Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank-You Notes

Horn Book (September/October, 2008)
Moxy Maxwell's mother warns her that unless she finishes writing all twelve of her Christmas thank-you notes before traveling to Los Angeles to visit her big-shot Hollywood mover-and-shaker father, there will be "consequences." Moxy, a cross between Walter Mitty and Lucy Ricardo for the beginning-chapter-book set, pursues her typical rounds of procrastination, daydreaming, and scheming, assisted by her entourage: her five-year-old sister, Pansy, and her Moxy-worshiping neighbor, Sam. Mayhem eventually ensues, some of which results in an out-of-control photocopier, a broken La-Z-Boy chair, and accidental living room vandalism with forbidden gold spray paint. As with the first book in the series, Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little (rev. 9/07), amusing photographs (taken in the story by Moxy's twin brother Mark) accompany the writing and enhance many of the funniest moments, and playful chapter titles foreshadow upcoming mini-disasters. There are a few developments: stepfather Ajax, who was more of a background presence in the original, is given a more prominent role, and the plot touches upon such noncomedic subjects as absentee parents and blended families. In the end, while not fully reformed, Moxy gives an indication that she is making some progress, although not too much: readers can expect to delight in her future grandiose schemes and reveries.

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