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Laundry Day

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  245 ratings  ·  85 reviews
In a picture book that blends realism and fantasy, a shoeshine boy is surprised when a piece of red silk falls from the sky. Trying to find its owner, he ventures up and down fire escapes, back and forth across clotheslines, and into the company of the colorfully diverse people who live in the tenement. Lively pages laid out in multiple panels, with a few words of text in ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Clarion Books
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Marlow and the Monster by Sharon CramerSquid and Octopus Friends for Always by Tao NyeuThe Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William JoyceTwo for One by Kate DiCamilloLaundry Day by Maurie J. Manning
Most Anticipated Picture Books of 2012
5th out of 71 books — 67 voters
Extra Yarn by Mac BarnettAnd Then It's Spring by Julie FoglianoGreen by Laura Vaccaro SeegerThe Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William JoyceThis is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
2013 Mock Caldecott
77th out of 97 books — 235 voters

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Community Reviews

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May 13, 2015 Courtney rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Courtney by: Book Display.
A young shoe shine boy isn't having much luck finding customers. His day turns around when he finds a red scarf that falls from the laundry line, and meets a variety of interesting people when he tries to find it's owner.


I thought this book was neat. The illustrations are very nice, and I enjoyed the story (told in a comic format).

It might be a little slow for some readers, but I enjoyed seeing all the different people the boy met as he went up the apartment building. It's easy to im
I couldn't help but smile as I read this charming (fictional) story of a young shoeshine boy in early 1900s New York City who is distracted from his not-so-booming business by a bright red scarf that flutters down to him. The boy looks up to see laundry lines webbed across the apartment buildings above him; him kindly resolves to find the owner and, along with his (very cute) orange cat companion, climbs up and onto balconies to check. What follows is a none-too-subtle multicultural extravaganza ...more
Lisa Vegan
Oct 30, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all observant children; all readers who enjoy historical fiction stories, friendship stories
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
I loved this one.

I illustrations are wonderful, so intricate with so much to view, and they do much of the job of telling the story. I loved their many details.

I enjoyed all the different people the young boy meets. It really shows the melting pot of NYC in earlier times. I particularly appreciated how here a good deed does get rewarded.

I found this story uplifting and interesting, and its vibrant pictures really make it. The humor is wonderful. I was especially amused by the young sisters and
The streets of turn-of-the-century New York City can be cold, lonely, and boring for a young shoeshine boy and his cat. When a red piece of cloth floats down from the sky, he decides to find its owner. As he makes his way from one apartment to the next, standing on boxes, shimmying up drainpipoes, using the fire escape, and crossing the clotheslines, he encounters several neighbors from different countries, all of whom are friendly and send him on to someone else. Some of them even offer him foo ...more
The illustrations are wonderful in this book about a little boy who finds a a scarf and his efforts to return it to whoever lost it. This would be a fun read-aloud book because of all the various dialects that come into play in the neighborhood.
When a young shoeshine boy and his cat decide to reunite a beautiful red cloth with its owner, they unknowingly embark on an adventure that promises to ease his loneliness.Who would have thought this simple piece of cloth could be so versatile? It becomes an apron, a blanket, a zipline, a food procurement device, a headscarf, and a marketing tool. This is a testament to the imaginations of children as well as the multitude of ideas that come with a diverse population.

The urban adventure of this
Joanna Marple
This picture book opens with a warm, busy double-paged spread of a New York street set in, I would guess, the early years on the 20th century. Horse-drawn delivery carts and market stalls fill the street, which is flanked by tall tenement buildings. Our young protagonist, a shoe-shine lad and his ginger cat, is emphasized simply by the artist creating a little more space around them than the other New Yorkers.

The shoe shine trade is slow this day, and the lad spots a pigeon overhead with a strip
A young boy tries to sell shoe shines on the streets of New York City in a time before cars, when the streets are crowded with horses and carts. Suddenly, a red cloth drifts down from above. The boy looks up to see rows and rows of laundry drying above the street, so he starts to climb with the red cloth around his neck and his small cat following behind. As he searches for the owner, he meets people from all over the world. There is the Chinese woman who offers him a mooncake after he helps fol ...more
A young shoeshine boy wanders through the bustling streets of turn-of-the-century New York City. Disheartened when no one wants a shine, the little boy slumps down on the sidewalk. A piece of red cloth floats down from the sky landing on his shoulders immediately lifting his spirits as well as his curiosity. Peering up at the many lines of laundry strung between the buildings he decides to go in search of the owner of the beautiful red fabric. As he climbs the fire-escapes he asks all he encount ...more
May 08, 2013 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an entertaining tale that takes us upward in the streets of New York City in the early 1900s. The story is framed by the different ethnic and racial backgrounds of the neighbors the little boy encounters. We enjoyed playing detective and figuring out each's heritage based on the clues.

I suppose that criticism can be leveled against the stereotypical characterizations, but I considered them more as honoring the cultural identity of each nation and a commentary as to the melting pot type
A young boy finds a long red cloth and sets out to discover which neighbor it belongs to. He climbs up the fire escape, asking his multi-cultural neighbors if they know about the red cloth. They give him a variety of delicious treats and suggest he check with the other neighbors. A sweet and fun introduction to neighbors from all over the world, with a lovely graphic novel form.

Recommended as a good introduction to graphic novels for students in grades 1 - 2. Also a good text to use with lower
1. I thought the pictures and panels in this primary leveled graphic novel were extremely well done! In some respects this book almost reminded me of a wordless picture book because several of the panels did not have any dialogue with the characters. The panels were very simple to follow and could be read in the typical left to right fashion. It was interesting to watch how each page followed a new character the boy met and how the smaller wordless panels on the page typically showed him helping ...more
Jessica Riojas
Laundry Day – Graphic novel
This book is about the journey a shoeshine boy goes on in order to return a bright red scarf-like cloth to its rightful owner.

Text to self: This story reminds me of what it’s like on my own laundry day when I find a missing sock. The boy in the story goes from person to person to try and find the owner of the cloth he finds. I don’t go from person to person to find a missing sock, because I know who owns all of the socks, but I do go through all of the clothes that the
Bradley Clay
Laundry Day by Maurie J. Manning is a graphic novel about a boy who is a shoeshine boy who finds a red scarf. The boy searched all over town looking for the owner of the scarf. When he is looking for the owner of the scarf he comes across a lot of diverse people who he becomes friends with. After the owner realizes how much time this boy spent looking for her to return the scarf. She decides to snip the scarf in half and give the boy one half. The lonely shoes shine boy is no longer lonely due t ...more
Laundry Day is a Graphic Novel about a lonely shoe-shine boy who finds a red scarf and makes many diverse friends while trying to find the owner of the scarf. When the grateful owner of the scarf sees how much time and trouble the boy has spent finding her, she snips the scarf in two. A bird brings him back half the scarf. Searching for the owner, the boy has made many friends and he isn’t lonely anymore.

Text to Self- I was a lonely, shy child exacerbated by the fact that I was also an Army brat
Jeannene Egan
Laundry Day by Maurie J. Manning is a graphic novel. A young boy who shines shoes finds a red scarf and goes all over his town to return it. Each person he asks replies in a different language about what the scarf is called. I enjoyed the different languages being brought up in this book.
Text to self – This reminds me of a time in my life when I was at work. There was a work shirt under the counter where the cashiers kept their items. No one knew who it belonged to. Every day I would ask the cas
Haley Altizer
Laundry Day, written by Maurie J. Manning tells the story of a young shoe shiner who one day finds a red blanket. When the young shoe shiner discovers the red blanket he then wanders all over the town trying to find out who’s it is. When reading this story I came to the moral that “finder keepers” isn’t always the case. Sometimes the item might mean a lot to that someone and they would really appreciate having back their lost item. In this particular case it is a good thing that the blanket was ...more
Jennifer Bane
Text to self: This book reminded me of a time when my older brother lost his phone at a bus stop and someone else found it and they tried to figure out whose it was by calling some of the people listed in the phone. He eventually got a hold of my dad and my dad helped my brother and the guy that found my brothers phone set up a time for them to get together so my brother could get his phone back.
Text to text: This book reminds me of This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen when a big fish lost his hat
Courtney Brandriff
When a young shoeshine boy and his cat decide to reunite a beautiful red cloth with its owner, they unknowingly go on an adventure that promises to ease his loneliness. Who would have thought this simple piece of cloth could be so resourceful? It becomes an apron, a blanket, and a zipline, just to name a few. This is evidence to the imaginations of children as well as the multitude of ideas that come with a diverse population.
Laundry Day is a wonderful message to share with children. With the ba
Set in 1900s New York City, a young shoe shiner engages the cultural diversity of his neighborhood when trying to return a red scarf he finds. Climbing one tenement building, he interacts with a broad range of inhabitants, many seeming to be immigrants -- Chinese, Russian, Italian, Polish, Irish, Jewish, and Jamaican. (The book reminds me of a visit to New York City's Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side.) One possible concern is that I can't speech to the historical possibility of a tenement ...more
Jean Coughlin
1. First of all any graphic novel would enhance my collection because I don’t have any. This book is a good fit for introducing graphic novels because the frames are large and in a non-confusing order. This will help students begin to learn the direction you read the frames.
2. The book could easily be read by 2nd semester first graders with some help with pronunciations of foreign words. This book could be used as a twin text at many grade levels to teach life of immigrants around the 1900’s. I
Deanna Vaughn
This is a cute story with great pictures. A little boy finds a red scarf and tries to find its owner. He meets many new and different people along the way. Each person he meets thinks of a way the scarf could be or would be useful to them. Each person he meets also introduces a new word to the boy that is a different language. He finally finds the owner of the scarf who then shares the scarf with him and his cat. This book would be a good in the classroom for introducing new words to the childre ...more
Nanci Booher
Told in an almost graphic novel format, this happened to be out of order on the shelf and, well, since I had it in my hand I may as well read it. A shoe shine boy in the big apple finds a piece of red fabric and he sets out to find the owner. While no one will give him the time of day when he asks if they need their shoes shined, when he starts to ask the neighbors if the lovely red fabric belongs to them, he finds people to be kind and welcoming. The best part of the book??? The glossary in the ...more
Laurette Greenfield
I read this with my little girl. Actually she read it to me. Then we looked up the bold print words to see what the definition of each word was. It is a good book to show the many people that create diversity in a neighborhood. However, if you are afraid of people and have a fear of your child talking to strangers you may not want your child to see that a little boy roams the streets alone talking to all the nice people.
1. Genre- Historical Fiction
2. Awards- None
3. Grade Level- K-2
4. I think this is a very cute book about a little boy who goes around New York trying to find the owner of a red scarf around the 1920s to 1930s. On his journey to find the owner, he comes into contact with many different cultures of people living in the city. I think this would be a good book to bring in when discussing the idea of different cultures and ways of life living in the United States. As a follow up activity for younger s
I liked this story of a shoeshine boy in New York City when it was full of carts and horses. The tenements are crowded with people from many countries and cultures. He can't find anyone who wants a shine. Suddenly, a red scarf drifts down from above, and the shoeshine boy searches high and low to find where it came from. He meets an old Chinese woman, a Russian mother, an Italian organ grinder, Polish girls, a rabbi, and finally idenitifies the Jamaican woman whose headscarf it is. He climbs bac ...more
In the beginning of Laundry Day, a young shoeshine boy is having trouble finding any shoes to shine, when a big red scarf (or is it a blanket?) floats down to him. Immediately he goes from apartment balcony to apartment balcony (tightrope-walking on the clotheslines as he goes), asking people of various ethnicities (Chinese, Jamaican, Polish, etc.) if the scarf belongs to them. Each person uses one foreign word or phrase in their interaction with him, which is then defined in a glossary in the b ...more
NYC Reads 365
"When a red scarf floats down the streets of early twentieth-century New York City, one shoeshine boy takes responsibility for finding its owner. Scaling fire escapes and scampering across clotheslines of the Lower East Side, he meets a multicultural medley of neighbors. Try saying all the foreign words, with the help of a glossary including pronunciations and definitions in the back of the book."
At the turn of the century, a piece of red silk comes from the sky to shoeshine boy in New York. He goes around his neighborhood trying to find the rightful owner of the scarf, and he encounters people from all around the globe who immigrated to the Unites States. Finally, he runs into Miss Fajah, who tells him that the cloth is hear headscarf. The story ends with the boy receiving the scarf as a gift the same manner he found it the first time.
Laundry Day gives an example of ‘doing the right
Caryn Caldwell
In this delightful graphic novel, a young boy is trying to make a living shining shoes in a vibrant city in the early 20th century. When his slow day is interrupted by a red scarf falling from the sky, he and his trusty cat go in search of the scarf's owner. Up, up he climbs, along clotheslines and over balconies, talking to the diverse tenants of the nearby buildings. Along the way, he does thoughtful things for each person he meets. His generosity is rewarded with friendship and a few nice sur ...more
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