A PERFECT MESS by Steve Breen

A PERFECT MESS

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 7
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Henry tries his hardest to stay clean for a special day at school.

Henry, a boisterous, young rhinoceros, is very, very messy. Within the first two minutes of every day he is instantly covered in jelly stains and mud splatters. He just can’t help it. But one day, Henry sets out to stay clean. For the entire day. He eats only white food, jumps over every puddle, and sits in the back of the room during art class, far away from any paint. Henry is achieving his goal, but his classmates aren’t so lucky. Every time Henry narrowly misses a mess, he causes others to get dirty. That mud puddle that he jumped? It splashes his friend, the raccoon, instead. The jelly doughnut he avoided? It squirts onto his pal, the panda. Henry’s careful watch over his clumsiness has assured that he remains spotless, but his friends—and even his teacher—end up covered in grime, all because of him. And why was Henry trying so hard to stay clean in the first place? Because it was class picture day! In the photo, Henry beams, unsullied, but the rest of the class is a sticky mess. Breen surrounds the impish rhino with smudges, spots, and brightly colored chaos, onomatopoeic expressions of clumsiness rendered in messy display type. The text reveals just enough to allow the pictures maximum humorous effect.

A spirited way to explore both causality and not-so-clean fun. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-8037-4156-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2016




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