Growing up, Valentine’s Day was always one of my favorite holidays, and a lot of that stems from books. Throughout elementary school, I was treated to teachers who pulled out all the crepe paper and glitter stops: from elaborate Valentine mailboxes to embellished construction paper hearts, every February my classroom was an explosion of reds, pinks, and whites. And the teachers always—always—had a story to share, celebrating friendship and genuine affection. This week, with the holiday just over the horizon once again, I’m sharing the opening from a book first introduced to me many years ago in one of those classrooms.
My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don’t like Beatrice. I just like B and that’s all.
I go to school in Room Nine. Room Nine is where they have afternoon kindergarten.
Also they have morning kindergarten. Only I am not familiar with that arrangement.
Today at school, my teacher had a ‘nouncement to make.
A ‘nouncement is the school word for listen to me…and I MEAN it.
My teacher’s name is Mrs. She has another name, too. But I just like Mrs. and that’s all.
Mrs. told us that we are going to have a special day in Room Nine. And it is called Valentime’s Day.
She said that valemtimes are special cards about friendship. And all of us in Room Nine are going to give them to each other!
My bestest friend Lucille squealed real happy.
“Oooo! I love getting cards, Teacher!” she said. “I especially love getting the kind with money in them. Money is my favorite kind of mail!”
“Me, too, Lucille!” I said. “Money is my favorite kind of mail, too. Plus also I enjoy the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.”
Mrs. did a chuckle.
Title: Junie B. Jones and the Ushy Gushy Valentime
Series: Junie B. Jones #14
Author: Barbara Park
Illustrator: Denise Brunkus
Publisher: Random House Books
Publication Date: September 28, 1999
Classification: Chapter Book
Note: First Line Fridays is a feature hosted by Hoarding Books. Be sure to check out their weekly post to find other participants and some great first lines.