The Dirty Little Boy

The Dirty Little Boy

5.0 2
by Margaret Wise Brown, Steven Salerno
     
 

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From the author of Goodnight Moon, this is the story of a very dirty little boy who tries to clean himself by imitating the bathing habits of animals. However, what works well for a bird, a pig, or a horse only makes a boy dirtier. In rhythmic prose accented by sly wit, this is an ideal read-aloud, illustrated with charming verve.�First published nearly 45 years ago,…  See more details below

Overview

From the author of Goodnight Moon, this is the story of a very dirty little boy who tries to clean himself by imitating the bathing habits of animals. However, what works well for a bird, a pig, or a horse only makes a boy dirtier. In rhythmic prose accented by sly wit, this is an ideal read-aloud, illustrated with charming verve.�First published nearly 45 years ago, this classic story is now available as a picture book.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This story, first published in Jack and Jill in 1939, feels dated now, despite a glossy treatment by Salerno (Chicken Chuck). The title character, sticky with jam and grit, appeals to his "big round mother" to give him a bath, but she is "so busy scrubbing white clothes" in a silver-gray washtub that she has no time to rinse him. So she tells him to "Run along, and see how the animals take their baths." The boy imitates a red bird splashing in a puddle and a yellow cat licking its paws, but each washing only leaves him dirtier; then his mother chastises him for not learning from the animals how to get clean. Brown's dialogue rings false, as when the child visits a pigpen ("Shoo, little pigs, take a bath so that this dirty little boy can learn how to get clean"). Elsewhere, the author sharply observes practical details, as when the bird shakes its feathers dry ("Whirrr") and the boy tries to currycomb himself, horse-style (the iron brush "just made white lines in the dirt on his leg"). Salerno styles the mother as a curvy giant compared to her petite blond son. The brusque, imposing woman, up to her elbows in suds, recalls the old-world model of motherhood rather than its sleek contemporary counterpart. The boy's experiment has modern relevance, but like Brown's posthumous Love Songs of the Little Bear (reviewed above) this work is not the author's best. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
First published in a 1939 issue of Jack and Jill, this humorous tale is given new life with the colorful and playful illustrations of newcomer Steven Salerno. One day a very dirty little boy asks his harried mother to give him a bath. She dismisses him with the challenge to learn how the animals take a bath. Following the example of a little bird in a puddle, a pig wallowing in mud, a cat licking its fur, and using the dusty bristle horse brushes, he returns home dirtier than ever. One look at her messy little boy softens his mother's heart and she plunks him in a warm, sudsy bath. The simple, amusing story is a showcase for the large, vibrant illustrations that are both humorous and tender. Using high gloss finish on several of the pages adds a texture and tone that is aesthetically pleasing. Small black-and-white corner sketches tell a story of their own. How delightful to have a new Margaret Wise Brown story to add to her impressive list of classics. 2001, Winslow Press, $16.95. Ages 3 to 7. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-This story was first published in Jack and Jill in 1939 under the title "How the Animals Took a Bath." After getting jam, chocolate, and mud all over himself, a little boy asks his "big round mother" to give him a bath. She is busy washing some clothes by hand and tells him to, "Run along, and see how the animals take their baths and that way you'll learn how to get clean." After mimicking a bird diving into a puddle and then rolling in sand, he follows some pigs into a mud pool. Realizing he is really filthy now, he eyes a cat licking itself clean and copies it, but all the dirt from his hand is now on his face. He eventually gives up and returns home much dirtier than when he started out. At first mom scolds, then scoops him up into the soapy washtub and lovingly shows him how a little boy is supposed to get clean. Salerno's vibrant mixed-media art is great fun. The pigs' wallow is made to look so inviting by using alternating matte and shiny finishes that readers will be ready to jump in. The stylized characters contribute to the retro look, and the playful use of line and scale give them a larger-than-life quality. A selection that is bound to make a splash at storyhour.- Wanda Meyers-Hines, Ridgecrest Elementary, Huntsville, AL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Proclaiming "I am one dirty little boy," a lad asks his busy mother for a bath-but she instead sends him off to see how the animals clean themselves. The results may not be quite what Mama had in mind. The first picture-book version of an episode last seen in print over 40 years ago, this has been freshened up with a light editorial massage, and furnished with illustrations that, like Salerno's pictures for Bill Martin's Chicken Chuck (2000) are all exaggerated action and huge, bold, energetic brushstrokes. Getting no good results from splashing in a puddle like a bird, rolling in mud like a pig, trying out a wire brush (horse), or licking his hands to wipe his face (cat), the boy returns home for a sudsy bath, and is last seen bare, dripping, gleaming, and beaming to beat the band. The easy intimacy between tiny child and "big, round"-not to say enormous-mother comes through clearly, as does that distinctly childlike voice that generally marks Brown's prose. Not since Harry the Dirty Dog (1956) has the twin adventure of getting grimy, then scrubbing it all off, been better captured. (Picture book. 4-6)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781890817527
Publisher:
Winslow Press
Publication date:
04/01/2001
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
9.43(w) x 11.96(h) x 0.44(d)
Lexile:
AD690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The bold, overstated, colorful characters will certainly hold your child's attention while reading this book. In fact, it was the illustrator's strokes that made me want to quickly turn each page! I would recommend reading for ages 3-6.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book to read to three and four year olds. They were captivated by the story and loved the bright colors of the illustrations.The book was very well done and we have all enjoyed it. The children ask me to read it everyday!! Great job! I highly recommend that you purchase this book to captivate the imagionation of all young children. Florida Mom