Beloved children's character to visit book center
By Jessica Tuggle
VERO BEACH -- A big pink school bus will ride into town next month, bringing a performance by one of the topmost popular children's book characters of the past 20 years.
The Junie B. Jones Stupid Smelly Bus Tour will make a stop in Vero Beach at the Vero Beach Book Center on June 9 as part of a coast-to-coast tour.
The fictional, yet popular, six-year-old Junie B. Jones has more than 55 million copies of the 28 books in the short chapter book series available worldwide in more than a dozen languages.
The actors playing the series titular character and Mr. Woo, the bus driver, will perform at each stop on the tour. Junie B. will share the contents of her Big Pink Trunk of Junk in a show-and-tell form, said Nicole Acevedo, the actress who will portray Junie B. in the tour.
The performance is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the children's store at the Vero Beach Book Center. The book center will be undergoing renovations through the summer, but will be open and a number of authors are scheduled to appear for book signings this summer.
"Philip Johnny Bob" the stuffed elephant will most definitely make an appearance with Junie B., and event participants will also be able to have their book stamped with an official Junie B. Jones stamp, pose for pictures and take home a souvenir.
This tour will be the first time Ms. Acevedo has played Junie B., but already she can tell that the wildly popular book series character has made a definite impact on children.
"She educates them on vocabulary words," Ms. Acevedo said. "She's a very sweet and energetic little girl. She's very smart and always has an idea up her sleeve."
Barbara Park authored the series that has grown into an early elementary phenomenon, with children clamoring to read the next book as soon as it arrives.
To encourage an enthusiasm for and love of reading, this summer will also mark the launch of the brand-new Junie B. Kids' Reading Club, a press release said.
Members will receive a reading log full of activities, Junie B. quotes, and plenty of pages to record their favorite Junie B. moments, as well as a free copy of the first book in the series Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus.
Online at the Junie B. Jones website, Junie B. fans can test their knowledge with trivia games and can enter to win a visit from the Stupid Smelly Bus for next year, the press release said.
For more information about events and activities at the Vero Beach Book Center, call (772) 569-2050 or visit www.verobeachbookcenter.com.