The Pocket Chaotic

The Pocket Chaotic

By Author / Illustrator

Ziggy Hanaor, Daniel Gray-Barnett


Picture Books

Age range(s)



Cicada Books Limited








A young kangaroo called Alexander lives in his mum, Nancy's pocket. Alexander loves his mum, but there's one thing she does that really drives him nuts. She is always putting stuff in her pocket. Alexander tries to keep things neat, but the more he tidies, the more stuff she shoves in there. When he complains, his sister calls him a baby - it's time to leave the pouch anyway. But Alexander loves it in there - it's warm and cosy and smells of mum.

Then one day, it gets really bad. Twelve bobby pins, a tube of toothpaste, a bottle of water, a packet of chewing gum, two bus tickets, some keys, a toy car and a cookbook all find their way into Nancy's pouch. And that's just for starters. Finally Alexander's had enough. 'I can't take it any more!' he shouts. 'I'm moving out!' So Alexander moves into the room next to his sister's. They make it all cosy, with a furry blanket and shelves for all his stuff. So it's just like his mum's pouch. Almost. The penultimate spread is Alexander sleeping with all his stuff strewn around him. The final spread is Nancy clearing out her pocket with a wink. It was time for Alexander to go.

This is a heartwarming tale about a connection between a son and mother and a journey towards independence, beautifully brought to life.



This is a charming book about a joey, Alexander, that lives in his Mum's pocket. Unfortunately for Joey, his mum Nancy, is not a very tidy kangaroo and his cosy, reassuring pouch is very chaotic! After trying to organise the pouch buy alphabetising it, Alexander decides enough is enough and he must move into his own room.

With themes of growing up and independence, even though this story is about Kangaroos, I think there are many aspects of the story that adults and children will connect with - I've definitely got pockets full of kirby grips and can sympathise with a messy mum!

The illustrations are bright, clear and convey the meaning of the text really well. The story is entertaining, well written and just generally very enjoyable!

In school or childcare settings, this is a good book for talking about growing up and how things change. The attitude of Alexander's big sister Elly towards him, would be a great tool in PSHE for talking about how we can be kinder to younger children/siblings too.

This book would make a lovely gift too!

Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Lizi Backhouse, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 5+


Other titles