Mrs. Moody and the Birthday Jinx

Mrs. Moody and the Birthday Jinx
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
September 06, 2016
Buy This Book
Make a wish, Mrs. Moody! Every year on Mom’s birthday, one way or another, something goes wrong-not-right. Maybe Judy’s been in a bad mood. Maybe Stink’s gotten a little carsick. Maybe Dad can’t bake Mom’s favorite carrot cake. But this year is going to be different. This year is going to be perfect. This year, Judy is going to do all she can to make sure Mom gets the happy birthday she deserves. Watch out! The Boss of Birthday (aka Judy) is on the job! Parsnip cake with avocado frosting, anyone?

Editor review

1 review
Parsnip cake with avocado icing!
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Judy's mother's birthday never ends well. This year, Judy is determined to make her mother's birthday a success. She instructs her father and brother, Stink, to make nice presents, but these go awry. She encourages her mother to plan a fun activity, but this get derailed when Stick needs a costume for a school play the next day. She even tells her father to make a carrot cake, but this ends up burning, and was made with parsnips to boot. Even though Mrs. Moody's successful celebration is limited to a short nap, she appreciates all of Judy's work, and is glad to celebrate her birthday with her family.
Good Points
Judy is always an appealing character, and the fact that her life isn't picture perfect puts her in league with Junie B. Jones and Amber Brown. It's encouraging to see that the sadness of recent middle grade books hasn't filtered down this far into the elementary emergent reader set-- while the cake may be burned, no one in Judy's family is dying or in major trouble. It's nice to see the family spending time working on school projects together, and sitting down to dinner together, even if the father's idea for carrot cake frosting involves avocado!

It's hard to find books for beginning readers that are full of excitement and humor, but McDonald always manages to add both to her books about Judy and Stink. The full color illustrations by Madrid off many visual clues, as well as interest, to the text. Even though there is a series of these, the books don't need to be read in order, which is very helpful when trying to find books in a popular series at the library!

I can remember wanting to make my parents' birthdays special, and young readers who want to make birthday cakes and who have spent quality time with glue and Popsicle sticks will understand Judy's motivation for trying to make her mother's birthday memorable.
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