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Smelling Sunshine Paperback – October 25, 2013
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From School Library Journal
PreS-K—All around the world on washing day, parents and children are hanging clean laundry out to dry. Though some of the adults pictured seem androgynous, only mothers are mentioned. While Anderson's lyrical text may appeal to dreamy youngsters, some of the verbal imagery may be too abstract for a young audience. Mixed-media folk-art illustrations depict various cultures without resorting to stereotypes. The details and bright colors shine in the full-bleed spreads, making the contrast between recto and verso illustrations on the other pages feel jarring. Libraries in areas in which this sort of wash day is a common experience may consider this as an additional purchase.—Rebecca Dash Donsky, New York Public Library --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Anderson elevates and celebrates the mundane, emphasizing the special moments that occur between parent and child during the ordinary task of laundry. Her lyrical text focuses on the sensory aspects of line-dried clothing: “On washing day, / I get my laundry ready / for the warm air, / sweet and spicy.” Birds laugh and insects float by, children play hide-and-seek in the hanging clothes, and bright sunshine finishes the job. Then it’s home to sort, fold, and stack, and finally off to bed with sheets that smell of sunshine. The brightly colored mixed-media illustrations depict a variety of families, cultures, and distinctive fabric patterns. No Laundromats or labor-saving devices are depicted, but everyone seems to be having a good time, including those who are outside, washing in a stream. For better or worse, the text specifically addresses “Mommy and me,” but several illustrations depict short-haired individuals dressed ambiguously in pants. A unique way to look at a common task through a global lens. Preschool-Grade 1. --Kay Weisman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
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The multicultural aspect of the story renders a cozy sense of ecological connection with all who still hang the laundry on a line. Constance Anderson's inspirational book takes the art of collage to a new level. Every page is a work of art. I recommend it to all readers who appreciate art, poetry, and culture.
I'm looking forward to another book by Constance Anderson.
crosses cultural boundaries in a poetic and imaginative
style. The simple theme-hanging up laundry-conjures up
images of the joys of simple things.
[Note: This review originally appeared on my blog, Cozy Little Book Journal, in November 2013.]
The author states: Smelling Sunshine is a story that creates a path through various cultures by describing one world doing an ordinary chore of hanging laundry that becomes extraordinary in its personal nighttime comfort.
The large-format 8x10 inch pages, show off the lovely illustrations perfectly. The text is simple, and non-rhyming, with poetical touches. Only wish there was a man in there hanging the wash, too.
Read the full review at Italophile Book Reviews