Friday, January 31, 2014

PPBF: Laundry Day

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Laundry Day, by Maurie J. Manning
Laundry Day
Written and illustrated by Maurie J. Manning
Clarion, 2012, Fiction, ages 4-8
40 pages

Themes:
Immigrants, Community, Kindness

Opening:
"Shoeshine, mister?
'Scuse me. Shoeshine?"

These opening lines don't appear on the first page. And they certainly don't intrigue the reader like the opening illustrations (You'll have to wait until my copy arrives to see the scans of the first spread. Sorry.)

Synopsis:
A turn-of-the-century shoeshine boy jostles among the city's crowds looking for work. When a red cloth falls from the sky, the boy decides to find its owner. Could it be a blanket? A scarf? An apron? Climbing the fire escapes and laundry lines, he questions everyone he meets. From the Irish triplets to the Rabbi, no one seems to know who the red cloth belongs to. Told in a mix of comic panels, wordless spreads, and dynamic illustrations, this energetic picture book will charm young readers from sunrise to sundown. Showing that no matter where we hail from, we can build a sense of community through kindness and concern for our neighbors.


What I Love:
Everything! Gorgeous. Surprising. Beautifully balanced wordless panels. Kid-pleasing comic style. Lush historical detail. Language fun with a brief dictionary in the back.

Bonus:


Thanks to Mel's Sweet Treats
1. Meet the author / illustrator in this interview from Laura Jacobsen.
2. Here is an imaginative clothesline craft from the Dimenna Children's Museum in NY.
3. There are plenty of  T-shirt cookies cutters available online. I like this one from CakeArt.
4. Lots of crafting going on here where Maurie showcases her illustrated stamps.
5. Build a sense of community by hosting a block party.
6. Learn a new language. Our library offers Mango as a free service.
7. Research an early 20th century childhood through the Library of Congress.
8. Visit your local historical society to find an attraction near you.
9. Celebrate diversity with this and other books for Multicultural Children's Book Day.


Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for January 31, 2014, available on Susanna Leonard Hill's excellent blog.

24 comments:

  1. Cool book, I love the comic style! Now I have to read it to see how it ends.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I hope your library has a copy.

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  2. I wonder how many kids don't know what a clothesline is!

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    1. LOL I guess we'll add that to the list of historical details in the book!

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  3. Wow this looks rich on many levels. I know our neighborhood doesn't allow clotheslines … what a FUN illustration on the cover.

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    1. Discovering the illustrator is what I loved most about this book. I'm on a hunt to find her other books. You really can't have a clothesline? Not very eco-friendly. :( I don't use a dryer except for towels and jeans!

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  4. what fun! I especially love the T-shirt cookies!

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    1. I found a terrific link to GloriousTreats's tie-dye cookies. I didn't think they were appropriate to the historical context of the book, but I'll sneak them in here! http://www.glorioustreats.com/2012/07/tie-dye-shirt-cookies.html

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  5. I love turn of the turn- of- the-century stories. There is so much for kids to learn about immigrants and community. They might not know what a shoeshine boy is. The illustrations look fun. Fun cultural choice.

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    1. This is one of my favorite time periods in books, and picture books in urban settings are in the minority. Thanks for your comments!

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  6. I'd like to add hanging laundry out to the activity list! My son was actually thrilled when he could finally reach the clothesline!

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    1. That is an excellent suggestion! I am sorry I missed it. We line-dry our clothes all year long. Thanks, Julie

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  7. I like that cover! And those cookies! Yum! Fun all around!

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    1. Thanks. I should have included this recipe for dog-appropriate cookies. Enjoy!
      http://allrecipes.com/recipe/dog-treats-i/

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  8. Joanne...wonderful book for Multicultural Children's Book Day...or any day...and it shows a great diversity not often seen in books today. I love the activities as well. :) This is a definite put-this-book-on-hold item.:)

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    1. I know what you mean. I have made a commitment to eliminate 3 books for every new one I bring in the house, but this title was definitely worth the trade!

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  9. Yum, laundry day cookies...That's the best way to do laundry.

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    1. I love the way you think. Thanks, Kristen.

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  10. Your description makes me want to run out right now to find this. Reminds me of stories my dad tells of growing up in the 40s in Chicago.

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    1. I hope you are turning some of his stories into picture books. I look forward to reviewing them here in the future!!

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  11. Very energetic fun story. Love also your t-shirt cookies... yum!

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    1. Thank you for checking the review. I wish I could have included more of the art. This book is so beautifully illustrated.

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  12. This looks and sounds delightful, Joanne! I love the description, and from the little you were able to show I'm left wanting to read this book immediately! I'll have to see if my library has it! Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Susanna. This book shot to the top of my "to buy" list as soon as I opened the cover. You may also want to look for Maurie's book, Kitchen Dance, which garnered several awards and honors.

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Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!