Published On: Sat, Jul 15th, 2017

Najwa’s Meets Junie B. Jones, Her Favorite Book Character

Ever since Najwa was born, we’ve been buying her books.  She has hundreds of books, an entire bookcase in her room full of books.  Most of them, of course, are those books written for toddlers.  Four sentences on a page dominated with pictures and drawings, easy to understand content, big fonts and maybe a dozen pages long.

And then one day, Najwa’s reading a book that looks more like a conventional book.  I had never heard of Junie B. Jones, a children’s book series, but there she was, reading a book that was more like the ones we read.  It had a complete story line, with many characters, paragraph after paragraph of words; and Najwa was reading it.  Nduku bought her a few more books in the series, and Najwa was reading one in the car!

So, when I saw that Junie B. Jones was coming to the area, I got us tickets to the show.

Glen Echo Park

It was our first time to Glen Echo Park.  No idea what to expect.  At first I was thinking it was an outdoor amphitheater and I was getting a bit nervous.  It was scorching hot!

We pulled up, took a moment to figure out where the parking lot was and how to get in, but finally were on our way.  We were early, really early because I thought we would have to fight for good seats and I wanted Najwa to be able to sit in the front, so I wasn’t sure what we would do to kill some time.

But as we entered the park, to my surprise, it was more than just nature trails and a playground.

The most dominate thing there, one of Najwa’s favorites, was the Dentzel Carousel.  It’s a massive, ornate carousel and Najwa’s face made it clear that if she didn’t get to ride it, it was going to be a long afternoon.

Glen Echo Park
Glen Echo Park
Glen Echo Park

Nduku also rode the carousel.  Najwa’s a pro, having ridden many carousels in the past, so I’m guessing Nduku wanted to ride it for fun.  I’ve never asked if it was her first time, but she seemed to want to capture the moment, trying to take a selfie with a camera not designed for close-ups.  She did it though…

Glen Echo Park

While waiting for the show, there was a scavenger hunt for the kids.  We started it, but the heat and hungry drove us indoors to Praline, this little sandwich shop.  We walked around a bit, but mostly waited by the doors for the show.  Najwa was getting impatient; I was relieved to find out it was an indoor show.

Glen Echo Park - Junie B. Jones
Glen Echo Park
The humidity played havoc on Nduku’s hair!

And then the show was on.  The playhouse is called the Adventure Theatre, and inside, it was pretty cool.  They do classes out there, workshops, a bunch of activities for those who want to get into it.  We’ve thought about signing Najwa up for acting classes, getting the idea from her friend Kennedy.  One day.

I know very little [correction: nothing at all] about Junie B. Jones.  I read Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown growing up.  But they have some really colorful characters.  And the actors, well, they were great.  Junie B. Jones was played by Megan Graves, and she was the epitome of endless energy!  I marveled more at she was so extremely hyper, bouncing all over the place, pretending like it wasn’t so damn hot in the place!

Great show. Natasha Gallop played That Grace [that’s the name on the playbill anyway] and she also was high energy.  Funny her real name is Gallop and she did a lot of running around, I guess that’s what her character does in the books.  Sophie Schulman played Lucille and also did a great job.  Very expressive and convincing.  All the actors did great.  Great show overall.

I wanted to take pictures of the set, but it’s not allowed.  I may see what other shows they have performing there.

After the show, the characters were out in the lobby.  And still in character.  And that’s where Najwa got to meet her favorite book character, Junie B. Jones.

Junie B. Jones

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About the Author

David Gaines

- David Gaines is a Washington, DC, resident transplanted from North Carolina whose dream career was a newspaper writer but settled for the recruiting industry and simply blogging about whatever thoughts crosses his mind.

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