Sunday, June 12, 2011

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer (ages 5 - 10)

School's out for my kids and they were thrilled to see the new Judy Moody movie, based on the popular series of chapter books. Judy Moody and her little brother Stink bring laughter to the chapter-book set in our library, and I'm happy that this movie spreads the popularity of a great series. If your child is having fun listening to chapter books or ready to read on their own, try out this series or the movie tie-in. Below I'll share my thoughts on the movie and the books.
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (Judy Moody Movie Tie-In)Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer
by Megan McDonald
MA: Candlewick, 2011
ages 5 - 10
available on Amazon or at your local public library
It's the last day of school, and Judy Moody is sure she's going to have the best summer ever, filled with exciting adventures every day! She's even made a great chart for all of her friends, so each of them can keep track of their thrill-seeking accomplishments. But when two of her three best friends tell her that they're leaving on exciting vacations, Judy's sure that her summer has just become a complete bummer of a summer. Then her parents drop the bomb-shell news that she isn't going to her grandma's as usual, but will have to stay home while her parents fly to California. How unfair can that get? But Judy's in for a surprise as her cool Aunt Opal comes to stay with them, bringing her own goofy sense of adventure and creativity.

While several major newspapers have given the movie a mediocre review, my group of kid reviewers have given it a definite thumbs-up. Their take: great for kids, funny and full of laughs. Too frenetic or high energy? Nah - it's what kids like, and they all have friends who are as high energy as they are.

I personally found the pace of both the book and the movie a bit too frenetic for my tastes, too over-the-top with exclamation points and uber-rare buzz words. But these didn't bother the kids I talked to about the movie. They thought it was fun and exciting. Overall, my crowd did prefer the Ramona movie last summer, I think because it had a little more emotional depth. But on the first day of summer vacation, Judy Moody was definitely a crowd pleaser.

If you're looking for a new chapter book series to try, definitely check out the Judy Moody series. Here's the series as it stands now:
  1. Judy Moody (Book #1)Judy Moody
  2. Judy Moody Gets Famous
  3. Judy Moody Saves the World
  4. Judy Moody Predicts the Future
  5. Judy Moody, M.D.
  6. Judy Moody Declares Independence
  7. Judy Moody: Around the World in 8 1/2 Days
  8. Judy Moody Goes to College
  9. Judy Moody, Girl Detective
There are also be several movie tie-in books, including Judy Moody and The Thrill Points Race, Judy Moody and the Poop Picnic. The blog Thoughts of a Mommy is running a giveaway of the Judy Moody movie books, with a deadline of June 15th. Head over to Thoughts of a Mommy to enter! Thanks to Brimful Curiosities for the heads up about this giveaway!

Call me old fashioned, though; I do prefer the original series to the newer movie books. The original series has better pacing and reads more smoothly to me. But if you're looking for a way to hook your reader, these are worth checking out. They'll appeal to kids who enjoy Junie B. Jones' energy level. The original series will appeal more to kids who like Ivy and Bean, fun but more realistic.

Many thanks to Candlewick for sharing the series and new Judy Moody books. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion will go to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you). Thank you for your support.

1 comment:

  1. The film cost about 50 million to make, so I’m assuming Super 8 will still be considered quite the success.