CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 4. . . .September 28, 2012
In Judy Moody, M.D. The Doctor Is In!, Judy tries her hand at all things medical, from patient to nurse to doctor to research scientist. She is inspired by the study of the human body in school, and, as part of those studies, she performs surgery on a zucchini, and, in front of her class, she presents a dramatization on the life of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female physician. As in the other titles in this series, Judy is creative, unique, drawn with the human foibles of a child in grade three, notably the consequences of attaching the incorrect meanings to words and misunderstanding situations and conventions. The doctor jokes are perfectly suited to the audience. The sibling rivalry is accurately portrayed and the ups and downs of friendship realistically drawn. I liked the small detail which sees the chapter headings all starting with the letters M and D (e.g. Majorly Delicious, Mumpty Dumpty).
McDonald has her fingers firmly planted on the pulse of the grade three mind: vocabulary, word play, mischievous activity, the gentle misunderstandings and priorities of a elementary school child. The author's penchant for adding female historical heroines into this series adds interest and dimension to the tales.
Peter Reynolds illustrations are well placed to give the young reader a break while adding insight and comic interest to the tale. Reynolds also has the pulse of the intended age group as his drawings remind me of caricatures my grade four daughter creates.
In spite of these titles being almost a decade old, they feel current and the humour, sibling rivalry and shenanigans of the characters still hit the mark. For libraries who do not yet have these books as part of their collection, their purchase would be money well spent. Families will also enjoy the characters that are amazingly well-drawn given the brief text and simple vocabulary. While the publisher recommends these titles for ages 6 to 9, I think this range could be expanded upwards for readers who are challenged, as the fun of the text is not pedantic, and downwards to a younger listening audience as Judy Moody, M.D. The Doctor Is In! would make a fun read-aloud.
Ruth McMahon is an Alberta-based professional librarian working in a middle school with daughters in middle and elementary school.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.