Author: I. C. Springman
Illustrator: Brian Lies
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (2012)
The kind of book you'd want to read to small children if you wanted them to learn the lessons of the life changing magic of tidying up from an early age, this book is a call to a better life through the careful curation and downsizing of ones belongings. Told through the eyes of a hoarder magpie and a rodent friend who helps to get things under control, the book tells the story in the natural world.
The author of the book is a self-proclaimed "small-house person in a McMansion-loving world", and her strong preference for simple living is evident throughout the book. The identification tag attached to the magpie's leg is a sad reminder that he or she is part of a human world and that there is literally no escape from all the stuff, but within that confine we can do certain things to arrange and curate our own belongings to get things under control and free ourselves from the nightmare that is too much stuff.
The last page (spoiler alert) shows the magpie and the mouse flying away with just a few of the most precious items wrapped up in a ribbon. This page to me is where things may get a little bit too didactic. It could be just that I have never known the true joy of being a minimalist, and my half-read copy of Marie Kondo's trending book is probably testament to the fact that I have not learned the lesson that the magpie has learned. I've moved several times and twice internationally - I get that paring down your stuff will set you free, but somehow the magpie and mouse taking flight with two little items wrapped up in a ribbon seems too easy.
Either way - it's probably time to tidy up my place and especially my purple book cart, so this book is probably a call to a better life.