1.13.2013

Neighborly City: Laundry Day

Title: Laundry Day
Author/Illustrator: Maurie J. Manning
32 Pages
Publisher: Clarion Books (HMH)
Publ. Date: April, 17, 2012

Laundry Day is going on my list of favorite new urban picture books. Set in early 20th century New York City, a length of red fabric floats down and lands on young shoeshine boy. He looks up to see miles of laundry lines criss-crossing the tenement-lined alleyway. Determined to find the owner of the vibrant cloth, he hoists himself up on the fire escape. Making his way from apartment to apartment he encounters the friendly inhabitants from various cultural backgrounds, including a Chinese grandmother, four young Polish girls, a harried Irish mother, an African-American prospector, and others. Each neighbor expresses their admiration for the fabric, using a cultural reference (and new foreign word) but it is not until he reaches the roof, that the shoeshine finds its owner.

Although the action of Laundry Day takes place in a single, rather confined location, author-illustrator, Manning, has marvelously created an uplifting portrait of a diverse and densely populated city. It looks like a lovely place to live -- interesting neighbors, different cultures and friendly faces. Manning illustrates the books using a multi-panel (or storyboard) layout which both enhances the feeling of close-knit living as well as nicely accents the shoeshine as he adeptly climbs railings, slides and tightrope-walks across clotheslines and shimmies up pipes. In this book, the city is indeed a fun place to be.

Laundry Day is an excellent choice for your next family story time, whether you're an urban-dweller or not. I highly recommend it.

Little Kid says: He climbed to the top!
Big Kid says: That looks a little dangerous.


Want More?
Visit Maurie J. Manning's website.
Reviews at Perogies & GyozaBookalicious and Waking Brain Cells.

14 comments:

Sylvia Liu said...

I just saw this book on someone else's list of favorite picture books from last year, so I'll definitely check it out. Glad I found your blog through the Mother Reader comment challenge.

Even in Australia said...

I liked it but my 5yo pronounced it "boring."

Pat Zietlow Miller said...

You're the second blogger I've seen mention LAUNDRY DAY. And I hadn't heard of it before. Off to add it to my ever-growing to-be-read list. Thanks for sharing!

DianeRChen Kelly said...

Thanks to the Comment Challenge, I found this blog and your recommendation. I'd like to add this to my unit when I do Everybody Eats Rice, Everybody Bakes Bread, etc. Great cultural references.

Playing by the book said...

Sounds like a lovely book (from someone who loves hanging laundry on the line - one of my favourite household jobs!)

Debra said...

This is a cool book. I have two young cousins who haven't seen much outside of Idaho, and this book (and your blog) offer some really great ways for them to start exploring.

Joanna said...

This was one of my favorite CYBILS nominations this year. I felt it reminded me of a Happy Oliver Twist!

mary kinser said...

Glad to see someone else was a fan of this title - my guy was a little young for it this year but I'm holding on to it for when he gets a little older.

MotherReader said...

Thanks for the reminder - and recommendation - for this book. I've seen it mentioned before, but forgot to seek it out. Now it's on my list!

Perogyo said...

I loved this book so much I added it to my favourite picture books of 2012 list. I especially love the diversity. I'm glad you enjoyed it too (and I agree with Big Kid).

Michelle Cusolito said...

I'm glad I found you through the comment challenge. And thanks for this recommendation. I just reserved it from my library.

Cassondra @ Beyond the Cover said...

This looks like a really cute book! Thank you for sharing and linking up with the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

Renee C. said...

I've seen this book mentioned before as well. I love how the underlying theme of the book is to depict the cultural diversity of a city. It sounds like it is so well done. It's going on my want-to-read shelf on Goodreads.

Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

Kian Bruce said...

I read this book when I was at a washer repair service to get my washing machine fixed. How fitting it is. The picture book was entertaining that when I finished reading it, the repair was done.

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