Is Junie B. Jones good, clean fun that kids can laugh at and learn lessons from, or a bad example that could lead your child to talk like a kindergartener for life, and develop habits that, at a minimum, could lead to reform school, or at a maximum endanger their immortal soul?
The New York Times expends their considerable journalistic powers (in multiple pages, no less) to figure out where parents are drawing the line in the sand.
I will say that Junie B. is not a role model in her every behavior. She is a role model in that she learns from her mistakes. She is not shielded from the consequences of her actions. It opens up many opportunities for discussion with your children ("Do you think that was a good choice, or a bad choice?"). And it's really funny. The kids laugh out loud--a lot of times because they get that she is not behaving well.
My first experience with Junie B. was her very first book, "The Stupid, Smelly Bus." It was recommended by the librarian. In it, Junie B. is going to kindergarten for the first time and does not like riding the bus. At the end of the day, she decides to hide so she won't have to go on the bus. But--she has to do potty, REALLY bad. It's a potty emergency. What was it you're supposed to do in an emergency? Oh yeah, call 911. Of course, we got to explain that there are 911 emergencies and not-911 emergencies, and hiding from the bus and not being able to go potty is one of them. My daughter laughed herself silly. Sometimes, I have to admit, I've laughed myself silly.
Would I be happier with more heroic, role-model types of heroes? Yes, and we have some of those too. But in a lot of ways, Junie B. is a role model. If she's ready to do something--then it's going to be done. She is also very much of an independent thinker and actor.
So Junie B. Jones is a thumbs up in our house complete with some back-talk, bad grammar, poor choices, name-calling, and other questionable behavior. Like Eloise, it's an example of what-could-happen-if that also can help us discuss appropriateness with our kids.