A Perfectly Messed-Up Story
A Perfectly Messed-Up Story

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Annotation: Louie becomes angry when the story in which he appears is ruined by messes from jelly, peanut butter, and other things that do not belong in books.
Catalog Number: #88009
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition Date: 2014
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-22258-5 Perma-Bound: 0-605-83383-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-22258-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-83383-8
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2013041668
Dimensions: 21 x 24 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Little Louie is excited to be in his very own story. It starts out pretty simply: on a pleasant, pastoral background, the story begins, "Once upon a time, little Louie went skipping merrily along. Tra la la la,' he sang. For in his heart, Louie knew everything was just . . ." t it doesn't get much farther than that because, out of nowhere, a blob of jelly lands on the page, followed by a bigger blob of chunky peanut butter. The realistic food stains are soon joined by grimy fingerprints and orange juice, and Louie decides to start from the top. This time, however, he is beleaguered by crayon scribbles. Though the trashed picture book is not a new device, this iteration is a fun one ddos who get messy with their books will likely giggle at a character's reaction to the surprise splatters, and the cartoonish Louie, sparely composed of just a few brushstrokes, has some over-the-top reactions. Pair this with Jon Scieszka's Battle Bunny (2013) and maybe a napkin.
Horn Book
Cartoony Louie's "perfect story" begins with a scene as banal and unsullied as it gets...until the page turn. Louie's panicked speech balloons interrupt the narrator as realistic-looking blobs of jelly and peanut butter, fingerprints, and orange-juice splatter derail his tale. Eventually Louie is able to see past the unexpected to what really matters. This well-paced story is messed up perfectly--spills and all.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1&12; Beloved Mutts comic-strip illustrator McDonnell brings children a story about how even the most perfect things can sometimes become&30;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&30;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!&12; Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (Wed Oct 01 00:00:00 CDT 2014)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (Wed Apr 01 00:00:00 CDT 2015)
ILA Children's Choice Award
School Library Journal (Mon Sep 01 00:00:00 CDT 2014)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 301
Reading Level: 1.4
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 1.4 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 170605 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:1.5 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q68912
Guided Reading Level: J
Fountas & Pinnell: J

In this interactive and engaging read-aloud, bestselling author and award-winning artist Patrick McDonnell creates a funny, engaging, and almost perfect story about embracing life's messes.


Little Louie's story keeps getting messed up, and he's not happy about it! What's the point of telling his tale if he can't tell it perfectly? But when he stops and takes a deep breath, he realizes that everything is actually just fine, and his story is a good one--imperfections and all.


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