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What's With This Room?    by Tom Lichtenheld order for
What's With This Room?
by Tom Lichtenheld
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I loved Tom Lichtenheld's What Are YOU So Grumpy About? and he applies the same riotous, realistic humor, strong, edgy illustrations, and inside front and back cover tips (e.g. 'Most toys need help getting in' pointing to a box) to What's With This Room?

What is it with kids and messy rooms? My sons' abodes have required an annual archeological dig all through their childhood to keep the chaos in some sort of control (great minds must think alike because this picture book shows just such a dig - from Kindergarten to Third Grade!) Lichtenheld - who opens his book with 'Look at this room, / it's in such distress, / you'd have to clean up / just to call it a mess' - clearly has a handle on the issue. His rhymes made me chuckle, especially, 'You used to think monsters hid under your bed, / now we think so too, but it smells like they're dead.'

This hilarious picture book continues with exchanges in verse between parents and child - the latter naturally has a very different take on the situation. He explains in detail how 'The muck and the mess / and the clothes that are cruddy, / they all play a part / in my homework and study', and he goes on to present experiments to his parents; the last is 'really a blast'.

Messy family members of all ages will laugh out loud at What's With This Room? Some might even be inspired to tidy up. Above all, the picture book will convince many parents to lighten up a little, by showing them how much worse that messy room could be!

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