Children’s book character brings busload of fun to TR branch

The pink bus of the Junie B. Jones children’s book series came to visit the Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library on May 12. More than 200 area 1st grade students had the chance to see the bus and enjoy a special program featuring characters from the book series.

The pink bus of the Junie B. Jones children’s book series came to visit the Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library on May 12. More than 200 area 1st grade students had the chance to see the bus and enjoy a special program featuring characters from the book series.

The “Junie B Jones Stupid Smelly Bus” tour rolled into the Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library on the morning of May 12.

More than 200 first graders from Hooper Avenue Elementary and South Toms River Elementary schools were treated to a 25-minute show starring popular children’s book characters Junie B and Mr. Woo.

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“The children were very excited to see the show and take a tour of the library including taking pictures with the pink bus,’’ OCL Youth Services Coordinator Glynis Wray said.

“It was fantastic to be able to offer a free show to the district and strengthen that relationship and build literacy skills with some of our smallest customers,’’ Wray said.

OCL’s Printing & Graphics Department created three large cutout standees for the students to take photos with.  One featured Junie B herself, one with her bus driver friend Mr. Woo and another featured the large bus with five cutouts for faces.

“The laughter that filled the room was contagious as Junie B. rifled through her trunk of junk. The gasps and giggles when Junie B kissed the bathroom floater bulb and explained the swirling water were priceless,’’ Wray said.

“The teachers and students from Toms River schools want to thank Ms. Wray and the Ocean County Library for allowing us to attend the show of Junie B. Jones,’’ Dora Giannetti, a first grade teacher at the Hooper Avenue Elementary School said.

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“The characters and setting were perfect for our audience and to have a book character come to life was an experience they will not soon forget,’’ Giannetti added.

In addition to seeing the show and the actual Stupid Smelly Bus, the children were given a tour from various branch employees of the facility.

Giannetti said that her students were “in awe of the many outlets the library has to offer not just for their needs, but for all age groups. They are looking forward to returning with their library cards.’’

Junie B. Jones books were also sold on site. Many staff members came out to witness the excitement and the laughter coming from Mancini Hall during the performance.

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“We created future library customers from this class trip. It helped to introduce them to the wonders of our library,’’ Wray added.

“I am looking forward to visiting again next year with our students and bridging the love of reading from the classroom to our beautiful library and all it has to offer our schools,’’ Giannetti said.

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