Those Messy Hempels

Overview

Not since the Stupids has there been such a ditzy yet delightful picture book family as the Hempels. At the Hempels' house clutter and cheerful chaos prevail. Usually, the Hempels don't mind the mess, but one day when they decide to bake a cake they can't find the whisk amid the clutter. So the Hempels decide to clean up. Before long the kitchen is as neat as a pin, but they still can't find the whisk. They do find a pillow, but the pillow belongs in the bedroom. Off go the Hempels to the bedroom. The hunt for ...

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Overview

Not since the Stupids has there been such a ditzy yet delightful picture book family as the Hempels. At the Hempels' house clutter and cheerful chaos prevail. Usually, the Hempels don't mind the mess, but one day when they decide to bake a cake they can't find the whisk amid the clutter. So the Hempels decide to clean up. Before long the kitchen is as neat as a pin, but they still can't find the whisk. They do find a pillow, but the pillow belongs in the bedroom. Off go the Hempels to the bedroom. The hunt for the whisk — and a series of misplaced objects — leads the zany Hempels on a hilarious cleaning spree.
Children will happily join the spirited search party and will delight in guessing just where all those misplaced objects belong.

As the Hempels clean up their messy house in search of a whisk to make a cake, the reader is invited to participate in deciding where various objects belong.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Dancing in the footsteps of Laura Numeroff's If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (HarperCollins, 1985), this energetic picture book introduces the disastrously untidy, happy-go-lucky Hempels. They want to bake a cake, but can't find the whisk. While straightening up the kitchen, they discover a pillow, which leads them to the bedroom. Cleaning up the bedroom yields a toothbrush, which of course belongs in the bathroom- and so it goes, until the whisk is located in the children's room and the happy Hempels return to their newly clean kitchen to make a cake-and another mess. Luciani's text, full of questions and sound effects, begs to be read aloud, and kids will delight in predicting what comes next. Hi 's angular illustrations, though a bit dark in their color palette, capture the sense of barely controlled chaos that rules these characters by showing them in constant motion. This lighthearted tale makes a fun choice for storytime.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The Hempel family is happy living in their cluttered home, until one day when they want to bake a cake and can't find their whisk. The parents and their two children tidy up the kitchen, and though they don't find the whisk, they do find a pillow, which they all conclude belongs in the bedroom. Off to the bedroom and another mess with the discovery of another item that belongs in another room with yet another mess, until the entire house and the garden are tidy. The children finally find the missing whisk after the parents collapse for a nap, but when the cake is baked, another mess is created, and in fine circular story fashion, the Hempels are right back where they started. Though the story is smoothly told with some amusing sound effects, the concept isn't really that funny because the misplaced items aren't that far out of place or the rooms really all that messy. The edgy illustrations use a flattened perspective, a gloomy palette, and characters shaped like odd rag dolls without much personality. Messes can be fun, out-of-context items can be fun, and circular stories can be fun, but the proportions in this recipe don't quite add up to a satisfying treat. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735819092
  • Publisher: North-South Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Series: Michael Neugebauer Books (Hardcover) Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.74 (w) x 11.66 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Luciani was born in Hannover, Germany and lives in France with her husband and three children.

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