Neat Kid: Sloppy Joe by Dave Keane
Mom says I'm the first kid in history to take a school picture with gum stuck in his hair.
You can barely notice.
Dave doesn't have a problem with his messiness, Aside from a grilled cheese sandwich which went missing last summer, he knows exactly where everything in his room is, right? But that's not the way his family feels about his sloppy style.
When you're sloppy, people are always telling you what to do.
"Tie your shoes!
Clean out your nose!
Comb your hair!
Pull up your pants!
And it's not just his personal appearance that annoys the family. He slurps, talks with his mouth full, and his Grammy automatically spreads newspapers around his seat when he eats dinner at their house. In fact, his sloppiness even gets on his own nerves sometimes.
"Like when my friend's mom doesn't let me come in the house. "Just wait here. I'll send Jimmy out," she says.
But when everyone in the family gets the flu except Joe (apparently he's used to germs), it's Joe who pitches in to make them snacks, fetch and carry, and try to keep the household running.
"I tell them not to panic," he says. "This is a job for neat Joe."
Although the kitchen does look a bit rough when Grammy arrives to help out (socks in the icecube trays, for example), everyone agrees that Sloppy Joe has come through with flying colors. "Sloppy Joe's a very special kid," Mom and Dad agree, not yet a tidy kid, but still a really neat kid.
Denise Brunkus, famous for her exuberant illustrations for the best-selling Junie B. Jones series, showcases her considerable talents in Dave Keane's Sloppy Joe with the opportunity for full-color, full-page illustrations which make Sloppy Joe a memorable, tousled little boy in all his messy glory.