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THE RUNAWAY SHIRT by Kathy MacMillan


by Kathy MacMillan ; illustrated by Julia Castaño

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-64170-251-5
Publisher: Familius

As a mother does the laundry, she takes a break to play a pretend game with her young child.

When she starts folding the laundry the child can be seen climbing into the laundry basket behind her. She folds a few items and then reaches over to fold a shirt. Only this is a special shirt—the child is inside it, but she pretends to pay this detail no mind. “First one sleeve, then the other. Then I fold it in half,” she says, folding the child’s knees up over crossed arms. “But the shirt [does] not stay folded.” When she repeats the operation and places the shirt alongside the rest of the folded clothes on the bed, “the shirt [does] not stay on the bed.” And so the game proceeds, with the mother trying to put the shirt into a drawer and then trying to drape it on a hanger. When at last she decides to wear it instead, the game is up. Mother and child tumble over in an embrace, laundry scattering all over. “ ‘I love you, shirt,’ she whispered. ‘I love you, Mommy,’ said the shirt.” Many a young reader will giggle in recognition of similarly enacted pretend games of their own. The illustrations, unfortunately, are a little stiff, and their faces and body language do not reflect as much emotion as the game would suggest. Mother and child are depicted with brown hair and olive skin.

Sweet, if a little bland.

(Picture book. 3-5)