Prudence and Moxie

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Prudence and Moxie Book Poster Image
Double dares test the friendship of an unlikely duo.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Good lessons about friendship and handling peer pressure.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this story provides a good forum for talking about friendship, peer pressure, and what to do when someone dares you to do something you just don't want to do.

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What's the story?

Just by their names, you can tell theirs is going to be a complicated relationship. Moxie is a raccoon, and always up for a dare. Her friend Prudence, an aptly named deer (or moose), is not. Still they are friends, even though Moxie's daredevil antics often spoil the game she is playing with her less rambunctious pal. However, when Prudence tries to coax Moxie onto her horse for a ride, she is amazed at the surprising result.

Is it any good?

The issue is a good one, the story complicated enough to arouse a good discussion, and the artwork amazing as well as entertaining. Like Prudence and Moxie, the anthropomorphic main characters, real human kids of all ages confront peer pressure daily, and they have to decide what to do with it. They also have to decide what to do with friends who let them down now and then. This book offers a gentle way to start these sorts of conversations.

The story itself presents some very unique scenarios that seem pretty silly yet, at the same time, ring so very, very true. And, AnnaLaura Cantone's artwork, her "acrylic, collage, and whimsy," brings an Italian folk art feeling to the book, and makes the whole thing all the more captivating.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it feels like when someone dares you to do something. Why do people dare other people to do scary or silly things? Why do some people take dares? Why do you think Moxie kissed the aquarium glass, rolled off the sled, and rode the scariest carnival ride over and over? How did Prudence feel about what Moxie did? Do you think Moxie cared? How do you think the two ever became friends? Do you take every dare, like Moxie? Or are you more like Prudence?

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