Messie Nessie! The Loch Mess Monster by Helen Lester
IN FARAWAY SCOTLAND THERE WAS A FAMOUS LAKE CALLED LOCH NESS.
AND LEGEND HAD IT THAT DEEP IN THIS LAKE LIVED A MONSTER.
BUT GUESS WHAT? THE LEGEND WAS FALSE.
IN TRUTH, WAY, WAY DOWN AT THE BOTTOM OF LOCH NESS, THERE LIVED NOT ONE. . .
BUT THREE MONSTERS!
The three were Nessie, her husband Fergus, and their baby, wee laddie Angus.
Now most babies are messy. They drop Cheerios one by one from their high chairs. They spill their sippy cups, and the worst of them even flip gooey green peas onto the wall.
But as long as Angus ate in his high chair, he was pretty good. He sweetly observed the BASIC MONSTER RULES: He didn't behave in a monstrous manner; he didn't eat with his thumbs; he said "Excuse me!" when he burped. There were two more rules--Always pick up after yourself and Never EVER go up to the surface of the lake--but being a baby, Angus didn't have to bother with those.
But when Angus becomes a terrible two, toddling around, leaving fishy lochweed on the floor and dropping his puggy-nit (peanut) shells all about, scattering grottie laundry everywhere, his parents have to stage an intervention.
They order him to stay in his room until he learns to keep the rule about picking up after himself.
Angus doesn't mind. He has plenty of toys and Mama Nessie brings milk and tatties-in-a-can to his door daily. And he is free to ignore the rules, and ignore them he does. Soon his floor is so full of mess that he has to start to throw his mess on his bed.
But the pile unpicked up things grows from a molehill to a mountain of mess. Angus has to scale it each night just to sleep.
Books and toys, rock collection
Slimy lochweed, ewwww!
Fishy dolls, tattie cans,Hummie-doddies, too.
Grottie laundry, puggy-nits,Spoon and skirpy cup--
UP AND UP AND UP!
And then, one evening, when Angus scales his Mess Mountain, his head pops up, above the surface of the loch.
Angus realizes that he is breaking Rule #1, but he can't help noticing that he is being watched from the cliffs above by three curious figures equipped with telescopes, binoculars, and camera, eager for a sighting of the Loch Ness Monster.
"WHAT A MESS!
IT'S NAE THE LOCH NESS MONSTER! IT'S THE LOCH MESS MONSTER!"
To Angus the three (a loon, a goat, and a cow) are land monsters! One has two sharp spikes on his head, and the big one makes a monstrous MOOOOING noise.
Time to moooooooooove! Suddenly Sloppy Angus wanted to clean up!
Scared straight, Angus begins to straighten up his room, and after a bit of a learning curve, he dis-assembles his mountain of mess, organizing, putting away, recycling, and washing up his grottie dishes and duds. All is well that ends well down at the bottom of the loch, in Helen Lester's latest, The Loch Mess Monster (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014).
In the trademark style of her popular Tacky the Penguin series and her beloved Wodney Wat books, this new one again has the help of noted artist Lynn Munsinger's familiar expressive and comic ink and watercolor illustrations, alternating between spot art set against bright white and full-bleed pages which pace this story perfectly. Lester even includes a wee glossary of Scottish words to help sort out the fun. Another winner from the peerless pair, Lester and Munsinger, with a nice little cautionary message about keeping your mess under control.
For little listener-readers unfamiliar with the legends of Loch Ness, pair this one with Richard Brassey's simple non-fiction book, Nessie the Loch Ness Monster.