cover image How to Clean Your Room in 10 Easy Steps

How to Clean Your Room in 10 Easy Steps

Jennifer LaRue Huget, , illus. by Edward Koren. . Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-375-84410-2

“Pull everything out of your drawers and closet and shelves. Every Single Thing,” instructs the young narrator in Huget's (Thanks a LOT, Emily Post! ) goofily earnest how-not-to manual, which is all but guaranteed to induce laughter. “Divide your big pile into three different piles. One pile of stuff that's broken. One pile of stuff you're too grown-up to play with anymore. And one pile of things that you love more than anything else in the world and want to keep forever and ever.” Guess which pile is the biggest. With marching orders like that—and tips like “Pizza crusts may be munched on if they're less than a month old”—kids may find themselves asking their parents if it's time for housekeeping. Pairing Huget's cracked domestic advice with Koren (Thelonius Monster's Sky-High Fly Pie ) is truly inspired. The New Yorker cartoonist's lavishly squiggly, scratchy ink line and endearingly discombobulated characters (which include not only the narrator but a scruffy retinue of real and stuffed animals) seem as natural a fit for this subject as dust bunnies under a bed. Bless this mess! Ages 4–8. (May)