It's one thing if you're a messy little girl, but what if you're a messy little princess and your father says your room is a disgrace to the kingdom? This is the story of Princess Molly, whose hopelessly cluttered room saves the royal family. Full-color illustrations.
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Princess Molly the Messy belongs to a family of royal neatniks: King Clement the Clean, Queen Nellie the Neat and Prince Thomas the Tidy. Her room in the castle's tower is a much-lamented disaster, but when a flash flood drives the family from the lower floors, the "Den of Disorder" turns out to contain all the creature comforts needed for a convivial night--spare pajamas, leftover snacks and books handily tucked under the pillow. Novelist Tyler, in her first book for children, offers a nimble, witty treatment of a somewhat worn topic. Her pithy portrayals of the hyper-organized, self-righteous royal cleaners-up will tickle all those who share Molly's talent for tumult, as will the comically exaggerated disarray of the tower (the floor harbors outgrown clothes; the window frames a flourishing orange tree sprouted from a long-ago treat). The plot's live-and-let-live moral is neatly reciprocal: Molly helps restore the castle's main quarters to shipshape condition after the flood, and the others come to appreciate just a tad of clutter in their own rooms. Debut artist Modarressi, Tyler's daughter, deftly mixes gentle colors and sharp planes in her distinctive watercolors. With the otherworldly, angular faces of the characters and the profusion of details, patterns and objects, her illustrations hint at the dreaminess of Modigliani and the cozy amiability of Ernest Shepard. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The well-known novelist's first children's book is a gently subversive fable celebrating the rewards of disorder. Princess Molly the Messy is deplored by her family: King Clement the Clean, Queen Nellie the Neat, and Prince Thomas the Tidy. Molly's domain is the castle tower, where she keeps the floor comfortably festooned with clothes and the bed is ``lumpy and knobby with half-finished books.'' Her parents are not pleased, but Molly is vindicated when a flood drives the whole family up to her room, where they find dry clothes and leftover food lying everywhere and a cozy bed to share while Molly reads aloud. When the waters recede, she even helps them tidy up downstairs. Without condescension, Tyler presents a child's-eye view of glorious muss in a witty, economical narrative, while--in a fine picture-book debut--Modarressi (Tyler's daughter) details the disarray in angular forms and flat, carefully structured compositions, with expressive, delicately modeled faces adding a subtler dimension to Tyler's message. Good fun. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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