cover image What a Mess! A Pop-up Misadventure

What a Mess! A Pop-up Misadventure

Keith Allen. 5am Press, $34.99 (14p) ISBN 978-0-692-81057-6

A messy bedroom makes a world of trouble for two unnamed siblings in this Kickstarter-funded pop-up book from paper engineer Allen. After the kids’ belongings explode out of their room, the result is “a mountain of toys nearly touching the sky!” In dealing with that problem, the brother and sister are beset by an awful smell, a dust cyclone, and a closet that threatens to consume them. Chaotic and colorful, Allen’s digital graphics and playfully haphazard pop-ups create an atmosphere of playful disaster; toward the end, he uses a spiraling strip of acetate to send socks and underwear flying when the children discover an under-the-bed vortex. The rhymes can be strained (“They started to sink in a big pile of sweaters,/ but safely grabbed onto a boa of feathers”) but the book exudes such a sense of fun that most readers won’t mind. Ages 3–8. (BookLife)