How to Clean Your Room in 10 Easy Steps

by Jennifer LaRue Huget, Illustrations by Edward Koren

Schwartz & Wade, May 11, 201.
Hardcover, 40 pages.
ISBN: 0375844104
Ages 4-8

How to Clean Your Room in 10 Easy Steps by Jennifer LaRue Huget

Few among us actually enjoy any clean-up or organizing task, so it is with relief that we read a book that stands up to the burdensome demands of those who constantly defend doing what one must, that is parents, teachers, and other authority figures who sometimes take the joy out of daily existence.

On the first page we are welcomed to an orderly, tidy room by a charming and friendly girl. Then ,upon turning the page, the reader is confronted with a horrifying mess that must have taken a great deal of time to accumulate. The charm -- or horror -- is in the details. The room with which we are confronted is nightmarish in its turmoil. Turn the page for relief and we confront the first rule "Always wait until your mother hollers 'Get up there and clean your room -- 'now!' using all three of your names." After rule two one begins to see where the story is going. This girl is going to guide the reader along the path of hilarious rebellion. Being devious while appearing compliant is probably not too bad a life skill to acquire. After all it's a great deal of fun, and no one has actually lost an inner self . This will be very useful as long as one has to deal with those who have more power. Unless, of course, one can derive some instruction from doing the opposite of rules one through ten. Children will certainly enjoy this tale of quiet rebellion, but adults will find it especially hilarious.

If you feel that you have met the characters in this story before, you are right. Edward Koren has shown us life's absurdities for years through his cartoons for the New Yorker. Enjoy every humorous detail in each crowded page. Finding nuggets of enjoyment in one's overwhelming environment, he shows us, can bring happiness, contentment and approbation from the establishment made up of family and others who feel that they are in control.

-- Sarah Reaves White

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