Friday, January 25, 2013

The Schmutzy Family



The Schmutzy Family
by Madelyn Rosenberg; illus by Paul Meisel
32 pages; ages 3 - 5
Holiday House, 2012

“First thing Sunday morning the Schmutzys rolled up their jeans and went wading in the malodorous Feldman Swamp.” What’s not to like about a book that starts like that?

With a name like Schmutzy, you expect the kids in this family to get muddy. Even Mama Schmutzy and dad get in on the mud-pie baking, painting, makeup experimentation, wallpaper redecoration and cow-pie leaping. But come Friday, Mama Schmutzy raises her eyebrows and smacks her forehead.

“Oy! Look at this dirt! You’re Farshtunken, all of you!” It’s nearly Shabbos … can the family clean up and get ready for the Sabbath dinner before the sun sets?

I love the language – the sprinkling of Yiddish words – and the combination of India ink, watercolor, acrylic, pencil and pastel illustrations that are integral to the story. And I love the freedom Mama Schmutzy allows her family to explore, discover, create and be messy. But most of all, I love the frogs in the kitchen sink!

Theme: preparing for the Sabbath
 
Beyond the book: Stomp through icy puddles. Slide down the driveway on your butt and toss snowballs at the tree. Fill spray bottles with colored water and paint the snow. Then dry off, clean up and make some Raisin Challah , a yummy bread specially baked for the Sabbath.

This review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review F&G  provided by the publisher.

16 comments:

  1. This looks like a great pre-shabbat muddy romp! Thanks!

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    1. the neat thing about mud: so easy to wash off!

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  2. Sue - this sounds awesome - well, I don't know about frogs in the sink - I do have my limits.....I like the idea of spray bottles with colored water to paint the snow. I may not wait for the grandkids to come over to try it!

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    1. don't wait - too fun to just do yourself. And if you're lucky enough to have icicles, you can spray some food coloring at the top and let it melt & freeze in at night.

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  3. This sounds wonderful, Sue! I love the opening, and your description of the art and activities! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I just love the mix of mud and frogs and paint and bogs...

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  4. Oh what fun! The beginning is not what you expect, preparing for the Sabbath. Love the use of yiddish words. Nice choice for our list!

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    1. I was surprised, totally, when they got to Friday!

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  5. With a name like Schmutzy and a sprinkling of Yiddish words, I'd guess this is a fun read-aloud! Thanks for the recommendation, Sue!

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    1. Stories with words from a different language are always fun. They add a different music to our read-alouds.

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  6. Ach, they're just a little dreckig!

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  7. Thanks for sharing this book. Your teaser left me wondering, do they ever "really" clean up or do they stay Schmutzy? Guess I'll have to get the book to find out!

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    1. of course they get clean! And manage to do it before it's time to light the candles. What! you think they can't do that?

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  8. Wow! Thank you so much for this incredibly lovely review!

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  9. We're in the middle of stomping around in snow these days. This looks like a good one for kiddo. Thanks for sharing it.

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