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  • 2015 Wanda Gág Read Aloud Honor Book 

    A Perfectly Messed-Up Story written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell, and published by Little, Brown and Company, 2014.

    Sometimes stories don’t work out as planned; in fact, they can get a little messy. In this book you’ll meet Louie, a simply-drawn protagonist who just wants to share his straightforward story with the world. All Louie desires is to tell the reader a happy little tale that is clean and clear of blemishes or distractions to the reader. Unfortunately for poor Louie, more messes and mishaps find him with each page turn. 

    This tale captivated listeners (ages 5 through 8) as Louie broke from his world inside the book to address the reader directly. Louie desperately tries to prevent the messes that spilled, plopped, and stained his quaint, tidy storybook world. The dramatic and unfortunate stains and Louie’s frustration involved children in the story.  Listeners were captivated by the realistic smudges of jelly and peanut butter on the pages of the book. The clever and simple illustrations were enjoyed by readers and prompted them to lean in for a closer look at the book.

    Patrick McDonnell is the creator of the comic strip, Mutts ( and has written and illustrated a number of children’s books including: The Gift of Nothing, The Monsters’ Monster, and Me...Jane, a Caldecott honor book. McDonnell is a New York Times bestselling author and resides in New Jersey. (SARA WATSON CURRY)