It’s not that Moxy Maxwell hasn’t made an attempt to read Stuart Little, the book required of all new fourth graders. She really, honestly has. But somehow it’s the last day of summer vacation, and there’s the book, rumpled from being used as a coffee table evener, and bedraggled from getting wet at the pool, but still, somehow, unread. Moxy’s mother makes it clear that if the book is not read –immediately – then there will be “consequences”. And this time Moxy means to read it. Really, she does. But first she has to plant a Peach Orchard, and train her dog Mudd, and invent an automatic hammock stopper, and lots of other stuff.
Moxy Maxwell is a likeable character. Though she can be a tiny bit bratty at some point, like many classically irrepressible characters from Fudge to Eloise, she is not trying to be naughty. It’s just that all these catastrophic events keeping happening around her. She really can’t explain it.
The book is very funny, laugh out loud funny even. The chapters are very short, which will appeal to reluctant readers. (Moxy herself is not a reluctant reader. It’s not the reading of the book that she dislikes, its the being told to read it. Moxy, almost inevitably, loves Stuart Little as soon as she actually sits down to read it.) The Chapter headings are all quite fun. The humor and irreverant tone of the book is carried further by the pictures, supposedly taken by Moxy’s twin brother Mark as the events unfold.
Moxy has a new book coming out in the next few months, called Moxy Maxwell Does not Love Thank You Notes, and I am waiting eagerly for this next installment. I predict that Peggy Gifford’s Moxy – like Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine – will be quickly and enthusiastically embraced by this generation’s energetic girls in much the same way that Ramona appealed to their mothers.