The Mess, by Alicia Smith
My Review: ★★★
This is a short story about two kangaroos who have to clean up their room. By setting a goal of cleaning up in 10 minutes, and cooperating to pick up everything in the room, they complete the task and find their lost teddy bears.
What I like about the story is the portrayal of following instructions from their mother without too much argument, and cooperating together even in a space where both kangaroos had contributed to the mess. The story could be better, however; it starts with some disconnected pieces: some birds, and a walk through the forest, neither of which really connect to the main story line. It also ends a bit abruptly without summarizing the lesson the children should have learned about cleaning up. It at least ends with the two children choosing a bedtime book to read, but again would have been better if a more explicit lesson were learned.
The artwork is fantastic; the watercolor illustrations are really well-done.