Llama Llama Mess, Mess, Mess

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Llama Llama Mess, Mess, Mess Book Poster Image
Llama gets a fun lesson in keeping things tidy at home.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows the beneift of keeping a clean home and tidying up after yourself, including having clean clothes, towels, dishes, pots, and pans to use and having more floor space to play. Introduces some sophisticated vocabulary: clutter, chaoes, distress, disarray.

Positive Messages

Life's better when you keep a clean house. Even little ones  can help keep the place clean and tidy. You have more space to play if you put toys and mess away. "Each thing has its special spot."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mama finds a funny way to help Llama Llama imagine what life would be like if Mama stopped cleaning. He gets the point and changes his messy ways and helps her tidy up. They share a fun activity after they're done cleaning up; she gives him a warm hug and is proud of him. 

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

the late Parents need to know that Llama Llama Mess, Mess, Mess is credited to Llama Lama series creator Anna Dewdney and her partner Reed Duncan, who's carrying on the popular Llama Llama picture book series. This one captures the spirit and rhyming style of the original stories, and illustrator JT Morrow captures the look. Like the others, it comes with a handy lesson -- this one about cleaning up after yourself. It's a fun read for prechoolers who might need some gentle prodding in that regard. 

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What's the story?

In LLAMA LLAMA MESS, MESS, MESS, it's cleaning day but Llama Llama just wants to keep playing. Mama wants him to make his bed and put his toys and books away. To get him to see why it's important to clean up she akss, "What if Mama never cleaned?/ Imagine that!/ What would that mean?" Then we see her take clean clothes out of the dryer and toss them in the air, stop doing laundry and leave dirty towels on the floor, leave pots and pans in the sink, and throw empty snack bags around the living room. It's so messy Llama Llama cant even see the floor. He gets her point and picks up his toys and blocks and puts them in the toy box, puts his books back on the shelf, and helps Mama make his bed. Now there's "Lots of space to play with Mama!"

Is it any good?

This lively lesson uses the extreme example of a mom who quits her cleaning duties to show her child what would happen if she let things stay messy. Llama Llama Mess, Mess, Mess uses the familiar rhythm and rhyme of the series, it's clever and silly as it imagines the resulting "clutter, chaos, and distress." It's cute and not too heavy-handed, showing kids the many benefits of tidying up -- including having more space to play.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the need to clean up as shown in Llama Llama Mess, Mess, Mess. Why is keeping things tidy imprtant? What would your house look like if your mom, dad, or caregiver never cleaned up? 

  • Who's the messiest person in your home? Who's the tidiest? 

  • What can you do to help keep your play area tidy? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and animal stories

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