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Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little    by Peggy Gifford & Valerie Fisher order for
Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little
by Peggy Gifford
Order:  USA  Can
Schwartz & Wade, 2008 (2007)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Peggy Gifford's debut book opens with A Note About This Story: 'Most of this happened in one way or another. But because I am the first to write it down, you will have to accept my version of the astonishing and tragic events that befell Moxy Maxwell last August 23.' That night is the Goodbye to Summer Splash! show, in which Moxy is 'one of eight daisy petals in the neighborhood water-ballet'.

But, darkness is descending on (almost) nine-year old Moxy Maxwell's horizon. Even though a great planner, Moxy is a dedicated procrastinator. Summer vacation will be over in a few days, and as a fourth-grade student, Moxy will be quizzed on a book about Stuart Little. Though Moxy loves books and burns the midnight oil to read, she makes her own choices, and is not interested in 'what someone told her to read'.

Moxy carries the Stuart Little book with her wherever she goes Just In Case of In-Between, that is, 'just in case one thing ends before the next thing begins'. Mom rules that Moxy must remain in her room on August 23rd until the book is read beginning to end - or face consequences. (When Moxy looks up the meaning of that word in the dictionary, she really begins to worry.) With good intentions to read Stuart Little in her room, Moxy decides that she first must clean - after all, 'a book of this magnitude - 144 pages - required a great deal of space'.

Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little is perfect for chapter-book readers, with exciting chapter titles like Moxy's Fabulous, Stupendous, Near-Genius Idea and In Which Moxy's Mother Says No (the shortest chapter, comprised of only the word No). By the way, if you eat a peach, please contribute the pit to Moxy for the peach orchard she's growing to help pay for a college education. Mom will be so proud of Moxy's peach efforts, or so she thinks as it opens another kettle of troubles, when chaos erupts and Mom's prize dahlia garden takes a beating.

Illustrator Valerie Fisher's black-and-white photographs (labeled as snapshots taken by twin-brother Mark) lend character and credence to the people, places, and pets in Moxy's life. Peggy Gifford's debut book - a sturdy story, printed on sturdy paper - will keep you smiling.

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