Book Review: Little Troublemaker Makes a Mess by Luvvie Ajayi Jones

Posted May 26, 2023 by meezcarrie in children, Luvvie Ajayi Jones / 1 Comment

Joey Spiotto

GENRE: Children’s Picture Book
PUBLISHER: Philomel Books
RELEASE DATE: May 2, 2023

A story about a little troublemaker with a big heart from the New York Times bestselling author and noted speaker Luvvie Ajayi Jones


Little Luvvie loves her mom. She loves her sister. And she loves doing nice things for other people.

But what happens when doing something nice means breaking some rules? Little Luvvie is about to find out.

Written by the New York Times bestselling author Luvvie Ajayi Jones with bright, bold art by Joey Spiotto, this funny, sweet story about a bighearted girl with the best of intentions is sure to become a family favorite.


Little Luvvie might make a mess in this debut picture book from Luvvie Ajayi Jones, but she’s sure adorable doing so! A little troublemaker, perhaps, but a little sweetheart too. I immediately fell in love with this character, thanks in large part to the illustrations but also because of the endearing tale that the author is telling.

Little Luvvie has a big heart and just wants to help her mom by fixing dinner… well, ok she may have some selfish motives too. Namely, she wants jollof rice and since her mom has been too busy to make any, Little Luvvie decides she will fix it for all three of them. Big sister Kami is supposed to be watching her but she has homework to do and tells Luvvie it’s too many steps and to go read a book instead. Except that Luvvie really wants jollof rice! As you might expect, shenanigans ensue – to the delight of readers of any age. I laughed more than once as I read through my copy, and I just wanted to pick Luvvie up and hug her. After she’s not covered in evidence of her cooking attempt, of course lol.

I loved how typical the big sister was (speaking as one myself) and how the mom handles the whole thing when she gets home. I loved the nods to the author’s Nigerian heritage and her own childhood experiences, and I loved how much the individual family members affirm each other, in spite of mistakes made. Additionally, the illustrations are absolutely perfect for this story. Vibrant and colorful, they enhance the text with little extras (my fave thing to see in picture book illustrations) and just generally leave readers smiling at the adorableness.

Bottom Line: Little Troublemaker Makes a Mess by Luvvie Ajayi Jones is super cute, lots of fun, and very sweet. Joey Spiotto’s illustrations add even more cuteness, fun, and sweetness to what’s already found in the text, and the combination of both delivers a picture book that’s sure to please children and adults alike. This belongs on shelves alongside classics like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and the Ramona Quimby books, and in fact reminded me of each of those as I read. A mention of ‘good trouble’ can also lead to some valuable discussions between adult and child on using our unique personalities to make a difference in the world.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!

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Luvvie Ajayi Jones is a lifelong troublemaker who is now a writer, speaker, and podcast host. She’s written four books (counting this one). Luvvie spends her time trying to figure out how to make the world better using her superpowers: her words and her side-eye. Her favorite color is red, her favorite food is jollof rice, and she loves spending her time laughing with her family and adding to her big shoe collection. You can visit her online at or follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok @Luvvie.

Joey Spiotto is the author and illustrator of the graphic novel series Grumpy Unicorn as well as the books Alien Next Door and Firefly: Back from the Black. Joey has worked with Lucasfilm/Disney, Marvel Studios, Warner Bros., and more. Before making books, Joey was a concept artist in the film and video game industry. He lives just outside of Los Angeles with his wife and two little troublemakers. You can visit him online at or follow him on Instagram @Jo3bot and on Twitter @JoeySpiotto.

What about you? What makes you want to read Little Troublemaker Makes a Mess by Luvvie Ajayi Jones (illustrated by Joey Spiotto) with a little one in your life?

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One response to “Book Review: Little Troublemaker Makes a Mess by Luvvie Ajayi Jones

  1. Micaela Bracamonte

    Do you happen to still have the complementary copy “Little Troublemaker Makes a Mess”? I’m trying to start my own review of books about kids of color called “Fearless.” I’m too small at this point for a publishing company to give me free copies. Do you happen to be willing to part with yours of this book, if you still have it?

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