Beatrice, whose family has just moved, is rather obsessed with cleanliness and organization.
Even though the movers have only just left, she has her room fully organized, with even the clothes in her closet grouped by color and books arranged neatly—very neatly—by size. In contrast, her younger sister’s room is trashed. Her mother is on the couch with a book, and her father is lazing with an old yearbook. Only Beatrice is so driven. While walking the dog, she meets some fellow third-graders and invites them to come over that afternoon, giving her just three hours to force her family to unpack and clean house. Readers may enjoy watching her assume the adult role to her parents’ childishness. Still, her focus is somewhat scary, since the stress of the mess makes her eye twitch, and then she starts to growl, which is one of the items on her list of “Things To Do When I Feel Like Exploding.” If not for the clearly comedic hyperbole of this early chapter book, readers will be forgiven for thinking that Beatrice needs some therapy. Frequent, equally exaggerated illustrations add to the fun. The happy news is that the visit goes well, and she forgives her family’s extreme disorganization, since snuggling with them is very satisfying. Lucky thing for them.
A silly but nonetheless amusing tale. (Fiction. 6-8)