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Laundry Day

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  215 ratings  ·  75 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 — 65 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
76th out of 97 books — 230 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 435)
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Kathryn
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...more
Barbara
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
Jackie
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.
Jen
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...more
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...more
Tasha
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
Carol
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
Dolly
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...more
Laura
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...more
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
ME
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...more
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...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...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...more
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
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.
Katie
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...more
Holly
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
Jessica
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
Catalina
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...more
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
Marika
When a little shoe-shine boy finds a red scarf, he tries to return it to its' owner, climbing higher and higher up the fire escape of an apartment building in his search. On his way he meets immigrants from all over the world, and receives a friendly "hello" from each. Manning's use of graphic novel panels perfectly captures the movement of her busy story while dynamic angles allow readers to take in every aspect of the overwhelming city. Young reader's will be charmed by Manning's characters wh...more
Joella www.cinjoella.com
A little shoe shining boy who doesn't get much business finds a bit of red cloth that has fallen down from the laundry hanging to dry between two big buildings. He stops what he is doing and takes the time to climb up and ask various families if they have lost the red cloth when they hung their clothes out for laundry day. Each responds no, even though the cloth is very nice. When the boy gets to the top of the building he finds out who it belongs to. Then readers get the surprise of discovering...more
Angie
A young shoe shine wonders the street of a busy city looking for customers. A red cloth falls from the sky. The shoe shine boy looks up at the laundry above him and starts to climb. He asks everyone he meets if the red cloth belongs to them. No no claims it but they keep sending him higher and higher on the buildings. Finally on the roof he meets the owner of the cloth and she thanks him and sends him on his way. But as he reaches the ground the cloth floats down to him again. I like the way thi...more
Robin
A shoe shine boy finds a scarf and tries to return it to his owner. In his search, he works his way up the balconies of a New York tenement building, asking and helping the residents as he goes. He encounters a variety of ethnicities and possible uses for the scarf before he finally finds its owner. A glossary of the foreign language words is included on the endpapers. Very clever illustrations, striking use of the color red, varied perspectives add much drama as the boy climbs, tightrope walks,...more
Lorna
A young boy finds a cloth that has floated down from above a busy street in an immigrant neighborhood in I'm guessing the early 1900s New York City. Using the fire escape, he travels from neighbor to neighbor to reunite the cloth with it's owner. The story is told in panel styles with speech bubbles, and is filled with a handful of foreign words that are explained in a brief glossary at the back. Terrific illustrations really create a great setting and Manning does amazing perspective drawings t...more
Rakisha
Laundry Day: A shoeshine boy in early 20th century NYC goes on an adventure to find the owner of a lost red scarf. He encounters immigrants from all over the world as he hops from fire escape to clothesline. The illustrations are engaging and have few visual gags. The foreign phrases gives this book an extra boost, and could probably be used as a title for the Social Studies Common Core Standard. But I am confused as to what category this book falls into. Is it a picture book or is it a graphic...more
Shamekia
The illustrations are a feast for the eyes!
Rebecca Ann
This was a beautiful story about a little shoe-shone boy who finds a red cloth that fell down from somewhere in the high up laundry lines. He scales the building until he finds the owner, an immigrant woman who wears it as a headscarf. We meet people who immigrated from different places on the way up. As a thank you, she lets another cloth fall down and he keeps it as a scarf. I liked the colorful, full-page cartoon style illustrations, but I wasn't entirely sure about the message.
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