Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book one hundred and fifty-nine

Every since I began reading Roald Dahl's books, I have had a great fondness for Quentin Blake's art. Now I tend to request any book that he has illustrated, including ones that are written by other people. Today's book is a perfect example of how important it is to pair a story text with the skills of the right illustrator. When you have an unusual and even slightly wacky story with colorful characters and odd situations, then Quentin Blake's illustrations are likely to be a good fit. In this book Quentin Blake's art is a perfect fit, bringing John Yoeman's amusing story to life to great effect.

The wild washerwoman
The Wild WasherwomenJohn Yoeman
Illustrated by Quentin Blake
Picture book
For ages 5 to 7
Andersen Press, 2009, 978-0-7613-5152-8
   Far away from here and long ago seven washerwomen lived and worked together. They all worked for the same man, a mean fellow called Mr. Balthazar Tight. Every day Perkin the delivery boy would bring the women a load of laundry in his goat-cart, and every day the seven washerwomen had to iron and wash laundry from dawn ‘til dusk. It was a very hard life, and one day the washerwomen decided that they had had enough. Without any warning they tipped a huge mountain of laundry on top of their boss, and ran off.
   The washerwomen loved their new found freedom so much that they quite simple went wild. In fact, they became quite a nuisance, and villagers were afraid of them. No one was brave enough to try to stop them and everyone wondered if there was anything or anyone who could calm them down.
   In this wonderfully amusing story children will discover that is not wise to push a group of washerwomen to the brink. If you do, there is a good chance that you will live to regret it.
   Throughout the book, Quentin Blake’s amusing illustrations perfectly compliment the text, giving readers an amusing story time experience.

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