Everyone's fave first-grader and her trusty chauffeur tool into Northeast Ohio today for the fifth annual Junie B. Jones Stupid Smelly Bus Tour
. And the title character of the best-selling kiddie-lit series has brought a "big pink trunk of junk" from home to show her young readers. "The first few times we put Junie B. on the bus, I felt like a nervous mother sending her little girl off to camp. Will she have a good time? Will she behave herself? Will she make new friends?" says Barbara Park, the series' author. "Happily, the answers have been yes, yes, and yes!" Since Junie B. debuted in 1992, kids have snapped up 44 million copies of her books, including 2007's Junie B., First Grader: Dumb Bunny
, in which she plays the Easter Bunny at an egg hunt in a lavish mansion. Junie B. and her driver, Mr. Woo, celebrate the books' success by rubber-stamping souvenirs for her fans in a shocking-pink bus, which will sit in the bookstores' lots. "I'm a nervous mother no more," laughs Park. "I'm just going to relax, enjoy the peace and quiet while she's gone, and try to get her room cleaned before she gets back." Meet Junie B. and Mr. Woo at 11 this morning at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 24519 Cedar Road in Legacy Village in Lyndhurst (216-691-7000; www.josephbeth.com
) and 4:30 this afternoon at Borders books, 30121 Detroit Road in Westlake (440-892-7667; www.borders.com
). Admission is free.
Fri., May 16, 11 a.m., 2008