July 23, 2017

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Junie B. Jones First Ever Musical Edition! by Barbara Parks | SLJ Audio Review

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redstarPARKS, Barbara. Junie B. Jones First Ever Musical Edition! 2 CDs. 77 min. Listening Library. Jan. 2017. $20. ISBN 9780147523440. digital download.

STAR-AU-Parks-JunieBJonesGr 1-3 –This fabulous 15-song production is centered on four previous stories—First Grader (at Last!), Boss of Lunch, One-Man Band, and Top Secret Personal Beeswax—and features the songs from Junie B. Jones, the Musical. In First Grader (at Last!), listeners discover that first grade can be a scary place, but it also offers new beginnings. The irrepressible Junie B. accepts the challenge, which includes making new friends, meeting a new teacher, and getting new glasses. Narrator Lana Quintal perfectly captures Junie B.’s snarkiness and sass. The first song sums up its story line: “Top Secret Personal Beeswax,” starring the snappy queen bee herself, Junie B. Jones, who has “an avalanche of feelings inside.” Her mother gives her a journal, thus providing the perfect way to share her point of view. When the school year comes to a close, Junie B. has completed the story of her life and learned that growing up is complicated but fun. Full-cast narration is top-drawer, Broadway level. VERDICT An A-plus addition for libraries and home collections and a must-have for family road trips.–Cheryl Preisendorfer, Twinsburg City Schools, OH

This review was published in the School Library Journal April 2017 issue.

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