It’s Monday, Mrs. Jolly Bones!
Warren Hanson, illus. by Tricia Tusa. S&S/Beach Lane, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4424-1229-3
It’s evident from Mrs. Jolly Bones’s billowing apron, unruly hair, and comfy slippers that she is not a conventional housekeeper. In fact, her views on domestic engineering are rather innovative. Tusa (A Meal of the Stars) draws her with cheerful, quirky lines and gives the drawings touches of soft watercolor. With help from farm animals and some human friends, Mrs. Jolly Bones spends her week cleaning and cooking—then punctuating each achievement with an enthusiastic gesture of anarchy. Hanson’s (The Sea of Sleep) catchy verse depends on a predictable setup and a subversive punch line: “It’s Monday, Mrs. Jolly Bones./ There’s laundry to be done./ So gather up the dirty clothes/ and sort them one by one./ Wash them, dry them, iron them,/ and fold them nice and neat./ Then fling them out the window.../ so they brighten up the street!” On Wednesday she bathes in the toilet bowl; on Friday, she cuts her cake with a power saw. Mrs. Jolly Bones’s life is one of cheerful but determined rule breaking, and readers are guaranteed to laugh out loud at each gag. Ages 2–6. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/21/2013