Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Wild Washerwomen by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake (Andersen Children's Books)

In my head, I imagine Quentin Blake's day starting off with some loud music as he leaps out of bed, has some Heath-Robinson-esque contraption that dresses him, delivers his breakfast, brushes his teeth then deposits him in front of his drawing board fizzing with imagination and ready for action. I've seen the legendary illustrator hard at work at his drawing board and know none of this happens - but in my imagination he is as crazed, frenetic and energetic as his illustrations are.

Teaming up with John Yeoman, who has put together another brilliant story along the lines of the brilliant "Rumbelow's Dance" (also with Quentin Blake), once again it's all we can do to keep our bums still in our seats as we read the tale of the wild, wild washerwomen.

Seven lovely washerwomen work for a mean and stingy employer. Day in, day out they take in huge piles of grubby socks, smelly smalls, pongy pyjamas and filthy frocks to wash, clean and iron only for the whole process to begin again the next day.

The washerwomen are a lovely lot but soon get tired of their employer increasing their workload and soon they rebel. Squishing the nasty old meanie under a huge pile of filthy washing, the women make good their escape in a goat cart and start to wreak havoc in the local community.

"LOOK OUT! THE WILD WASHERWOMEN ARE COMING!" shout the townsfolk as the magnificent seven run amok.

But seven hunky and brawny woodcutters have a plan to scupper the wild washerwomen's crazed antics. Do they succeed?

You'll have to read the book to find out of course, but if you haven't come across Yeoman and Blake's brilliant books together, this is undeniably a scrumptious treat. We loved the wild washerwomen (see if you can guess which one Charlotte nominated herself as!) and can't wait for more from this extremely talented duo.

Charlotte's best bit: The Wild Washerwomen going crazy in the local marketplace. EEK!

Daddy's best bit: What the Wild Washerwomen do to their employer and the nasty man with a gun. Serves them both right!

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