In merry, impeccably crafted verse, Serfozo (Who Said Red?, 1988) explains why Kurt can't seem to stay clean--""Soup shot from his spoon when he dressed in his best/to slide clown his tie stripes and rest on his vest,"" or, ""Ice cream drip-dropped as it flopped from the cone/onto Kurt when the cone wasn't even his own."" With a new school starting in the fall, Mom points out that ""they're just going to think you're a dirt hall with feet."" After a day's pondering, Kurt comes up with an effective way to keep at least his clothes clean: he wears his raincoat! In lively watercolors, Poydar makes a fine picture-book debut; her amused perception of Kurt's antics is traditional in flavor, but she handles her medium with unusual skill, and her deft pictorial narration makes an excellent complement to the text. The ending here isn't quite as much fun as what precedes it; still, this good-humored exaggeration of a universal problem will make a delightful readaloud.