Edward Gets Messy

Rita Meade, illus. by Olga Stern. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4814-3777-6
Pigs have a reputation for being messy, but Edward, a “very particular pig,” is more of a Marie Kondo type: “He detests dirt. He fears filth. He likes things to be just so.” First-time author Meade, a Brooklyn-based librarian, makes it clear early on how Edward’s commitment to tidiness means that he’s living life from the sidelines—sometimes literally, such as when he doesn’t join in a muddy game of baseball at school. When Edward accidentally gets messy while trying to straighten up an art supply shelf (instead of actually painting), he discovers that a little glop and slop might be worth it, if making art, experimenting with science, and having a more social existence are also part of the bargain. Working in colored pencil, debut illustrator Stern makes excellent use of bright colors and hand-drawn sound effects like “slurp” and squish” to create a joyful, dynamic world of leaf piles, puddles of paint, and airborne spaghetti and meatballs at lunch—messy and dirty, yes, but also well worth it. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Brooks Sherman, Bent Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/18/2016
Release date: 09/13/2016
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