A Favorite Book from Childhood

It has eluded me for a long time but I finally found it through the power of google. One of my favorite picture books from childhood was about a girl who had a messy room. For years I couldn't remember the name but I found it yesterday after googling "children's book, girl, messy room." And ta dah.... it's called The Big Tidy-Up by Norah Smaridge, illustrated by Les Gray.

I remember loving this book so much and wearing out my copy which I lost a long time ago. Yesterday, I was browsing Amazon for books for my kids and this book came to mind. I'm glad I found it however it's now out of print and second hand copies range in price from 50 to 400 US dollars. Imagine that! I also found out there's a boy's version by the same author but with a different illustrator but I couldn't find images of the inside of the book.

Here's an excerpt from Amazon:

JENNIFER KNEW, AS well as you
That everything has its place,
But she just didn’t care a whit, a bit,
So her room was a real disgrace!

Jennifer's room was a mess! "Her shoe was askew on the windowsill. Her scarf was under the bed. Her beautiful box-to-keep-ribbons-in was full of old junk instead." When Jennifer's mother peeks in the room, she is shocked. "You must like to live in this mess, I guess," she said and told Jennifer that she would not touch the room with a mop and broom from now until Christmas Day. And she hung a sign on Jennifer's door that said KEEP OUT! At first Jennifer had a lovely time. She left things wherever they fell. She kept pie under her pillow. And little by little the room grew into a fusty, dusty, musty mess. Jennifer could not find socks that matched. Not one of her shirts was clean. And her hairbrush was gone so her unbrushed hair stuck out all over head. Poor Jennifer. What should she do? Run away? Or work and work for most of the day until her room was as neat as a pin and she could hang up a sign that said COME IN?

Have you heard of The Big Tidy-Up? And what are your favorite books from childhood? I'd love to hear them so leave a comment below. Cheers!


  1. I've not read this book, nor heard of it until your post, but as everyone knows: "A clean job site is a happy job site!" Sounds like something to read my class at the beginning of the year!

  2. Oh :*) I was doing a bit of blog hopping and I found this post of yours and I'm so glad that I did!

    I LOVED this book when I was a kid. My name is Jennifer and I thought it was written just for me! The copy I had was at my Grandma's house. I can remember the drawer it was kept in :)

    Thanks so much for the memories.

  3. I have been looking everywhere for this book! I couldn't remember the title, just the pictures. I loved this book and was my favorite from my childhood. Thank you for the memories! I'm disappointed I can't just pick up a new copy, oh well. The image that sticks in my mind is she's so messy a sucker is stuck on her. This was definitely me as a child, that's why I loved it so much. Thanks!


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