Even new Moody fans will find diving into the series this late in the game a pleasure. (Fiction. 6-9)

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JUDY MOODY, MOOD MARTIAN

From the Judy Moody series , Vol. 12

Back again for her 12th outing, Judy tries to take the “moody” out of her name, with mixed results.

Everyone knows that Judy has a tendency to sink into bad moods at the slightest provocation. Yet after she celebrates Backwards Day at school by cleaning up her act and becoming a calm, serene soul, the experience goes so well that she privately vows to keep it up for an entire week. To combat her mood swings, Judy throws herself into finger knitting, a craft that can effectively distract her from her anger. Unfortunately, this brand-new Judy is so strange and different that her friends are convinced she must be an alien from another planet. Worse, her finger-knitting project grows so extensive that it threatens to take over the house. Happily, Judy hits on the perfect solution to all her problems, successfully fulfilling her vow and ending up with the craziest math project of all time. The delightfully flawed Judy’s trials with being “good” will resonate with any child forced to summon a little self-control. Utterly appealing pen-and-ink art and situations readers can’t help but enjoy are evidence for why Judy’s adventures continue to be popular.

Even new Moody fans will find diving into the series this late in the game a pleasure. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6698-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Cool beans indeed.

THE COOL BEAN

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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