cover image Laundry Day

Laundry Day

Jessixa Bagley. Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62672-317-7

Tic and Tac are badgers, brothers, and bored: the title page is littered with the activities and toys they’ve exhausted. Ma Badger corrals the boys into helping hang the family’s laundry on a clothesline, leaving them to finish while she runs an errand. This mundane task proves so much fun that, in short order, the brothers improvise a clothesline that zigzags through their yard, hanging “everything they could find that wasn’t nailed down” on it: clothes, bedding, kitchen utensils, an alarm clock, a bunch of carrots, a checkerboard, a fishbowl, and much more. Ma Badger delivers the punch line for this effervescent comedy sketch, translating “as you sow, so shall you reap” into a fitting punishment. Bagley, who dealt with more somber themes in Boats for Papa and Before I Leave, uses her tidy, detailed rendering style to great comic effect. She stages much of the action along a single plane, letting readers savor the improbable “wash” as it adds up, then pulls back for a birds-eye view so they can admire the full extent of the brothers’ mischievous domesticity. Ages 3–6. Agent: Alexandra Penfold, Upstart Crow Literary. (Feb.)