CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Krumins, Anita.

Illustrated by Carlos Freire. Toronto, Three Trees Press, c1985. unpaged, paper, ISBN 0-88823-097-4 (cloth) $11.95, 0-88823-098-2 (paper) $4.95.CIP

Grades 2-4
Reviewed by Patricia Fry

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

A family teaches a robot one very bad habit, and, in turn, learns from it one very good habit that solves everyone's problem in this delightful book for youngsters. Who's Going to Clean Up the Mess? is aimed at children, but will undoubtedly appeal to their parents, or anyone else who gets stuck too often with too much of the housework.

Everyone in the Gunger family is very busy and so they never have time to clean up the house. Furthermore, they all agree that "cleaning up is boring." Grandma is clearly disturbed by the mess whenever she visits, but she seems doomed to frustration as all hired cleaning help quit before ever starting. And then Mrs. Gunger, an electronics expert, brings home her new invention: Tobor, the house-cleaning robot. Everything is fine until Tobor decides that it too has more interesting things to do than housework. You see this robot was designed to learn in order to adjust to the needs of its family. And what it has learned from the Gungers is that housework is despised, but being selfish they accept it from others. The family members, in an attempt to re program the robot, decide to each take care of personal mess only, thereby still leaving time to do more interesting things. Inevitably, doing a personal share becomes acceptable to everyone, even the robot. It is a simple message, but one that will strike a chord in many homes.

The tri-colour illustrations, which are on each page, are excellent, in that the faces are detailed and very expressive of the emotions of each family member. Krumins has written three other children's books. This is one that seven, eight and nine-year-olds will enjoy reading and they are also a group who can, by and large, benefit from its message.

Patricia Fry, Toronto, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works