A Perfect Mess – Steve Breen


    A Perfect Mess – Steve Breen, Dial Books for Young Readers, (9780803741560), 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre:  Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  Henry is a little rhino who has a hard time staying clean.  The illustration on the first page points out all of the dirt he’s picked up during a day including grass stains, chocolate milk, jelly and chain-link fence rust.  A fun double page illustration depicts a digital clock showing a clean Henry at 7:23 a.m. and a muddy Henry at 7:25 a.m. as Mom watches out the window.  One Tuesday morning, Henry’s Mom picks out his nicest shirt and urges him to “‘Please try your best to keep it clean.’”  Henry does his best by eating the “whitest breakfast,” avoiding mud puddles and jelly donuts and paint in art class.  Unfortunately, the illustrations show that in every instance where Henry stays clean, he gets his classmates dirty.  When the class and teacher pose for class picture day, Henry is the only one who is not covered in paint or ink or food. In the end, a group hug means that Henry arrives home dirty once again.  This is a fun story and the text is complemented by the detailed illustrations done in pen, watercolor and colored pencil. A fun addition to school stories.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a nice addition to school-themed story times.  

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Picture Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles?   No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:        7/2/17             

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