Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford, photographs by Valorie Fisher.
This goes down as one of my favorite books for elementary school readers this year.
Let’s first talk about the glory of the cover. There is Moxy with her tattered copy of Stuart Little, held upside down. And the look on her face is priceless. It is a treat to see a cover that so wonderfully speaks to the content of the book itself. To love this cover is to love this book.
A perfect summertime read, we follow Moxy as she wrestles with having to read Stuart Little over the summer. Moxy has now procrastinated until it is the final day of summer vacation and she has yet to even start reading the book. She has carried it with her all summer long, but seems to continue to find reasons that she cannot start it quite yet. The book features her final day of the summer which she spends in a variety of ways that do not get her book read.
This is a laugh-out-loud type of book. Just the chapter titles will get you grinning and then the prose itself will work its magic. The chapters are short, very short in some cases, and they make the book even more pleasurable for young readers. Moxy is a true character who will speak to all children who have had to do anything by a deadline. Her parents are real people as are her siblings. The entire family is a joy to read about.
Moxy’s overall love of reading is one feature that demonstrates how skillfully crafted this small book is. It would have been much easier and obvious to have Moxy hate reading altogether, but Moxy just doesn’t like being told what to do. This small detail speaks volumes about her character and adds depth to the book. So often Gifford chooses her characters over the obvious, much to her credit.
With its friendly print size, short chapters and plenty of photographs, this book is a great summer read for children in elementary school. If you have a child participating in summer reading program, this book should be handed to them. Tiptoe quietly away and wait for the giggles of glee to start.
I also see that a sequel will be coming out in 2008! Something to definitely look forward to.