A picture book about the joys of messy play.
Jesse is a high-spirited dog who loves to make things—paper hats, cakes and blanket forts—and the outcome of all this creative play is an astoundingly messy room. Eventually, even Jesse disappears into the clutter. The other pets in the household—Rabbit, Cat and Hamster—go looking for him in the pile, but they too become lost to view. In time, everything gets sorted out, and the room is tidied up, which allows Jesse more opportunity to create—and make another mess. This is the story’s greatest appeal; it lets the little ones in on the joke of making a mess, cleaning it up and then realizing that now they have more room to make another mess. Bowles does a good job of matching text to illustrations and varying the illustrative format on the pages. However, many of the illustrations lack the underlying geometry to lead the eyes to a page turn, and this makes the flow of the story more static than it ought to be. The loosely rendered, brightly colored watercolors are cheerful, and the variably sized type is an effective visual prompt for read-aloud readers.
A lighthearted story that toddlers will relate to. (Picture book. 2-6)