Raggly, Scraggly, No-Soap, No-Scrub Girl

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Porfirio, Guy (illustrator) New York, NY, U.S.A. 1995 Hard Cover Ex-library/stated first Edition Good/Good 0688110614 Ex-Library (B1611-2)

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
"Each day (the dust) came looking for us children and each day it found us." There are lots of raggly scraggly children in this intriguing picture book. One in particular breezes into the family's lives and leaves them forever altered. Then there's Mother, with a will of her own, which she imposes on her unruly offspring with a vengeance, especially when it comes to baths. But even Mother is baffled by the true protagonist of this tale, the "raggly scraggly no-soap no-scrub girl...come to gobble up your food and grease up your plates." Any more and I'd give the plot away. The imagery is tight and beautiful. And that raven makes you wonder: who is she anyway? Children will almost certainly have a stab at saying the title, really-really-fast, three-times-in-a-row.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3One dusty summer, a large family gets a visit from the Raggly Scraggly No-Soap No-Scrub Girl. Mother likes clean children, but she's also polite, so she invites the stranger in. The girl proceeds to gobble up most of the food, gets blackberry cobbler dropped on her lap by her raven friend, dances up a swirling dust storm, and falls asleep. When Mother declares "`It's high time we scrubbed this raggly scraggly girl,'" she wakes up and runs in terror: "`I don't take to baths and baths don't take to me!...I'm all of me dirt, and none of me clean.'" But she slips on a piece of lye soap and flips into the tub, then pops out and ``...hightailed it out into the darkness.'' Mother never does get the tub clean after that. Lively language and an engaging, well-paced story make this original tall tale fun. The children, one of whom narrates, all take obvious delight in their guest's antics, and Mother's attempts to control her add to the humor. The watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations are infused with tans and browns, capturing the silliness of the story without overdoing it. The main character always appears to be in motion, with dirt swirling around her. The family's reactions are even funnier as they freeze in mid-bite when they first see the youngster or wildly chase her toward the tub. A fine choice for reading aloud.Steven Engelfried, West Linn Public Library, OR
Hazel Rochman
Glorying in kids' love of dirt, disruption, and disorder, this original tall tale combines family fun with outrageous exaggeration. It's one of several recent tall tales--such as Kellogg's "Sally Ann" "Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett" and Anne Isaacs' "Swamp Angel" (1994)--in which the hero is female. In this case, she's a strange, filthy, hungry child who explodes into a midwestern family home at dinnertime like a dervish from the dust bowl. By the time she leaves, there's food and grease and dust spinning everywhere. The telling is colloquial and warm, and the watercolor-and-colored-pencil illustrations in rich shades of brown and red capture the swirling, smiling chaos of the story and the country summer of joy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688110611
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/1/1995
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2008

    Lots of fun!

    I loved reading this book to my children as much as I enjoyed the colorful illustrations - pastel on textured paper, reminiscent of Norman Rockwell. The narrator's voice is lyrical and the No-Soap No-Scrub girl is unique.

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