Messy Jessie….This has been in my head for about 2 years and FINALLY I have it on (digital) paper.  Phew!


It doesn’t take a genius to work out where my inspiration has come for this. Yes, her name is Jessie and yes, she is incredibly messy, but we love her all the same!

I always have a reason for writing – that’s what compels me to write in the first place.  Teaching showed me the power of books and now I am just looking to take that power and use it to inspire, influence and create!

So, there are two main reasons behind Messy Jessie.

1. Kids need to know it is ok to get messy and parents need to support this.  While this story is partially based on my daughter, it also captures the best parts of my childhood which I feel have been lost.  Mess and imagination seem to be getting swallowed up in this crazy, fast-moving, hierarchical world.  Kids need to be kids and make those vital connections in their brains through play and exploration.

Here comes the teacher bit :

90%-95% of brain development happens between 0-5 years old.

Take a minute to let that sink in…unbelievable right!?

What I see today in society is children limited in their play.  Boundaries that constrict and contain, with parents being convinced by clever marketing brands and merchandise about what their child needs to learn – often some toy or technology app.  Don’t get me wrong, I am sure all of these have their place – but genuinely, as a trained educator specialising in Early Learning, all they need to space, freedom, time and support through their play.  This is where the imagination develops, grows, makes connections.  This is where they learn perseverance, self-control, risk awareness.  This is where it all happens, and often outdoors where the space to move and create is endless.

Messy Jessie leads the way in this.  Showing young children how the imagination can be used without ay toys/games/technology, and more importantly showing parents that it’s ok.  MESS IS OK.  (Not always, I have scraped bolognese off the ceiling too and not been happy about it) but lets get out kids inspired to use their imagination and lets go with them on that journey.

2. Katie Morag is the best example of this, and the kids LOVE her adventures (as do I and have done since I was 5).  But how many kids live on an Island?  How many kids can still relate to this story?  I believe we need a new character to lead the way in messy play and imagination and I think Messy Jessie is just the girl to do it.

‘Meet Messy Jessie’ is the first of several adventures and fundamentally serves the purpose of setting the scene for her next adventures.

I have been giving illustration a go and unfortunately I think it is time to hold my hands up and pass this to someone who is an illustrator.  I have it in my head but I actually need someone talented enough to bring this to life on paper.  if you are an illustrator and interested in joining me on this educational/inspirational journey then drop me a doodle 🙂

So, here it is…Meet Messy Jessie.

PS yes it is in rhyme – another educational plus 🙂

Meet Messy Jessie

by Corrina Campbell

 In a beautiful town,

On a small quiet street

Lived the messiest Jessie,

You ever did meet.

Her Mother, just lovely,

Would always dress well,

Beautifully presented,

Of perfume she’d smell.

Her Father, so funny,

Making her smile,

In his shirt and red tie,

He had a real ‘Daddy’ style.

And then there was Jessie,

Who would often spend,

Hours upon hours,

With her dog and best friend.

She had eyes like her Dad,

And hair like her Mum,

Which bounced and then bobbled,

When she started to run.

Beginning the day,

She’d always look neat,

Her dungarees on,

And her hair in a pleat.

Waving goodbye,

Heading out for the day,

With her dog, her best friend

Leading the way.

Not far from her home,
At the end of her street,

The mud monster was lurking,

(That’s where they would meet!)

Dipping and diving,

And splashing around,

Till the monster disappeared,

Deep into the ground.

Surrounded by puddles,

That could swallow her whole,

(Even the dog had to have a good roll!)

Into the forest,

She didn’t need bricks,

To build a small den,

Made entirely of sticks.

Dotting and darting,

Through tree after tree,

Looking for Dragrons,

To invite round for tea.

Trees became castles,

Which she would then climb,

And right at the top,

Is where she’d spend her time.

Watching for pirates,

Approaching the shore,

Then leaving the trees,

And off to explore.

Stopping for ice cream,

And like alien goo,

All over her face,

And smart trousers too.

Under a hedge,

And now playing the spy,

Watching and noting,

Just who passes by.

Then taking a stick,

And casting a spell,

Becoming a hero,

With side kick as well.

Flying around,

On the back of a broom,

Dog becomes cat,

And off they both zoom!

Back down to Earth,

It was then time to try,

To cook and to bake,

A delicious mud pie.

Some leaves and a twig,

Some stones for good measure,

But there in the mud,

She found buried treasure.

Left by a pirate?

A witch or a gnome?

And taking her treasure,
She made her way home.

Tip toeing in,

Avoiding her Mum,

“Oh Jessie, Dear Jessie,

Oh what have you done?!”

Looking quite sheepish

What could she say?

“She won’t understand

What we did today.”

“Now let me see,

What’s happened to you,

You are covered in mud,

And alien’s goo!

If you met the Mud Monster

Then please say ‘hello!’

It’s been a long time

But we’re good friends y’know.

Please tell him your plans,

So that, just in case,

A puddle swallows you up,

And leaves not a trace.

Her Dad then chips in,

“Any pirates at sea?

“I once found their treasure,

Hidden under a tree.”

It was just a gold coin

But I used it to buy

The most delicious ice cream

I ever did try.”

“Just watch for that dragon

He lives in the wood

He’s usually quite friendly

But I think you’d taste good.”

And smiling together,

It was like they both knew,

That although she was messy,

She’d had great fun too.

“Now go and get changed,

And get yourself clean,

For tonight’s special Dinner,

Is Mud Pie Supreme.”