This Australian import features two imps who take a particular pleasure in gamboling about sans covering.
From the title page, where a brother and his older sister fling off their clothes, to the “splishing, splashing, sploshing” of a bath, Quay captures the delight her two heroes feel when down to their birthday suits. Almost immediately, the two dry off and zoom through the house. Gently rhyming text chronicles their sensory adventures as they enjoy the soft rug, the spiky doormat and the dangling fronds of a backyard willow. Their capers concluded, the two return to the loving embrace of their mama “for a cuddle, kiss and hug and squeeze and hold.” Some American readers may try in vain to parse the linguistic logic behind the term “rudie nudie,” a phrase that seems to refer to both juvenile streakers at once. Others (probably grown-ups) may be uncomfortable with the pair’s unapologetic embrace of their nude states. Yet for many children, Quay’s paean to running about in your altogethers will prove irresistible. The accompanying art, calculatedly devoid of penises, done in pencil, paper and Photoshop, charms. More importantly, it clarifies that the book celebrates a childhood experience, separate from the parental gaze.
A bracing burst of joie de vivre, ideal for any rude, nude, naked brood. (Picture book. 2-6)