A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows how being organized, putting things in their place, and getting rid of clutter can give you more room to have fun. The endpapers have a diagram showing a seven-step process of folding a shirt and standing it upright in a drawer.
Tidying can be fun if you make it a sorting game. Sometimes things get in the way of friendship. After you tidy up, you have more room to play. If you have too much stuff and you're having trouble deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, decide based on this: "If it sparks joy in your heart, keep it! And if it doesn't, thank it and let it go!" The most important thing is making room for your friend.
Positive Role Models
Jax is a good friend who helps Kiki out by showing how to be tidy and organized. He misses her when they can't play, so he thoughtfully makes her a scrapbook of their friendship. Kiki is messy, but she's open to learning how to be tidy and organized. She realizes that the most important thing is making room for her best friend, Jax.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kiki & Jax: The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship is by Marie Kondo, author of the adult bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and the Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Here, she tucks her ideas about staying organized into a cheery picture book that shows how too much mess can affect a friendship. Kiki is a squirrel who likes collecting things, and Jax is an owl who likes sorting things. Kiki can't play soccer with Jax because she lost her ball, and can't go swimming with him becaue she can't find her swimsuit in her messy pile of clothes. Eventually, Jax helps Kiki clean up her house and gives her tips on how to keep it organized. The tips include the Kondo motto that guides reducing clutter: "If it sparks joy in your heart, keep it! And if it doesn't, thank it and let it go."
Is It Any Good?
This cheery picture book wraps its pro-tidying message in a sweet friendship tale of two friends whose different approaches to clutter have started to come between them. If your house is so messy that "getting to the front door felt like running an obstacle course" and it's preventing you from having your best friend over, maybe you have a problem. Who knows if Kiki & Jax: The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship will lead to young readers change their messy ways? But young readers will enjoy a gentle story about two friends focusing on what really matters: keeping the things you truly love accessible and spending time with your best friend. And Salina Yoon's bright, appealing, cartoon-like illustrations help drive home the positive messages about friendship and tidiness.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.