES anytime at all on the Junie B. Jones homepage! Then keep checking back to see if your joke made it to the latest and greatest jokes page!

"You Are Not the Boss of My Words": Junie B. Jones, Language, and Linguistics

by Jill S. Ratzan

Abstract: Although sometimes dismissed as an example of "bad grammar," the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park can also be seen as exemplifying four principles of linguistics: language follows rules, language is constantly changing, language is learned at special times and in special ways, and language is a reflection of social power. Viewing these books from the point of view of linguistics grants readers a more sophisticated, more interesting, and more positive perspective on this series. Original citation: Ratzan, Jill S. (2005). “You Are Not the Boss of My Words”: Junie B. Jones, Language, and Linguistics. Children and Libraries 3(3), 31-38. © American Library Association. Originally published in Children and Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children. Used with permission. Bio: Jill Ratzan holds a bachelor's degree in linguistics and a master's
degree in library and information science. Visit her on the web at
"You are not the boss of my words, Grace," I said. "This is a freed country. And if I want to say valentime, I can. And I will not even go to jail."
—from Barbara Park's Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime

"Not the way I want my kids talking!" writes one reviewer on the online bookstore "Children learn by example and will pick up on the good and bad habits that they see and hear, so why would anyone want his/her child exposed to this constant stream of sloppy language?" asks another. Barbara Park's Junie B. Jones beginner chapter book series, which follows "almost six"-year-old Junie B. through a new baby in her family, special occasions at school, and other day-to-day events, has been challenged in Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin, and other states. Park appears sixth on the American Library Association's list of the ten most frequently challenged authors of 2004.1 Many complaints, like the ones quoted above, focus on Junie B.'s use of non-standard English.

But knee-jerk objection is only one way of viewing the unusual grammar and vocabulary that characterize this series. Applying the principles of linguistics—the scientific study of language—to the Junie B. Jones series can shed a more interesting, more sophisticated, and ultimately more positive light on these books. From a linguistic point of view, Junie B.'s unique way of speaking illustrates four properties of language:

  • Language follows rules
  • Language is constantly changing
  • Language is learned at special times and in special ways
  • Language is a reflection of social power

Linguistics can help readers appreciate Junie B., and Junie B. can inspire readers to learn more about linguistics.

Before beginning this discussion, a few qualifications are in order. First, this paper reflects a particular approach to linguistics called generative grammar, a theory that assumes language is a systematic, innate human trait driven by certain mathematical principles (specifically, language is a combinatorial, productive, and recursive system).2 Second, most rules and other properties mentioned here have been simplified from versions a linguist would use. In particular, linguists see important differences between spoken and written language; because these books read as though Junie B. is telling a story, this article treats Junie B.'s written narration as if it were made up of spoken words. Additionally, because Junie B.'s grammar becomes more standard when she enters first grade in later books, this discussion focuses on the seventeen books in which Junie B. is in kindergarten.

Finally, this article does not address Junie B.'s name-calling and expression of negative emotions (i.e. "I hate that meanie Jim"), the other frequent complaint about these books.3

Language Follows Rules

The idea that language follows rules should not come as a surprise; in fact, this is a major assumption behind complaints that Junie B. is breaking such rules. But thinking like a linguist leads to the surprising conclusion that Junie B. isn't breaking any rules at all—she's actually following them completely, unlike most speakers of standard English. Looking at matters this way, Junie B.'s speech can be seen as clearer and more logical than the standard speech to which it is compared.

For example, one of Junie B.'s most often-cited mistakes deals with the following past-tense rule:

  • To make a verb past tense, add -ed to the end of it. Examples: walk + ed = walked; jump + ed = jumped.
What Junie B. says:
  • "I runned straight to the sink" (run + ed = runned)
  • "She beated me [at a race]" (beat + ed = beated)
  • "I hided under my backpack" (hide + ed = hided)4

Although all of the above are examples of logical rule-following, the second, "beated," is the most interesting. In addition to being logical, this form is actually clearer than its counterpart in standard English. As linguist Steven Pinker points out, verbs like "beat," which have the same form in both present and past tense, are ambiguous; whether they're being used to mean present or past actions can be unclear.5 Speech like Junie B.'s, which uses a different form to indicate past tense, actually makes much more sense.

Here is another common English rule:

  • To form the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives, add -er and -est to them. Examples: big + er = bigger; fast + est = fastest.
What Junie B. says:
  • "She is way beautifuller than me" (beautiful + er = beautifuller)
  • "Painting is the funnest thing I love" (fun + est = funnest)
  • "They are the gorgeousest pictures I ever saw!" (gorgeous + est = gorgeousest)6

Here is another rule on pronouns:

  • To form a reflexive pronoun, add -self or -selves to the possessive form of that pronoun. Examples: my (possessive) + self = myself; your (possessive) + self = yourself; our (possessive) + selves = ourselves.
What Junie B. says:
  • "Big girls get to walk all by theirselves"
  • "Sometimes ladies have to go under the table and adjust theirselves" (their (possessive) + selves = theirselves)7
As in the previous case, Junie B.'s language use follows the preceding two rules exactly. This next rule is less of a rule than a pattern:
  • The first syllable of words is the stressed syllable. Although this pattern is not true of all English words, it tends to be true of words that young children hear most often, and is true of many words that Junie B. herself uses.
What Junie B. says (emphasis added):
  • "I HURried to the LAUNdry room to get the CLOTHESpins"
  • "JELly DOUGHnuts...with RAINbow SPRINKles"
  • "My new BAby BROther NAmed OLlie"8

Junie B.'s application of this pattern is slightly more complicated than her use of the rules above. If the first syllable of a word is stressed, then maybe the stressed syllable is the first syllable of a word. What Junie B. says:

  • "Mother 'rolled me in afternoon kindergarten" (enROLLed)
  • "Baby-sitter 'structions is all the stuff I'm not allowed to do" (inSTRUCtions)
  • "That's 'zactly what kind of day I had" (eXACTly)9

This is not as odd as it first seems; when adults talk quickly, initial unstressed syllables can be hard to hear. For example, this author recently fielded a request from a child for books about "noles" (the child meant "aNOLES," a type of lizard often kept as class pets).

Finally, this last rule seems obvious, but has many interesting consequences: People say things that make sense.

One common example of this rule—literal speech versus idioms—is explicitly discussed in the Junie B. books. Misunderstanding her grandmother's idiom "Your new brother is the cutest little monkey," Junie B. mistakenly thinks that her new brother really is a monkey; if he wasn't, why would Grandma say that he was? Later, Junie B.'s class talks about idioms and comes up with others, like "couch potato" (which, as her friend Lucille points out, isn't a real potato).10

Another example of this rule involves a different kind of misunderstanding. When Junie B. encounters an unusual phrase, she interprets it in a way that makes the most amount of sense. (Remember that fast, fluent speech can make hearing individual sounds difficult.) This desire for sense results in the following phrases from Junie B.:

  • Mother "had a mybrain headache" (migraine)
  • "I got fusstration inside me" (frustration)
  • "The kind of vegetable named Sue Keeny" (zucchini)11

Phrases like these are called mondegreens, mishearings or misinterpretations of statements, after a particularly interesting example of one (see sidebar). Mondegreens result when listeners attempt to make sense of an unusual utterance and turn it into something that makes sense. Since Mother's problem is with her head, surely "mybrain" is the right choice of all the possibly heard options; when someone (particularly Junie B.) is "fusstrated," they tend to get fussy. And if a vegetable has a name, wouldn't "Sue" be a logical choice? As was the case above, Junie B. is not the only English speaker to draw such conclusions. Many adults use the mondegreen "notor republic" (for "notary public"), and Pinker quotes a child happily singing, "The ants are my friends, they're blowing in the wind," instead of "The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind" from Bob Dylan's well-known song "Blowin' in the Wind."12

Based on the above, it seems that Junie B.'s grammatical errors are far from random—they come from following rules of English grammar and conversation to the letter of the law. A thoughtful challenger, however, could reply that the key here is Junie B.'s ignorance of the many rule exceptions present in standard English. Interestingly, much of what appear to modern English speakers as "exceptions" are actually living fossils of long-forgotten rules. For example, Old English and its predecessors had a rule that made a verb past tense by changing its vowel; echoes of this rule still exist in words like "sing," which becomes "sang" in the past tense.13 However, Junie B.'s strict rule-following can also be looked at in another way. Most likely, no one has explicitly taught her any of the above rules. She, like most young children, has derived them entirely on her own. This process, not her lack of memorized exceptions to rules, can be seen as what is truly amazing about Junie B. Jones' grammar.

Language is Constantly Changing

Like the idea that language follows rules, the idea that language is ever-changing makes intuitive sense. Anyone who has struggled through the early modern English of Shakespeare or the Middle English of Chaucer (or the virtually incomprehensible Old English of Beowulf) can see that these versions of English are very different from the version spoken today. One part of language that changes over time is the acceptable forms of words. Often, a regular form that follows a rule (like the "add -ed" rule) will replace an irregular one that does not. For example, "climbed" is currently the standard past-tense form of the verb "climb;" Junie B. uses this form correctly many times:

  • "I climbed onto my bed."
  • "I climbed up on his lap."14

However, in early modern English, the standard form was the currently-defunct "clomb," as seen in the following quote from John Milton's seventeenth century work Paradise Lost.15

So clomb this first grand Thief into Gods Fould:
So since into his Church lewd Hirelings climbe.16

The verb "climbed" might have sounded as strange to Milton and other speakers of early modern English as "runned" sounds to us today.

Another aspect of language change involves using existing words in new ways. With text-enabled cell phones, for example, text is now something you can do, not just something you can read; the noun "text" is now also a verb. Some linguists, including Donna Jo Napoli, suggest that a similar change is happening to adjectives and adverbs. Increasingly, Napoli argues, adjectives are being used both for their original function (roughly, to modify nouns) and for a new function, to modify verbs. She gives the following examples to illustrate this point:

  • Mary plays rough. ("rough" is an adjective modifying the verb "plays")
  • Don't work so hard. ("hard" is an adjective modifying the verb "work")17

Comparing these examples with quotes from Junie B. shows a striking similarity:

  • "I smiled very happy." ("happy" is an adjective modifying the verb "smiled")
  • "She quick grabbed my box" ("quick" is an adjective modifying the verb "grabbed")18

So can we argue that when Junie B. says "I quick runned" instead of "I ran quickly," she's actually working toward regularizing verbs and combining adjectives and adverbs?19 Not really, since one speaker alone doesn't constitute overall change. But, as was the case with language rules discussed previously, viewing Junie B.'s speech from the perspective of language change leads to a more interesting—and more satisfying—interpretation than simply rejecting it offhand. And her individual usage does provide evidence for another claim: language is learned at special times and in special ways.

Language is Learned at Special Times and in Special Ways

Child language acquisition—how children learn their first language—may be the area of linguistics most of interest to children's librarians.20 The process of learning a first language is an incredible one, involving skills such as deciphering where words begin and end, determining what roles words play in sentences, and, of course, deciding what words mean. Because this daunting task is usually accomplished within the first few years of a child's life, and typically with little or no explicit instruction, linguists posit the idea that children are born with an internal language mechanism of some kind, allowing them to fit what they hear into an innate mental framework.

Pinker and many other linguists believe that such frameworks involve both systematic rules, like the "add -ed" rule, and individual words, like "cat," "dog," and "ran," which must be memorized individually. These two elements combine in particular ways to yield standard grammatical speech. For example, if a rule and a word conflict, like "ran" and "add -ed," an adult speaker will retrieve the word from memory in time to stop the rule from applying.

Young children, however, are often still working out kinks in this system. Experimental evidence suggests that children know irregular words like "ran" and "hid," even if they do not always use them. When a child's memory cannot come up with an irregular word quickly, their language framework defaults to applying the rule, resulting in overgeneralizations like "runned" and "hided." Sometimes memory works in time, but other times it does not; children often alternate freely between using irregular forms and their overregularized counterparts.21 Even Junie B., well-known for her overgeneralizations, comes out with correct irregular verbs from time to time. Compare the following with the first set of examples above:

  • "I ran out of the room" (not "runned")
  • "I put my head on the table" (not "putted")
  • "I hid my face" (not "hided")22

Alternatively, a child's brain may cough up the correct, irregular form, but continue to apply the rule anyway. This results in oddly doubled expressions such as the following from Junie B.:

  • "My bestest friend" (word "best" plus rule "add -est")
  • "Somebody stoled my mittens" (word "stole" plus rule "add -ed")23

Although these examples could be lamented by critics as the most objectionable examples of "bad grammar" in the series, they can also be viewed as the best demonstrations that language is made up of words, rules, and ways of putting the two together. A child who utters statements like the above knows the rules for forming past-tense and superlative forms ("add -ed" and "add -est") and knows special words (like "best" and "stole")—the child has simply not yet mastered the idea that using one should inhibit using the other.

Linguists' observations show that children between the ages of two and five are actively engaged in refining their language frameworks to match those of others in their community. As children reach school age, they usually make no more than four mistakes for every hundred correct forms they utter.24 Therefore when, in a later book in the series, a newly six-year-old Junie B. brags to her school principal, " 'I don't say runned anymore'," she is demonstrating a level of language development typical of children her age.25

This theory of language learning partially addresses the complaint given at the beginning of this article, that impressionable youngsters "learn by example" and will imitate the grammar that they read and hear. According to this theory, children are not blank slates but filters. They will only imitate what fits with their internal language frameworks. For example, a child (or an adult!) can easily learn a new word like "mondegreen" (introduced in part I above) because it does not interfere with what their language framework says is acceptable but will balk at a word like "runned" because it does.

If a child's internal grammar has already decided that "ran" is the right form to use for the past tense of "run," as most second graders have (the median intended audience for the Junie B. Jones books, according to School Library Journal), no amount of reading otherwise is likely to change their minds.26 Significantly, even those children who use non-standard forms in their own speech will often recognize—and reject—these words in the speech of others. As language researchers Joel Lachter and Thomas G. Bever report, one father's attempt to echo his son's overregularized utterance "Mommy goed to the store" was met with the emphatic reply, "Daddy, I say it that way, not you".27

Language is a Reflection of Social Power

From the victory at the heart of Ed Emberley's Go Away, Big Green Monster! (Little, Brown, 1993) to the thrill of watching Harry Potter and friends defeat inept and evil grownups, children love books that make them feel smart, powerful, and in control. Most likely, this effect is responsible for part of Junie B. Jones' appeal.

As noted above, the target audience for these books, early elementary school readers, has typically outgrown the speech patterns of younger children. Readers in this age group can therefore laugh with smug self-assurance at Junie B.'s childish way of talking, boosting their own sense of linguistic superiority.

In fact, the relationship between language and power forms the crux of what Junie B. would call the "disagreedment" over her use of English.28 While skeptics may concede that Junie B.'s speech is logical, clear, and in tune with patterns observed in language change and language acquisition, the fact remains, they could argue, that it is not standard English. Although Junie B. truly "will not even go to jail" for speaking in a non-standard way, American society regards standard English as the right way to talk, and those who speak this way will be treated with more respect than those who do not.

By presenting such an argument, these critics would be correct. Again, however, linguistics allows us to think beyond our everyday assumptions about the idea of a "right" way to talk. What makes one style of speech "right," especially when the "wrong" one is the more logical of the two?

The answer is that the "right" form of English is the one used by people in positions of power. Historically, socioeconomic and political power acted as deciding factors. For example, when London became the economic and cultural center of Britain in the seventeenth century, the particular dialect of English spoken by Londoners—the precursor of today's standard English—became the "correct" way to speak English. Speaking this way was desirable because it allowed one to identify oneself with the upper class living there.

Social and cultural issues continue to affect attitudes toward language. The English of the rich Northeast is often regarded as "better" than that spoken in less economically privileged areas of the United States, and language columnists like William Safire use their power as cultural authorities to dictate what is considered "proper" speech.

However, another type of relationship is also important to the issue of language and power: the power dynamic between adults and children. Adults hold a tremendous amount of linguistic power; adult language is seen as superior to children's, by definition. Pinker sums up the situation when he writes that "we adults get to say what counts as 'correct,' and if we regularize an irregular often enough [like "clomb" and "climbed"], we simply declare by fiat that it is not an error."29


The four properties of language discussed above go far in showing that Junie B.'s English is much more complex and interesting than a simple label of "sloppy language" would suggest. But, as observant readers know, the examples shown above are not the only oddities in Junie B.'s speech. Principles of linguistics can also explain Junie B.'s habit of referring to her friend as "that Grace" (a spectacular example of a phenomenon known as case-marking), her use of a rhyming device called reduplication ("yucky blucky," "stewie pewie"), her repetitive phrases ("whole entire," "plus also"), her odd application of past participles ("This is a freed country," as quoted at the beginning of this article), and numerous other aspects of her speech.30 Even more strikingly, the fact that non-linguist Barbara Park can create such a linguistically interesting character raises the provocative possibility that successful writers may possess an implicit understanding of linguistics.

Finally, children's literature is filled with other examples of the linguistic phenomena discussed here. Dr. Seuss and Lewis Carroll harness the power of English rules when they add familiar grammatical endings to invented words ("Sneetches," "galumphing," "chortled"); Peggy Parish's Amelia Bedelia comically misunderstands idioms like "dust the furniture;" Maurice Sendak uses an adjective to modify a verb when, in Outside Over There, baby goblins "quick churned into a dancing stream;" and Beverly Cleary's Ramona Quimby utters a famous mondegreen of The Star-Spangled Banner when she asks her sister to turn on the "dawnzer" ("it gives a lee light," she explains).31

If the reviews and book challenges are any indication, children's librarians should be prepared to defend the inclusion of the Junie B. Jones books in their collections. Explaining this series' unique features through the lens of linguistics provides one way of doing so. Independent of outside challenges, we librarians improve both our own and our patrons' appreciation of children's literature when we seek to understand it from a variety of perspectives. And those of us who also teach, or who work with classroom teachers, can easily imagine the extraordinary language lessons that these books can inspire. Perhaps thinking about language in this way will even inspire some readers to pursue linguistic inquiries of their own. As Junie B. would say, "Wowie wow wow!"

Sidebars: Making Mondegreens The term "mondegreen" was coined by writer Sylvia Wright and popularized by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll. Wright derived the term from her mishearing of the Scottish folk ballad "The Bonnie Earl O'Moray": Oh, ye hielands and ye lowlands
Oh, where hae ye been?
They have slain the Earl of Moray
And laid him on the green.
(or: "and Lady Mondegreen"?)
From Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct (New York: Morrow, 1994), 182-83. Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Park All books are published by Random House, New York City. This list is current as of September 2005. Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, 1992
Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business, 1993
Junie B. Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth, 1993
Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying, 1994
Junie B. Jones and the Yucky Blucky Fruitcake, 1995
Junie B. Jones and That Meanie Jim's Birthday, 1996
Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, 1996
Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, 1997
Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook, 1997
Junie B. Jones is a Party Animal, 1997
Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy, 1998
Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, 1998
Junie B. Jones is (Almost) a Flower Girl, 1999
Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime, 1999
Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket, 2000
Junie B. Jones is Captain Field Day, 2001
Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl, 2001
Junie B., First Grader (At Last!), 2001
Junie B., First Grader: Boss of Lunch, 2002
Junie B., First Grader: Toothless Wonder, 2002
Junie B., First Grader: Cheater Pants, 2003
Junie B., First Grader: One-Man Band, 2003
Top Secret, Personal Beeswax: A Journal by Junie B. (and Me!), 2003
Junie B., First Grader: Shipwrecked, 2004
Junie B., First Grader: Boo...and I Mean It!, 2004
Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! (P.S. So Does May), 2005
Love Language?
Check out these other linguistically interesting children's books.
Archaic English
Tomie dePaola, Tomie dePaola's Mother Goose (Putnam, 1985) and other collections of traditional nursery rhymes.
Tedd Arnold, More Parts and Even More Parts: Idioms from Head to Toe (Dial, 2001 and 2004).
Wallace Edwards, Monkey Business (Kids Can Press, 2004).
Fred Gwynne, The King Who Rained (Windmill, 1970) and other titles by author.
Language Change, Language and Power
Andrew Clements, Frindle, illus. Brian Selznick (Simon and Schuster, 1996).
Debra Frasier, Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster (Harcourt, 2000).
Andrew Clements, Double Trouble in Walla Walla, illus. Salvatore Murdocca (Millbrook, 1997).
Sounds, Forms, and Meanings
Roald Dahl, The BFG, illus. Quentin Blake (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1982).
Shel Silverstein, Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook (HarperCollins, 2005).
William Steig, CDB! and CDC? (Windmill, 1968 and Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1984; revised editions Simon and Schuster, 2000 and Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003).
References and Notes 1. Customer reviews of Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park. Accessed June 26, 2005,; Library Research Service, Colorado State Library and the Colorado Department of Education, "Challenges to Materials and Services in Colorado Public Libraries, 2003." Accessed June 26, 2005,; American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, "Free People Read Freely: An Annual Report on Banned and Challenged Books in Texas, 2003-2004." Accessed June 26, 2005,; "Wisconsin School District Retains Junie B. Jones, Black Lagoon Books," American Libraries Online, Dec. 20, 1999. Accessed June 26, 2005,; American Library Association, "The Most Challenged Books of 2004." Accessed June 26, 2005, 2. Steven Pinker, Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language (New York: Basic Books, 1999), 6-8. 3. Barbara Park, Junie B. Jones and That Meanie Jim's Birthday (New York: Random House, 1996), 19. A general argument defending the use of strong words in children's books can be found on pages 179-91 of Language Matters: A Guide to Everyday Questions about Language (New York: Oxford Univ. Pr., 2003), written by linguist and children's fiction author Donna Jo Napoli. 4. Park, Junie B. Jones is Captain Field Day (New York, Random, 2001), 20; Park, Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying (New York, Random, 1994), 9; Park, Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket (New York, Random, 2000), 38. 5. Pinker, Words and Rules, 194. 6. Park, Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren (New York: Random, 1996), 1; Park, Junie B. Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth (New York: Random, 1993), 61; Park, Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed (New York: Random, 1997), 61. 7. Park, Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying, 26; Park, Junie B. Jones is (Almost) a Flower Girl (New York: Random, 1999), 62. 8. Park, Junie B. Jones and the Yucky Blucky Fruitcake (New York: Random, 1995), 29; Park, Junie B. Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth, 13, 31. 9. Park, Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket, 1; Junie B. Jones and the Yucky Blucky Fruitcake, 4; Park, Junie B. Jones Is (Almost) a Flower Girl, 7. 10. Park, Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business (New York: Random, 1993), 21, 63. 11. Park, Junie B. Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth, 33; Park, Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy (New York: Random, 1998), 45; Park, Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying, 36. 12. Pinker, The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language (New York: Morrow, 1994), 156, 271. 13. Pinker, Words and Rules, 48, 67-68. 14. Park, Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket, 15; Park, Junie B. Jones and That Meanie Jim's Birthday, 85. 15. Department of Linguistics, Ohio State University, Stephanie Jannedy, Robert Poletto, and Tracey L. Weldon, eds., Language Files: Materials for an Introduction to Language and Linguistics, 6th ed. (Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1994), 321. 16. John Milton, Paradise Lost (London: Peter Parker, Robert Boulter & Matthias Walker, 1667), bk. IV, lines 192-193. 17. Donna Jo Napoli, Language Matters: A Guide to Everyday Questions About Language (New York: Oxford Univ. Pr., 2003), 180; Napoli, Linguistics (New York: Oxford Univ. Pr., 1996), 320. 18. Park, Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy (New York: Random, 1998), 15; Park, Junie B. Jones Is a Graduation Girl (New York: Random, 2001), 55. 19. Park, Junie B. Jones Is a Beauty Shop Guy, 40. 20. See Betsy Diamant-Cohen, Ellen Riordan, and Regina Wade, "Make Way for Dendrites," Children and Libraries 2, no. 1 (Spring 2004); Lynn Akin and Donna MacKinney, "Autism, Literacy, and Libraries," Children and Libraries 2, no. 2 (Summer/Fall 2004); and MaryKay Dahlgreen, "Ready to Read in Oregon," Children and Libraries 2 no. 3 (Winter 2004). 21. Pinker, Words and Rules, 130, 198-200. 22. Park, Junie B. Jones is Captain Field Day, 4; Park, Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, 7; Park, Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl, 16. 23. Park, Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook (New York: Random, 1997), 3, 25. 24. Pinker, Words and Rules, 199. 25. Park, Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl, 17. 26. Median calculated based on reviews of Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus (Nov. 1992), Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying (Oct. 1994), Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed (Nov. 1997), Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook (Nov. 1997), Junie B. Jones is a Party Animal (Jan. 1998), and Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy (Dec. 1998), all from School Library Journal, dates as shown. 27. Joel Lachter and Thomas G. Bever, "The relation between linguistic structure and associative theories of language learning: A constructive critique of some connectionist learning models," Cognition 28, no. 1-2 (March 1988): 195-247. 28. Park, Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime (New York: Random, 1999), 29. 29. Pinker, Words and Rules, 200. 30. Park, Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying, 19, 36; Park, Junie B. Jones Is a Party Animal (New York: Random, 1997), 3, 57; Park, Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime, 9. 31. Dr. Seuss, The Sneetches and Other Stories (New York: Random, 1961); Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (London: Macmillan, 1872), ch. 1; Peggy Parish, Amelia Bedelia (New York: Harper and Row, 1963); Maurice Sendak, Outside Over There (New York: HarperCollins, 1981); Beverly Cleary, Ramona the Pest (New York: Morrow, 1968), 173.