Title: Laundry Day
Author/Illustrator: Jessixa Bagley
Published: Roaring Brook Press, 2017
Today’s book is another from our massive library haul. It’s about something that adults loathe (laundry), but that kids, oddly, find fun. (At least the part where they jump in piles of clean laundry when you’re trying to sort them on the bed. Or is that just at my house?)
We start by meeting brother badgers Tic and Tac. They are like many kids in the summer: bored. Their patient mom suggests several activities, but the boys have done them all. Then Ma Badger suggests helping her hang up the laundry. After a brief explanation about how it’s done, she sets them to work.
And it turns out Tic and Tac enjoy hanging stuff up! Ma leaves them to it as she sets off for the market. After a short while, the boys realize they’ve hung up everything in the laundry basket. Fortunately, they still have lots of clothespins left, and heaps of twine. So what do they do? Raid the house for odds and ends, tchotchkes, and all sorts of things, of course!
The boys end up hanging every single thing from their house that isn’t nailed down.
Then Ma arrives home.
She takes in the whole scene: the contents of her house, hung from a line that weaves through the yard, from tree to tree. She then notices two things that Tic and Tac forgot to hang up.
On the last page, the boys are hanging from their pants on the line. They wonder if Ma needs help with dinner…
I wasn’t sure what to expect from a book about laundry, but I was pleasantly surprised! There are three things I like about this book:
- The art. It’s really sweet and quaint and sort of old-fashioned. The mom is wearing an apron and a housedress and the little shack they live in reminds me of Appalachia. The little details really make this book (my kids looked for the white bunny on each page).
- The story is silly. My girls immediately saw where the story was going, and they really got into it. They imagined what it would be like if they did something like that (I reminded them that we have a lovely electric dryer that I cherish and adore).
- The ending. OK, so the story is a little bit of a set up for a punch line, but it works. The badgers are mischievous and my girls immediately started discussing what would happen if the badgers ‘helped’ mom with dinner. (The verdict: chaos! Large pots of stew! Sundaes made of everything from the fridge!)
This book is what I’d refer to as ‘nice.’ Your kids aren’t going to bust a gut laughing, they’re not going to learn anything (except maybe that people hang up clothes to dry if they don’t have a dryer), but they are really going to enjoy the story. It’s sweet. If you get a chance, give this one a look.
Mama’s review: 8/10
Vivi’s review: B+ for badgers
Lily’s review: “When’s the dinner one coming out?” (She means “When is the author going to write a book about what happens when the badgers help with dinner? Because she mentioned it, so clearly this is a set up for a sequel.”)