The Messies


Sözcü Newspaper Literary Supplement

August 2016

“The Messy Town can be very far away from where you live, or very near…”



Parents who know their responsibilities are aware that their child should get a very good education. They want their child to study in the best schools with the best programs. However, most of the time these parents who have different frames of mind aren’t satisfied and get what they expect from any institution completely since they have a tendency to choose these programs based on their subjective values. Criticism always leads the way; complaints that start with “Back in our time…” are blended into conversations and the moments of outpour. In such cases a very essential fact sets the agenda: The importance and place of children’s books in child education. Most of the time student, teacher and parent seek refuge in quality books.


With the advances in the last years, I believe that the Turkish children’s literature has become successful. The sensitive approaches of great authors and publishers that take their work seriously have increased the number of children who read. One does not have to be an oracle to know that this favorable development -which is visible in the book fairs-, will improve even further. Happy faces showing the books they have in their hand to the cameras at frequently held book signings and author talks increase every year and will continue to do so. Acquiring good habits at young ages also lowers the risk of picking up bad habits later on. It is because of this that a reading habit is especially important, and certainly a vital factor in shaping an individual’s future.


The reason behind me expressing these thoughts and observations is the latest children’s book I’ve read: The Messies – Dangerous Monkey[1]. Bilgi Publishing presents this book to readers with a quality printing; the book is in hardcover and illustrated. It is exemplary in terms of the value given to children.


Past is forgotten and no lessons are taken from it…


The author, Mavisel Yener, takes the readers to Messy Town penned with a pleasanttone of irony. This is a town where charming characters such as Massivemess,Messalot, Messymess, Messminalive; where a contest of The Messiest Messiesare held, and Messy Law is enforced. This law is rather cute. It’s the voice of ourheart. It does not force people into doing things they don’t want to. Each individualhas a serious, hardworking organized side; but also, a somewhat more“humane” side that lacks seriousness, evades responsibilities and is fond of itscomfort. That “humane” side takes precedence of the residents of Messy Town.They always lose stuff and never spend any time looking for them. This messinessis in fact a social wound. Therefore, the past is forgotten, and no lessons are takenfrom it.


Knickknack Town, where sordid gangs that are trying to wipe the Messies off the face of the earth live, can be far away from where you live, or close by… According to the residents of the Knickknack Town, Messy Town is full of rich underground resources that cannot be left in the hands of the Messies. The aim of the gang is to set the Messies against each other by causing disturbance. The people of Messy Town must become conscious; but how? What can the Messy youth do? It wouldn’t be right for me to tell you what happens. What would be right is for the reader to live the experience alongside the characters, swim in that sea of excitement, and jump from one adventure to another. This book has a lot to say about what would happen to societies that forget their past.


The first book of The Messies series is an important work showing children that they need to question themselves, their environments, and the town they live in, without preaching and in a delicate way.

[1]The first book of The Messiesseries was published in 2015 by Bilgi Publishing. The series consists of the titles. The last book in the series was published in 2017.

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