The Barnes & Noble Review
The spic-and-span heroine of Joy Cowley's hit Mrs. Wishy-Washy makes a splashy comeback in this bubbly picture book!
Mrs. Wishy-Washy's up to her animal cleaning again, but her barnyard buddies aren't happy: The cow gets soap in its eye, the pig gets scrubbed too much, and the duck has suds in its feathers. So the three decide to hightail it to the big city, where "the barns are big" and it's "as wild as a farm stampede," but when they get thrown out of a restaurant and eventually land in "the pick-up van from the animal jail," they realize that back on the farm -- and in Mrs. Wishy-Washy's tub -- is the most blissful place to be.
A whimsical and warm follow-up with Elizabeth Fuller's rosy-cheeked artwork, Mrs. Wishy-Washy's Farm will leave Cowley fans tickled pink. The author recaptures all the fun and down-home charm of the prior Mrs. Wishy-Washy book, and with the animals' urban hijinks and return to quiet life, kids will agree that having their favorite farmwoman around is squeaky-clean good.
The queen of barnyard clean returns after a 23-year hiatus, along with her mud-loving cow, pig and duck. Only this time, the farm animals aren't so tolerant of her scrubbing. " `Moo-moo!' `Ee-ee!' `Quack, quack, quack!' `Bye, Mrs. Wishy-Washy,/ mean old Mrs. Wishy-Washy./ We are leaving you/ and we won't be back.' " The three flee to the city ("where the barns are big," squeals the pig), end up getting into mischief (e.g., while looking for a meal in one such "barn [with] food on the dishes," a chef threatens to serve them up as "roast on toast") and they wind up in "animal jail." This new installment may lack the simple repetition of the original, but Cowley keeps this lengthier sequel easy enough for beginning readers, despite several tricky words (e.g., "stampede," "anxious," "doubt") sprinkled throughout the rhyming text. Fuller's bright ink-and-watercolor illustrations amplify the tale's humor. When the runaways end up in a hardware store, the artist imagines a comical chaos of upturned paint cans-fur and feathers erupting with splotches of color; the cow wears paint buckets on her front hooves while the pig sports a red pail for a hat. All the better for their plump, fuzzy slipper- and bandanna-wearing owner who comes to the rescue. She takes them home for a good wash, wrapping up an appealing story that resonates with the message: there's no place like home-baths and all. Ages 2-6. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Cow, Pig, and Duck decide they have had enough of Mrs. Wishy-Washy and her obsession with cleanliness. They run away to the city where they find the "barns" are not as hospitable as the one they left on the farm. When a cook discovers them in the kitchen of his restaurant, they quickly dash next door and get covered with paint in a hardware store. A van arrives and takes them to animal jail. The miserable animals perk up when they hear the familiar chug-chug-chug of the old farm truck. Upon their return home, they willingly jump into the tub for a good scrub. The jaunty verse of the text and the large cartoon-like illustrations are sure to delight young readers and their parents. 2003, Philomel, Ages 3 to 7.
Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
PreS-Gr 1-Young children may be acquainted with this jolly character from Mrs. Wishy-Washy (Philomel, 1999). True to her name, the woman loves to wash everything, including her farm creatures. Tired of the "old tin tub/where all the animals go for a scrub," Mrs. Wishy-Washy's pig, cow, and duck rebel and run off to a big city, but they find it "as wild as a farm stampede." They stumble into lots of trouble and end up, dirty and tearful, in the "animal jail" from which they are soon rescued. Fuller's bold, animated watercolor-and-ink illustrations feature humorous expressions on stout, rosy-cheeked humans and silly animals. This gently rhyming text with just the right amount of tension will be a splendid choice for storytimes and welcomed by beginning readers.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
When Mrs. Wishy-Washy returns to give Cow, Duck, and Pig yet another scrubbing in the old tin tub, the animals declare, "No more washing!" They run away to the big city where the hustle and bustle feels like a farm stampede to them with no barn haven in sight. They get lost, wander into a restaurant, and stumble through paint cans in a hardware store, ending up in the animal jail. The chug-chug-chug of an old truck signals their rescue by Mrs. Wishy-Washy--and of course, once back on the farm, she gives them a good scrubbing. This latest tale of fastidious "Mrs. Wishy-Washy" is as delightful as the first. The watercolor-and-ink illustrations are down-and-dirty funny, from the animals’ facial expressions to Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s pink cheeks, bandana-covered curls, and red, fuzzy slippers. Even the typeface has a clean look; the easy-to-read, 19-point AvantGarde Demi adds punch to the rhyming text. Pair it with other "dirty" picture books for a rollicking story time. (Picture book. 3-5)