Review: Laundry Day by Maurie J. Manning

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.

On the busy streets of New York City, a shoeshine boy discovers a beautiful red scarf has seemingly fallen from the sky. He goes on an adventure to discover who it belongs to, climbing up and over to the apartments in the building above. He meets a very diverse group of people, and a close-knit one at that, as each resident refers him to another.

The young boy’s culturally diverse adventure is a great teaching point for children in regards to community and the quest to understand the background that our friends have. The different uses for the scarf that are given reveal how people from different countries live and work. This book is written in a multi-panel format, with some pages containing no text and with all the text being dialogue. Very easy to follow, and with room for individual interpretation, this book will surely charm young readers with its bright and positive illustrations and unique story.