cover image Cody and the Fountain of Happiness

Cody and the Fountain of Happiness

Tricia Springstubb, illus. by Eliza Wheeler. Candlewick, $14.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5857-1

Cody is thrilled to be on summer break and even happier that her camp has been cancelled. She envisions a summer of relaxation and freedom, but soon realizes that having “nothing to do” can get tiresome and that a lovelorn teenage brother isn’t always the perfect playmate. Fortunately, Cody meets Spencer—a quiet, lonely boy visiting his grandmother—and helps him find his missing cat, MewMew. In between feeding her pet ants, playing matchmaker, and learning to become ambidextrous, Cody tries to befriend Spencer, but meets resistance. Springstubb’s (Moonpenny Island) multicultural neighborhood comes to life nicely through Wheeler’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations, and while Cody’s zest for life and constant positive energy can be over the top, her boundless desire to be a good friend is inspiring. Wise advice (“First days are always hard. But everything will work out”) and vibrant imagery (“Search back through the mists of time, and you would not find a shoe salesperson who worked as hard as Mom”) round out this pleasing tale of friendship and family. Ages 7–10. Author’s agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Jennifer Rofé, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Apr.)