The pace is set for this trendy, actionpacked novel from the moment Judy Moody discovers the Mystery Prize in her breakfast cereal. She rips open the wrapper to reveal a mood ring. However, in addition to believing the ring’s ability to reflect the wearer’s moods by changing colour, Judy Moody thinks the ring has special powers to help her predict the future.
When the ring turns black on its first wear Judy is perplexed. She had expected the colour to turn purple, reflecting her ‘top of the world’ mood. Black indicates ‘grouchy, impossible’. Now Judy reckons she is in a bad mood and she doesn’t even know it. She goes off in search of a bad mood, only to discover it isn’t that easy to find! McDonald’s light comedy moves swiftly from Judy’s home to her classroom, to the schoolyard. The author captures the atmosphere of a typical third class with quick-witted dialogue and pre-teen rivalry. As Judy attempts to predict the focus of her teacher’s amorous intentions, she lands herself in trouble. The reader sympathises with Judy as she is sent to Antarctica, a desk at the back of the classroom, with a map showing icebergs and a lot of penguins. It also has a sign CHILL OUT.
Reynolds’s quirky illustrations of Judy and her family and friends, her brother Stink and a pet cat called Mouse, all serve to complement McDonald’s humorous text. Together they keep the reader interested and entertained. The catchy chapter headings point to a happy outcome to Judy’s quest to earn the title of Madame M, possessor of magic powers.
This fun-filled tale will entertain and provide a challenging read for 7–9-year-olds.