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The Soap Lady Hardcover – July 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions; First Printing edition (July 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891830244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891830242
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 8.8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,513,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Reneé French has been writing and illustrating comic books since 1991. Her drawings have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, The Village Voice, and Salon, and in galleries from New York to Lisbon. Some of her non-drawing interests include: large format photography, volcanology, forensic entomology, and rabbit hypnosis. Her favorite insect is the Rose Weevil. After spending time recently in Tromso, Norway, she now lives quietly in suburban New Jersey with some unspecified organisms.

Customer Reviews

This book is a pleasant surprise.
Blahblahblah
At a hundred and eleven pages, this is not a book I'd like to sit down and try to read to my neice or nephew over and over again.
Skyler
The book had a surreal "feel" to it.
Elisabeth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Elisabeth on August 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I was happy to see that Ms. French now has a children's book available, and was curious to see what it was about. The book had a surreal "feel" to it. It was in no way offensive or horror based,yet not like Disney and Barney(maybe 5-9 years of age would enjoy it best). While "counting bunnies" with my kids....I found that there was MUCH more to be seen in each drawing, as SO typical of French's in depth drawings. From the sheep fireflies, to the "clean" footsteps it was a delight to look for all of the humor in each page. I especially liked the Lost and Found posters. The main character of the Soap lady was not scary to my kids after I explained the real phenomonon to them....and she had a very "motherly" disposition which made her very endearing. The book was complete with a moral lesson of befriending EVERYONE even if they are different, and was good CLEAN reading. As always, Ms. French's drawings were the basis of the story and well worth every penny, beautiful illustrations. Published by Top Shelf Productions Inc. it is one book that does NOT need to be on the top shelf. Leave it out. Let everyone enjoy this delightful picture book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Blahblahblah on August 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is a pleasant surprise. As the works collected in Marbles in My Underpants illustrate, Renee French is very capable of producing stories that wonderfully capture the surrealism of childhood. However, unlike Marbles, this book is far more innocent and avoids her usual themes of sex and death, and manages to be delightful instead of depressing. That is because in this case instead of writing about childhood for an adult audience she has created a book for children that can also be enjoyed by adults.
The Soap Lady is in the format of a hardcover children's book (large illustrations with minimal text) and contains some of her best artwork ever. The blue and white illustrations have a haziness and surrealistic atmosphere to them although they are in her usual cartoony style, but here the art's cuttiness does not have a disturbing undertone to it. The story itself is about a young boy who has the habit of getting himself muddy befriending a woman who is made entirely of soap. They have lots of fun playing together, creating artwork on trees, etc., until they are discovered by some nasty children who report their friendship to the adults (who of course don't want their kids playing with a freak). It has a bitter-sweet yet happy ending unlike most of French's works (which tend to be depressing). Overall, the book is a wonderful examination of friendship and tolerance, and the joys of imagination, not to mention cleanliness, and will have you longing for the days when you felt free to go outside and just roll in the grass.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Renee French, The Soap Lady (Top Shelf, 2001)

Renee French creates small, unassuming, quietly devastating graphic novels that have gotten far less exposure than they deserve. The Soap Lady, a cautionary tale about the hazards of xenophobia, is no different. Drawing inspiration from an exhibit at the Mutter Museum, French tells the story of a lady made of soap (as you might be able to guess from the title) who emerges from the water and befriends a young boy. Unfortunately, the boy's fellow villagers are not as fond of the soap lady as he is, with the expected results, but French doesn't let the narrative drown in despair at any point.

Not that the narrative is the centerpiece of any Renee French release; her drawings command attention. It's possible to spend half an hour or more just staring at a French drawing, finding all the odd little details and appreciating the art for what it is. I am extremely fond of the work of Renee French, and The Soap Lady is just another example of why. ****
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Format: Hardcover
I couldn't believe it when my local comix shop offered me a children's book by Renee French. Her 'Grit Bath' comics made me squirm with delight and disgust but they were by no means children's fare. 'The Soap Lady' is an age-appropriate tale of the cruelty of people to those who are different. My three year old and my ten year old enjoyed it just as much as I did.
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