Judy Moody in a Monday Mood by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Judy Moody in a Monday Mood by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Candlewick Press, 2021. 9781536213911

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Realistic fiction

What did you like about the book?  Judy Moody wakes up one Monday morning in a ‘Monday mood,’ which is not helped by her father serving zucchini pancakes for breakfast and her parents trying to cheer her up by singing.  But everything changes when she arrives at school to find that Mr. Todd has changed the classroom decor and declared the day Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day!  The students spend the day doing egg drop experiments and relieving some stress by popping bubble wrap, and Judy arrives home inspired to create some other holidays to get through the rest of the week.  She and Stink kick things off with “National Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day,” and the celebrations get sillier from there, until they and their friends conclude the week helping a neighbor with “Wear Purple for Peace Day” and turning Saturday into something extra-special too.

Series fans will celebrate “New Judy Moody Book Day” and laugh along as the creative Moody family finds new ways to get out of the doldrums.  Judy and Stink’s relationship is always entertaining, as is Judy’s less-than-enthusiastic attitude about school and chores.  Community spirit is a valuable theme of the book, as Judy and her friends and neighbors collaborate on each special event.  Peter H. Reynolds adds to the fun with exuberant black and white illustrations of key scenes.  The book is dedicated to Cameron Boyce (a young actor who passed away in 2019, who had appeared in one of the Judy Moody movies) and Reynolds includes him in one of the classroom scenes.

Anything you did not like about the book?  On the cover Judy wears a t-shirt that says “National Hug a Librarian Day” and I was hoping that would be a plot point in the book.  Also, I’m not sure how much longer Judy can stay in 3rd grade.  

To whom would you recommend this book?  The series and its offshoots are a great fit for 2nd-4th grade readers who enjoy realistic fiction without too much drama, and this particular book might be fun for a classroom read aloud or book club selection to inspire students to invent their own holidays.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Fiction

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  no

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Leigh Russell King, Lincoln Street School, Northborough, Massachusetts.

Date of review: October 22, 2021

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