Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Judy Moody

Judy Moody

Megan McDonald
Illustrator:   Peter H. Reynolds 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 9
Candlewick, 2002   ISBN: 978-0763612313

It is the first day of school and Judy Moody is going into the third grade. She is not looking forward to school at all because everything is going to be different this year. She might have to sit next to Frank Pearl, who eats paste. She won't have an armadillo name sticker on her desk, and the teacher might make her sit in the first row. Worse still, Judy does not have a cool t-shirt from Disney World or some other holiday destination to wear.

Just as she feared, Judy's desk is in the front row and Frank Pearl is sitting next to her. But things are not all bad. Her new teacher gives the class a great assignment. They have to create a "Me collage" which they can use to tell the class all about themselves. They also have to write something about their favorite pet. Because Judy has just one pet - a cat called Mouse - she feels that she cannot really have a "favorite," and she manages to persuade her parents to take a trip to the pet shop. Unfortunately the pet shop is "fresh out" of two-toed sloths, and none of the other creatures in the shop meet with Judy's approval. Until she is sees a strange looking plant – a Venus flytrap. Judy is very taken with the plant, and her parents agree to buy it for her. Judy can't wait to take her new pet to school, though things don't quite work out the way she had planned.

Children are sure to enjoy spending time with Judy Moody who has bad days and who has a little brother called Stink who sometimes drives her crazy. Judy likes to do things in her own way, but she is not unwilling to accept that there are times when she might be wrong about something. With her often funny adventures and misadventures Judy is sure to bring a smile to reader's faces even if they are having a bad mood day of their own.

With great skill Megan McDonald captures the essence of a third graders world. She gives emphasis to those little things that matter to children who are eight or nine years old, and readers will have no difficulty identifying with this girl who says "ROAR!" when she is annoyed or fed up.

With his wonderful illustrations Peter H. Reynolds brings Judy Moody's world to life. Judy is the kind of character children will remember and look for long after they have finished reading this book.