The Mess

A Children's Book by Alicia Smith

Children may need motivation and assistance from adults when they are asked to clean their spaces. During this time, adults may need to consider stepping out of their comfort zone and using their imagination to create fun and engaging ways that will encourage children to clean up. This is a short story about kangaroos who experience the importance of cleaning their mess to find something that is special to them. 


About the Author
Alicia Smith

My name is Alicia. I'm from the Bay Area of California and I have been teaching for 10 plus years. As I observed and interacted with children, I realized how important literature is, how it affects their growth process, and why it's a helpful learning experience. I believe there are long term benefits when children are exposed to literature consistently.


From my personal observation, I learned that reading can boost a child’s imagination, it promotes a range of literacy skills, and improves cognitive/language development. I believe those are all great qualities that children use to create a fulfilling future for themselves. Furthermore, my book encourages teamwork, responsibility, and playing a fun clean up game. I hope that you enjoy the engaging story.

Kind Words & Reviews

My toddler loves it!

Great story about the value of cleanliness. Beautiful illustrations, the kangaroos are so cute! Children and adults will enjoy. Pictures and story is very memorable. My two year old loves it.

 - Serene 6/26/21

Children will love this story!

The illustrations are beautiful and the story will be enjoyed by kids and parents.

 - Kate Schmidt 6/24/21

Good Reads!!

This book is great to teach kids about cleaning and picking up. Good illustrations.

 - Sharon La Rosa 7/3/21


What an adorable book with a beautiful message that young readers of all ages could gain from.
- Laura Deppe 7/4/21

About the Illustrator
Olivia Smith Hancook

Hello, my name is Olivia Smith Hancock. I am a graphic designer and illustrator. I started painting because I enjoy creating art. I had my favorite cartoons and video games growing up and I wanted to create my own images. I had the desire to show more positive images of dark skin people and I use my artistic and creative expression to do so.


My favorite mediums to use are watercolor and digital paint. My inspirations are nature, fantasy, beauty and reality. My desires are for others to enjoy and appreciate my work as I want to inspire and motivate others.  

2014, I graduated from California State University East Bay with a Bachelor's degree in graphic design. My long term goals are to have an art and animation production studio in the future.


Creating the illustrations for "The Mess" I had a fun and engaging experience. Alicia gave me the description for the story and pages. I loved the idea of using kangaroos to teach a lesson. 

To learn more about me, please visit:


Reading time outside.


The smile you give
after you read the book.

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