February 09


Cover reveal for Judy Moody and the Right Royal Tea Party by Megan McDonald

It’s the first day of school, circa 1968. My third grade classroom smells of Murphy’s oil soap and printer’s ink and chalk dust. Miss Sands is my new teacher. First order of business: Spellers are passed out. And math books. And geography texts. We’re given brown paper bags and safety scissors, and instructed to cover our textbooks in brown paper wrappers to protect them.

What sounds like a chore is actually quite a fond memory for me. Covering each textbook was like wrapping a birthday present, right up there with making newspaper hats and gum wrapper chains. And best of all, each book covered in a plain brown wrapper was like a blank canvas to me, just begging for drawings and doodles.

Imagine my surprise (and delight) when I learned that my first book cover for Judy Moody was to be printed on plain brown kraft paper. I think my editor, Mary Lee Donovan, may have been a bit reluctant to break the news to me at first. While most book covers at the time were neon pink, and shouted “Read me!” mine would be “plain-old, boring-old” brown.


I immediately loved the idea, because it took me right back to third grade, when I was the same age as Judy Moody. And the cover included the first three sentences of the book.

Judy Moody was in a mood. Not a good mood. A bad mood.

As a writer, this was quite a thrill. That original cover showed Judy in her first-day-of-school tiger-striped pajamas and her shirt-with-no-words. Not to mention hand-written letters by illustrator Peter Reynolds, complete with die-cuts!

Nearly twenty years ago, we could not have imagined that those tiger-striped pajamas and Judy’s handmade I-ATE-A-SHARK tee shirt would become iconic, defining a moody third grader who has inspired many a Halloween costume and dress-like-your-favorite-book-character outfit.

When I heard the news over a year and a half ago that it was time for a cover refresh for the Judy Moody series, I could not imagine what the ever-creative designers at Candlewick Press might possibly dream up that would match the joy and enthusiasm that the brown kraft paper held in my imagination.

Wait for it…

Tiger stripes!

Brilliant, right?  What could be more enticing for an about-to-roar moody third grader such as Judy Moody.

Each new book cover sets Judy Moody against a wild tiger-striped background in an array of mouth-watering colors that pop. Eat your heart out, Andy Warhol. You’ll find a color here for every one of Judy’s many moods.


And now, for Judy Moody’s latest, upcoming mood, let’s see what color her mood ring is turning today…

Wait for it…


The color of royalty. The color of kings and queens and princes, oh my. Just right for Judy’s next adventure, Judy Moody and the Right Royal Tea Party.

Ta da!

Judy Moody had been Doctor Judy, M. D. She had been Judy Monarch Moody and Madame M-for-Moody. She had been a Girl Detective and a Mood Martian. She had even gotten a picture of her famous elbow in the newspaper. But she, Judy Moody, had never been a queen.

In Judy’s forthcoming adventure, Judy Moody and the Right Royal Tea Party, World’s Greatest Teacher, Mr. Todd-not-Toad, invites his third graders to create a tree. Not a tree with leaves.

A family tree!

Judy starts digging into the Moody past. And what does she discover in her very own family tree, but the possibility that she, Judy Moody, just-might-maybe be related to a queen. Judy becomes convinced that royal blood runs through her veins.

But someone else is waiting in the wings who just might want to steal her thunder. Will Judy Moody be crowned? Or will she be crushed?

For now, feast your eyes on a book cover fit for a queen.



Author Megan McDonald grew up the youngest of five daughters, so knows a thing or two about learning to speak up for yourself. In addition to the best-selling Judy Moody and Stink series, she is the author of three Sisters Club stories, two books about Ant and Honey Bee, and many other books for children. She and her husband live in Sebastopol, California.

Illustrator Peter Reynolds is known for his award-winning picture books, including The Dot and Ish, among many others. Born in Canada, he now lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Learn more about Judy Moody at www.judymoody.com.