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Queen for a Few Days – Judy Moody and The Right Royal Tea Party by Megan McDonald

Written by Megan McDonald
Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
(Candlewick Press; $15.99, Ages 6-9)


cover art by Peter H. Reynolds from Judy Moody #14 by Megan McDonald


With British royalty in the news so frequently of late, it seems only fitting to share Judy Moody and The Right Royal Tea Party, a brill new chapter book from Megan McDonald that is sure to get readers raring to look up their family trees. As always, this internationally best-selling series features the inimitable artwork of Peter H. Reynolds, bringing the plucky, sometimes stubborn and bossy, but always irresistible Judy Moody to life. Reynolds’ illustrations keep the story fresh and relatable from start to finish.

Judy Moody’s learning about family trees in Social Studies and teacher Mr. Todd wants everyone to research their lineage and report back. Lovable Grandma Lou’s got some interesting facts from her husband’s side of the family including one relative who died a hero on the Titanic and another who, family lore has it, goes back to the time of Queen Elizabeth I. In fact the name ‘Moody’ means brave and that long ago brave cousin might possibly have rescued someone from the Tower of London, the famous prison. Well that’s all Judy needed to hear to decide her ancestry’s tied to that of the current royal family, namely the Queen. It makes sense to Judy since she has a pen pal there already and her favorite color, purple, is the color of nobility. So no surprise that it doesn’t take long for Judy to imagine herself as Queen. She even writes a fab and funny letter to HRH with questions that are sure to crack up young readers. Here’s one of my favorite questions: Can you make someone bring you a snowball in the middle of summer? In true Judy Moody style, this young wanna-be royal creates a castle in her backyard and even digs a moat causing some royal run ins with her brother, recently dubbed Sir Short Shanks.

When visiting a nearby castle with her family, Judy and her younger brother, Stink, spy her frenemy Jessica Finch enjoying a tea party on the premises. Blimey! How could Jessica have all the fun and all the tea? Judy decides she’s going to throw a high tea party of her own, a right royal one. Only things go south quickly once Jessica Finch shares her family tree in class 3T and Judy’s seeing all shades of blue. Does she smell a rat or is she related to its keeper? Crikey! What’s a royal red-head to do? When no one shows up to her party, Judy’s dreams of queendom fade fast. Luckily a pinkie promise to keep a secret secure saves the day and Judy bounces back like any noble blooded royal would.

Filled with kid-friendly facts and puns galore, Judy Moody and The Right Royal Tea Party also includes lots of British English words and expressions explained in the back matter. It feels like McDonald had a terrific time writing the book because it reads so effortlessly and the humor flows from one fun scene to the next. Now that there’s going to be a royal birth this spring, kids will find this timely fourteenth book absotively posolutely the bees knees, no lie! 

  • Reviewed by Ronna Mandel

Click here to read a sample chapter and remember to visit!



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Finesse Your Family Tree

th_scotland_bagpipePerhaps your children spent some of this holiday with relatives who were not born in the United States. Well I’ve got just the perfect way to help you delve into your family’s past. In our home, a copy of My Heritage Book arrived just in time for my third-grader’s Family Pilgrim project at school. He began asking questions about which of his grandparents or great grandparents came to America from another country.

sample2My Heritage Book (KidsHeritage Inc.,, $39.95; ages 5 and up) by Deanna Bufo Novak with beautiful watercolor pictures by Alicia Bresee, helps children embrace their heritage and is sure to become a treasured keepsake. In this personalized book, children foray into the past to learn about their family’s ancestry with more than 60 countries to choose from. My Heritage Book also includes a letter to the child from the person(s) purchasing it, the child’s birth date, the child’s name throughout, a glossary, and pages where the child can fill in his or her own family’s traditions and a family tree. Each book contains up to th_ar_mapfour countries, making this an ideal gift for multi cultural families. The ordering process is easy: simply go online, choose up to four countries of origin (see website for complete listings), then fill out the required fields with the child’s first, middle and last name. There are also prompts for the child’s birth date and a closing for the letter on the first page (i.e. We Love You!) along with names for the closing letter (i.e. Mommy & Daddy).

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