School Library JournalPreS-K-In Messes, a girl enjoys dumping food items from the fridge and mixing them up on the floor. In Dressed, a boy insists on dressing himself but puts his clothes on upside down or on the wrong body parts. In both cases, the parents patiently and lovingly explain what is tolerable behavior and what is going too far. Both children happily accept these boundaries. The pen-and-ink cartoons are simple and bright. The texts and art are playful and cheerful, and the layouts are clear. The books are best suited for families dealing with similar problems. In each one, a professor of child psychiatry describes the characters' actions in the story and explains why children need to pursue them. Some parents and caregivers will find these trite and patronizing; others will find them reassuring.-Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsA curious preschooler explores her world and makes a mess. What began as a red circle accidentally drawn on the table escalates quickly to red dots drawn on skin and finger painting with strawberry yogurt. And for a finale? When the doorbell rings while a grumbling Daddy is searching for a less-messy snack, he leaves the door open to an irresistible temptation-the refrigerator. Eggs, milk, catsup and mustard are the paints, the floor is her canvas and her feet and the dog's paws are the brushes. Daddy's response is the epitome of understanding and forgiveness-in other words, inhuman. Parents will not empathize with him. Though he tells his daughter that someone has to clean up messes and she apologizes, nowhere does he explain that food should not be wasted, or give her an alternative outlet for exploring mushy, messy things. Hollander's bright illustrations will capture interest, especially the messes-computer-added color means that the liquids are very convincing. Parents will appreciate the "What's Going On" section, which explains the developmental stage their child is going through and how they can be supportive. The power of suggestion is strong-tread cautiously. (Picture book. 2-4)
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