Mrs. Jolly Bones has a chore for every day of the week…but readers can be sure they’ve never done chores quite the way she does.
“It’s Monday, Mrs. Jolly Bones. / There’s laundry to be done. // So gather up the dirty clothes / and sort them, one by one. // Wash them, / dry them, / iron them, / and fold them nice and neat. / Then fling them out the window… // so they brighten up the street!” Tuesday is gardening day—Mrs. Jolly Bones takes care of her balcony garden…and then “polka[s] through the posy patch” with brio. Cleaning the house is on the docket for Wednesday, finishing with a bath in a most unusual place. Thursday’s shopping day—quite a list!—while Friday is for baking. Saturday’s for play, er wrestling, and Sunday is a day to rest. Tusa’s watercolor-and-ink illustrations are largely grayscale with splashes of pastel-colored highlights. While Mrs. Jolly Bones’ approach calls for energetic illustration, the busy spreads are perhaps too chaotic, and small things get lost on the pages. This is a shame, as the small things add so much delight: Mrs. Jolly Bones has a menagerie of animals that surround/help her.
Amelia Bedelia may come to mind, but Mrs. Jolly Bones’ unconventional behavior reflects her originality and flair rather than a lack of intelligence; would that more people flaunt their individuality…but maybe not in the toilet. (Picture book. 3-6)