Monday, February 4, 2013

OO: Organization In Kid's Books

You should know how much I love the book, The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room! It is what inspired the start of my Organization Overhaul (OO).

We are going to start off with a book called The Big Tidy-Up by Norah Smaridge.

First, I should just make it very very clea that this is no Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room. NOT.EVEN.CLOSE! If I had read this as a child, my house would probably always look like the before picture in the photo below.

What this book does have going for it is the illustrations and font. For that, you can thank Les Gray. He's got a whole Marlo Thomass, That Girl vibe.
Check out that font, that dress, that hair-do- is anyone else feeling Marlo on this?
pic of those 3 together

Onto the book!
There is a little girl named Jennifer who is quite possibly the messiest kid on the planet. On top of that she torments her cat by dressing it up in her own clothes. Jen's mom is not a happy camper. She vows not to clean Jen's room anymore and puts a big KEEP OUT! sign on Jen's door.

Jen didn't care. She was livin' large in her disaster zone. She even kept pie under her pillow to snack on. But one day, it all hit her!

This is the scene that pushed her over the edge. Ooooohhhh weeee oooohhhh... this is the type of illustration that needs a fabulous after picture!

Jen started feeling bad for herself. She even considered running away. So, she gave in and got to cleaning.

This part is a bit disappointing to me for the following reasons:

1. I'm going to let the cat out of the bag here and tell you that this is basically the After shot. Bogus! I would like to see some sort of organizing. At least show me what you have turned your closet into.

2. Come on, Jen! Get your recycling on! I see those bottles in your trash can. I think you could spray paint them and make them pretty awesome. But, if you aren't going to do that the least you could do is throw them your snazzy recycling bin! And, look at all that paper. I may have to send the recycling police over.

3. I see you have a dust pan, but it looks like you don't actually need it because your broom magically sends dust and apple cores into your trash box. How is this possible? Maybe the book should be called A Girl Named Jen/ Jennifer/ Jenny Throws Her Junk In A Box With A Magic Broom.

There you go... those were my main problems with that picture. 

Finally, Jenny change the sign on her door from KEEP OUT! to COME IN! And this is the best After photo shot we get.

The end.

If I had never read the Berenstain Bears And The Messy Room and I didn't have a major love for messy before photos and organized after photos I would have really liked this book. I loved the illustrations and it was a fun book to read to Cora. I could see this book being a good starting point for a messy child. But, save the best for last... do not present this after The Berenstain Bears or your child will toss this book out the window.

Are you inspired to bust out your magic broom and get to sorting? I am! Maybe the book is better than I thought. Or maybe that broom cast a spell on me.


  1. I agree about the lack of after pictures, but I love the font and illustrations and color palette!

    1. Overall, I liked the whole thing. I was just disappointed with no after photos.