A Perfectly Messed-Up Story
written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
2014 (Little, Brown and Company)
Source: Orange County Library
I'm just in a messy old book that will end up in some garage sale. A book no one will ever want, read, or love.
Little Louie was skipping along happily because he was in a book and was going to be able to tell his story. All was right in his world until he came upon a jelly stain on his book. Who would do such a thing? Moments later, a peanut butter blob covered his face. To add insult to injury, it was the chunky kind. (Blogger sidebar: I haven't eaten chunky peanut butter since I got married over 23 years ago. Some things you give up for love.) Louie was apoplectic. He gave a nice sermon about the need to take care of books and all seemed right until he ran into some crayon scribbles. Naturally Louie asked for a paper towel from the reader which made a stain that screamed four year old Jackson Pollock and the Northern Lights. Louie was so despondent that he fell to the ground as the narrator continued trying to tell his story. Laying on terra firma, Louie realized that even with messes in his life and book, everything was going to be okay. At least until the surprise at the very end.
This book is a perfectly great way to laugh and connect with a character at the same time. My friends in kindergarten had their thumbs way up for Louie. He is definitely an every-man in the same beloved vein as Charlie Brown. We all have setbacks and what may define us is how we deal with our misfortunes. If we can keep marching on, perhaps everything will be okay. For my Band-Aid needing, pencil is not sharp enough, "So and So called me a booger" young friends, this is a humorous book well worth sharing.