The other day, Miss M. was in a mood. It was a very Judy Moody mood. It was certainly not a good mood, but instead was a very bad mood. It was the kind of mood that causes a mommy to give herself a time-out. It was the kind of noir mood that calls for a glass of Pinot Noir (for me of course). The problem was this: we were in the car with nowhere to go.
After a weekend mini-break to the mountains of Tennessee, we decided to stop by Chattanooga on our way home to Georgia. We had given the option of either choosing to go to the children's museum or the aquarium. Miss M. choose the children's museum. However, Mommy made the mistake of not checking the hours until we go into the car for the 40 mile trek. When we realized the museum was not going to open until much later in the day, we informed the little lady that we were going to be seeing fish instead. She told us that the change in plans was completely unacceptable.
For the next 40 miles, things went from bad, to very bad, to very very bad as my husband I alternated between being good cop and bad cop. At the place in the road where you have to choose between heading I-75 south to Georgia or I-24 to Chattanooga, the very moody Miss M was reporting to us that this was THE WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO HER. Rather that torture her by taking her to the aquarium, we headed home and solidified in her book the day being a complete failure. Meanwhile, Miss J just babbled baby talk to herself, oblivious of the impending doom.
As we drove the miles towards out house, I contemplated my feelings of having failed as a parent. Am I the only mother that has six year old girl that goes from being the SWEETEST CHILD EVER to A PURE BALL FULL OF SPIT FIRE? Surely not? Right?
It was after this adventure that we began reading Judy Mood Was in a Mood. Not a Good Mood. A Bad Mood., by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. I was smitten with this book the instant Judy replied to her mother's vain attempts to get her daughter out of bed with a resounding, "Roar!" Has this author been spying into my home? I am pretty sure the crisis in the first few pages of the book about how Judy did not have the right T-shirt to wear to school was scripted from a dialogue I had already experienced. Experienced like a thousand times.
The book takes Judy on a journey to find out about herself as she makes a "Me Collage" poster for her second grade class. She experiences THE WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED, which my daughter definitely connected with after our fated journey. But, by the end of the book, she is able to take something bad happening and make it into something "Rare." This, my friends, is a skill that we are working on in our household. And that moment when Judy was able to make that transition, Miss M. reported that was her favorite part.
These books are recommended for ages 6-10 and are chapter books. They are excellent books to read aloud because of the great dialogues the characters have with each other. But, what I adore about these books is the way my daughter is able to relate to them. She is in kindergarten and with common core standards she has been struggling to make "connections" to books she has read. Making the connections is not a problem with this book series.
Can't wait to start reading book 2- Judy Moody Gets Famous!