Another enjoyable outing with predictable Judy, just like a pleasant visit with an old friend. (Fiction. 6-9)

JUDY MOODY AND THE BAD LUCK CHARM

Judy Moody has an amazing run of good luck, perhaps due to the wonderful lucky coin she’s started carrying.

Imagine winning prize after prize from The Claw—a fishing-for-stuffed-animals arcade game. That’s what happens to Judy with her new lucky penny. The good fortune doesn’t stop there, however. She bowls a prizewinning game at a birthday party, and the tough word she's asked to spell in front of her third-grade class just happens to be posted on the bulletin board. Good luck can’t last forever though; she drops her lucky penny in the toilet and then misspells the very first word during the class spelling bee. She's then asked to accompany classmate and bee winner Jessica to Washington, D.C., to babysit a pet piglet—that she accidentally almost loses. Character development is minimal but, Holy Baloney! McDonald’s lively style still has lots of young-reader appeal, even after all these years and outings. Quirky black-and-white illustrations on almost every page accompany the large-font and good-humored text. Nothing truly compelling happens, but all of Judy’s adventures are amusing and in sync with a third-grader's experience. The brisk pace and familiar situations are likely to keep young readers and listeners engaged.

Another enjoyable outing with predictable Judy, just like a pleasant visit with an old friend. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3451-3

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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Cool beans indeed.

THE COOL BEAN

From the Food Group series

A supposed “has-bean” shows that coolness has more to do with deeds than demeanor.

Offering further moral instruction in this leguminous cousin to The Bad Seed (2017) and The Good Egg (2019), Oswald portrays three beans—each a different species but all sporting boss shades, fly threads, and that requisite air of nonchalance—bringing the cool to streets, hallways, playgrounds, and Leguma Beach. Meanwhile, a fourth (a scraggly-haired chickpea), whose efforts to echo the look and the ’tude have fallen flat, takes on the role of nerdy narrator to recall “olden days” when they all hung out in the same pod. Still, despite rolling separate ways (nobody’s fault: “That’s just how it is sometimes. You spend less time together, even though you’re not totally sure why”), when the uncool bean drops a lunch tray, skins a kid knee on the playground, or just needs a hint in class, one of the others is always on the scene toot suite. No biggie. And passing those casual acts of kindness forward? “Now that’s cool.” John’s good-hearted text makes some hay with the bean puns while Oswald’s pipe-stemmed limbs, googly eyes, and accessories give these anthropomorphic legumes lots of personality. As a fava to young audiences, pair with Jamie Michalak and Frank Kolar’s Frank and Bean (2019) for a musical combination.

Cool beans indeed. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-295452-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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