If you or your young readers haven’t yet met Judy Moody, you are in for a real treat. She is fun, she is smart, she is sassy, she is a normal everyday kid. She likes to have adventures with her friends and puts up with her young brother who she calls Stink.
One, Two, Three, ROAR! offers three stories featuring Judy Moody and her friends. In ‘Pig Trouble’ Judy’s friend Jessica desperately wants a real live pig for birthday. Her room is full of pig books, toys, collectibles and posters but now she wants the real thing. She can’t wait for her birthday to find out so Jessica enlists Judy to help her snoop out her presents.
Rocky is the next friend we meet in The Amazing Mr Magic. Rocky asks Judy to be his assistant as he practices his magic tricks. Stink also makes an appearance when he is called to be the audience. Unfortunately, Rocky isn’t the best at magic tricks.
Finishing off this Judy Moody triple header is Amy Namey in Ace Reporter. Amy wants to be a reporter like her mum. With notepad in hand, Amy and Judy roam the town searching for her big scoop news story, and they may just have found it!
Illustrated with bright cheerful pictures and suitable for newly independent readers, the book helps ease the transition from ‘little kid’ picture books to ‘big kid’ book with no pictures. Each story is broken up into three chapters, which makes it easy to read and manageable. The text flows and is engaging filled with figures of speech and dialogue that children would be familiar with – Judy’s favourite slang expression is ‘Rare!’. In one story, Pig Latin even makes an appearance to keep things interesting.
The appeal of Judy Moody is not only the fun and mischief the gang get up to, but that the characters are relatable to their young audience (Judy and her friends are 3rd graders, which equates to Year 4 in New Zealand). Readers can connect with the characters as, like most young children, Judy and her friends like to make jokes, they quarrel and make up fast, they are kind and they like to have fun.
Judy Moody first appeared in 2000 and has proven a popular character for author Megan McDonald. There are many of her adventures to discover, as well as books co-starring Stink, who also has his own stories. In 2011, Judy hit the big screen in the movie Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.
If your young reader wants fun, easy to read stories with likeable, relatable characters, why not introduce them to Judy Moody.
Reviewed by Vanessa Hatley-Owen
One, Two, Three, ROAR – Judy Moody and Friends
by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Erwin Madrid
Published by Candlewick Press