Title: Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Practicing the Piano (But She Does Love Being in Recitals)
Author: Peggy Gifford
ISBN: 9780375844881
Pages: 177 pages
Publisher/Date: Schwartz & Wade Books, c2009.

Two things disappointed Moxy about the recital tonight. The first was the fact that “Heart and Soul” was such a short song. She thought it should go on at least five minutes longer.
The second thing was that her twin brother, Mark Maxwell, who was seven minutes younger, was going to play a solo called “The Flight of the Bumblebee.” Moxy thought that if Mark was going to play a solo then she, Moxy Maxwell, should be able to play a solo too.(6)

Peggy Gifford’s Moxy Maxwell series is quickly growing, with a new book every year for the last three years. Some of you might remember Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuar Little or Writing Thank You Notes. Well, now Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Practicing the Piano. She’s more concerned with practicing her bow with her younger sister, making sure her mom made 150 cupcakes after an all night flight from Africa, and trying on her cape and crown to make sure they fit perfectly. Oh, and warm up her singing voice, just in case she gets asked to sing. She is not concerned about the fact that she does not stop playing the song in the right spot. She’s confident she’ll succeed, because she’s Moxy. Right?

One thing that amazed me was how much longer the books are getting. The first one was less than one hundred pages. The other change is that the pictures are less frequent than what I remember in the first book in the series. I guess it’s debatable whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. The attitude and character is still there though. With self-explanatory chapter titles remeniscent from the last two books, like “In Which the Author Repeats the Phrase ‘with the sharp scissors‘” and “The Intermission Part”, I think kids will get a kick out of it. Peggy Gifford did something different though, incorporating aspects of shape poetry, like when Moxy Maxwell’s mother climbs up the stairs “step by step by step” or the dog barks. It still rings of a childlike voice, and Moxy’s lapse in self assurance is refreshing for a girl with such confidence.

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