SOAP AND SUDS by Diane Paterson


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The mock-horror of a messed-up washday--complete with a contagious refrain: ""Soap and suds. . . / scrub it clean,/ and hang it up to dry."" What happens to Paterson's pleasantly plump, pleasingly gray-haired washerwoman is the bane of any laundress who hangs wash on an outdoor line: a cat, pursuing birds, puts pawprints on it; a dog, digging up a bone, throws dirt on it; a goat catches it on its horns; a pig streaks dirt on it. . . and, each time, it's ""Soap and suds all over again."" After a little boy puts ice-cream-y fingers on it, the washerwoman seizes a broom, vowing--""that's the last time."" So what happens? Wouldn't you know, it rains! Hanging the laundry up (""again"") inside, collapsing in an armchair, the washerwoman is greeted by little boy, goat, dog, cat--with a restorative bowl of what looks like alphabet chili. (The uncertainty is a very slight lapse.) Children raised on clothes driers may need a little priming--but anyone who gets into the rousing swing of the pictures and rhyme will appreciate what the washerwoman's up against. Incidental but apt.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1984
Publisher: Knopf