Kirkus Reviews QR Code
MESSY BESSIE by Harriet Ziefert


Where’s My Homework?

by Harriet Ziefert & illustrated by Roger De Muth

Pub Date: June 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59354-181-1
Publisher: Blue Apple

Bessie, an untidy mouse, awakens one morning to a mess of monumental proportions. Readers are asked to help Bessie locate the items she requires as she prepares for school. Verses—“Bessie’s about to have a fit. / Please help her by finding it”—are arranged in rhyming couplets, and each two-page spread is dedicated to one aspect of Bessie’s morning ritual. Readers must seek to find a missing striped sock, a misplaced snack and even a permission slip among the scattered household items. Whether or not Bessie makes it out to the bus on time depends upon the reader’s detection skills. Making this particularly challenging is the fact that the things Bessie needs to find are simply named; readers are not given a pictorial clue to help locate them. For example, when Bessie needs her snack, it’s up to the readers to search the debris field of the kitchen to discover something snack-like. De Muth’s highly detailed illustrations are jammed with minutiae to an almost dizzying effect. Readers will need a discerning eye to discover the secrets hidden within them without feeling the need to go clean their own rooms. (Picture book. 5-8)