Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Review of Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank-you Notes by Peggy Gifford

Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank-you Notes by Peggy Gifford (Schwartz & Wade, 2008).

How I love a book with plenty of white space, BIG chapter names but very short chapters, and at least a sprinkling of funny illustrations, and I think I'm not alone. Those who share my proclivities will embrace the new Moxy Maxwell book (following 2007's Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little).

All the action takes place within about an hour or so as 9-year-old Moxy struggles to write 13 thank-you notes, which she must accomplish (so her mother says) before she will be allowed to visit her long-absent dad in Hollywood. Being Moxy, nothing is simple, and soon her stepdad's favorite recliner is broken, his new copier has spewed out 473 identical fill-in-the-blanks thank-you notes, and the words "HANK YOU" have been spray painted in gold paint across the living room wall (the "T" ends up on young Sam's sweater). Luckily, Moxy's twin brother Mark captures the whole thing with his still camera, and we readers get to see the excellent photographs, all thoughtfully captioned for us.

All this does not faze Moxy for long (although it takes her mom and stepdad a bit longer to recover their equilibrium), and even the falling-through of her New Year's plans fail to keep her spirits down. Kids will love Moxy's resilience and her absolute resistance to doing things the easy or obvious (or sensible) way.

Grades 2 - 4.

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