Cody and the Fountain of Happiness

illus. by Eliza Wheeler. 160p. Candlewick. Apr. 2015. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763658571. LC 2014945449.
Gr 2–5—For quirky and capricious Cody, life is full of many beautiful things: her pet ants, summer vacation, and even her older brother, Wyatt. Yet, the start of this summer is not looking as promising as she had hoped. Cody's mom is offered a new position at work that keeps her busy, and Cody's camp has been canceled. That means she has to spend her vacation with her moody brother, who is moping over a girl. As Cody tries to make the best of the situation, she meets her new neighbor, who has just lost his cat. With Spencer, her ants, and her ability to see the brighter side of a situation, the child turns her not-so-good vacation into an adventure. With artfully drawn sketches mixed into the low-level text, this short novel may attract transitional readers. However, the plot is thin and somewhat boring. Cody is likable enough, but there is not enough development in the supporting characters and plot for readers to be drawn in.
VERDICT This book falls short of Barbara Parks's popular "Junie B. Jones" series (Random).

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