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A Perfectly Messed-Up Story Hardcover – October 7, 2014
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Beloved Mutts comic-strip illustrator McDonnell brings children a story about how even the most perfect things can sometimes become…well, messed up. Louie sets out to tell his happy tale about skipping and singing when suddenly a jelly blob interrupts his cheerful narrative. This is soon followed by a peanut butter ("AUGH! The chunky kind!") mess. Louie is horrified that someone would treat his story so carelessly. As the mess builds, Louie becomes more and more anxious, until a really big mess causes him to give up. "I'm just a messy old book…no one will ever want, read, or love," he cries. He soon learns a wise lesson; it is the story that makes the book, not the mess. Life is not without imperfections, and neither are stories. Classic McDonnell pen, ink, and watercolor pastels blend with mixed-media and crayon messes to make this untidy tale a victory for unkempt books everywhere. Keep calm, and read on!—Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH
* "Brilliant.... A playful, funny, and friendly treatment of anxiety and life's unpredictable messes."―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Louie's exaggerated reactions...will trigger laughs with every page turn....McDonnell... excels at reminding his characters--and readers--that it's possible to keep it together even when life has jelly all over it."―Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The pleasures of watching a book depart from its conventions and address its sticky-fingered reader will tickle even the littlest postmodernist."―New York Times Book Review
"Classic McDonnell pen, ink, and watercolor pastels blend with mixed-media and crayon messes to make this untidy tale a victory for unkempt books everywhere. Keep calm, and read on!"―School Library Journal
"This [one] is a fun one-Kiddos who get messy with their books will likely giggle."―Booklist
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Top customer reviews
It's a cute book! Nice and short too which makes for a nice bedtime story for the 1 year old too.
Little Louie is eager to tell his story, but things just aren't going as planned. Whether it's a plop of jelly, or a smear of peanut butter (chunky kind!) that lands on his head, Louie just keeps getting interrupted. Fingerprints and scribbles magically appear on the page as Louie addresses the reader directly, telling him that "we need to show some respect here. Books are important. They teach us stuff and They inspire us." That part touched my heart.
We never get to read Louie's story, but that's okay, since we do get to find out that no matter how many jelly stains plop in your book, you can still go singing merrily along. The story is told via Louie's hilarious, over the top dramatic reactions that are portrayed in dialogue bubbles. I'm still not sure if I could make this work in story time, but I do know that this is a must read for any preschooler. It has a great message, McDonnell's illustrations are as charming and expressive as ever, and it will give you a great opportunity to share a hearty laugh with your child. Great stuff.