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Super-Completely and Totally the Messiest


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About the Author

Judith Viorst is the author of the beloved Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, which has sold some four million copies; the Lulu books, including Lulu and the Brontosaurus; the New York Times bestseller Necessary Losses; four musicals; and poetry for children and young adults. Her most recent books of poetry include What Are You Glad About? What Are You Mad About? and Nearing Ninety.

Robin Preiss Glasser is the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of the Fancy Nancy series, written by Jane O'Connor; America: A Patriotic Primer, A Is for Abigail, and Our Fifty States by Lynne Cheney; and Tea for Ruby by Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. She lives in Southern California with her family.


The title of this slender tale from the team behind Alexander, Who's Not (Do you hear me? I mean it!) Going to Move describes Sophie, who is as clumsy as she is messy. Sophie's neat-as-a-pin, "practically perfect" older sister, Olivia, characterizes Sophie in an intermittently humorous, yet rather tedious, litany of her disheveled sibling's mishaps. Glasser's animated artwork delivers much of the comedy; the cartoonish illustrations capture both Sophie's unruly appearance and behavior with an appealing, light touch and always convey the girl's big heart. Kid-tickling detail abounds in such images as the copious contents of Sophie's closet spilling out and entirely burying the child, and Sophie painting a self-portrait literally on her classroom desk (the legs of which sport her yellow rubber boots). Glasser handles Sophie's cluttered world with aplomb, using pen-and-ink to outline her surroundings and a judicious touch of watercolor to keep readers' focus on the relevant action. Yet the single-themed narrative becomes repetitious. The greatest strength of the volume is the loving family's acceptance of Sophie's many quirks and their obvious affection for her. Though Sophie may not have the staying power of Viorst's perennially popular Alexander, her antics will surely elicit grinsÄand perhaps even gigglesÄfrom young readers. Ages 4-7. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

PreS-Gr 3-Olivia emphatically states that her younger sister, Sophie, is the messiest human being around and proceeds to tell of the chaos that her sibling creates. Glasser's pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations are full of inviting detail. They show Sophie's closet contents; a bedroom impassible with toys, clothes, and artistic creations; numerous experimental doll projects gone awry; mishaps at the beach and farm; and always the exuberant Sophie who tries, really tries, to be more like the neat and nearly perfect Olivia. While the younger child works her havoc outside the boundaries of acceptable (and believable) behavior, the narrator hastens to add that dad says that Sophie is smart and funny; their older brother adds that she's great at dancing and puzzles; and mom says that Sophie's really a kind and nice person. It's all pure fun with an undertone of acceptance that's positively reassuring, and maybe even a little bit encouraging, to creative clutzes and anyone else who has ever messed up while messing around.-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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