Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe

illus. by Valerio Fabbretti. 40p. Sterling. Jan. 2018. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781454921745.
PreS-Gr 1—Magnolia Mudd loves inventing stuff with her favorite adult, Uncle Jamie Mudd. Every Friday they invent stuff together, and their best creations use "Mudd Power." But on this particular Friday, Uncle Jamie brings his girlfriend Miss Emily and announces their upcoming nuptials. The stunned Magnolia does not see what they have in common as Uncle Jamie is a rocket scientist and Miss Emily is an art gallery fashionista. Magnolia really does not want to wear a frilly dress and be their flower girl. Uncle Jamie understands and suggests that she chooses something that suits her. So, Magnolia explores wedding traditions from around the world and invents devices (henna tattoo maker, troll trap, and plate thrower) for the wedding, but unfortunately none work as expected. Out of ideas, she is resigned to being the flower girl, until she and Miss Emily work together to invent a device to launch flowers and confetti using Mudd Power. Howes's text has just the right tone and is highly relatable, while Fabbretti's illustrations are comic book bold, funny, and capture myriad emotions.
VERDICT A girl who loves inventing finds an unexpected ally in her uncle's bride-to-be. Fun text meets spot-on illustrations with a little learning thrown in—it's a winning combo. For first purchase.

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