________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 31. . . .April 13, 2018


Wash On!

Michèle Marineau. Illustrated by Manon Gauthier. Translated by Erin Woods.
Toronto, ON: Pajama Press, 2018.
40 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
ISBN 978-1-77278-018-5.

Subject Headings:
Sisters-Juvenile fiction.
Families-Juvenile fiction.
Humorous stories.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Kelsey Sukich.

***½ /4



Coloritis invaded the street, the neighbourhood, the town, the country, the continent, and the whole planet. It was more contagious than lice, the chicken pox, OR the plague… but a lot more ridiculous as well.


Be swept away in the magic of colour as Petronilla and her family paint their home and town with every touch! Wash On! brings colour and life to a world in which Petronilla feels is too dull and boring at times.

internal art     Readers are first introduced to Petronilla’s family: her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gillis; her perfect sister, Babette; their dog; and, of course, herself. Petronilla’s talent for chaos is quickly made evident by her refusal to “wash off” and instead “wash on” during bath time. Splotches of colours are transferred from one object to the next with each touch, much to Mrs. Gillis’ displeasure. Acute coloritis proves to be more contagious than any other infection or disease, and soon the whole planet is engulfed in colour! Everything becomes lost amid all the colours, including the Gillis’ dog. How will they ever find their dog who has stopped barking and is lost in a sea of colours? Petronilla rescues their dog by murmuring the magic “wash off” words which spread de-coloritis across the entire planet. Will Petronilla dare say “wash on” again?

internal art     Michèle Marineau shines the light on Petronilla who has been living in the limelight of her perfect sister. Petronilla has never felt so important – realising the power she holds to “wash on” colours from one object to another. Marineau’s use of dialogue provides a voice for each character. The characters’ emotion, tone, and volume are heard and experienced through Marineau’s use of descriptive dialogue tags, such as “crowed”, “murmured”, “chanted” and “whispered”.

internal art      Manon Gauthier’s mixed-media illustrations are captivating and inventive. Her use of gouache, pencils, and paper collage provides depth and layers to each setting. The characters’ expressions are felt through each illustration. Gauthier’s clever use of colours brings forth the effects of coloritis and de-coloritis to each page.

      Wash On! (originally published in French as Barbouillette) will leave readers wanting to experience the remarkable transfer of colour from one object to another and paint their world with colour!

Highly Recommended.

Kelsey Sukich is a French-immersion kindergarten teacher at École Rivière-Rouge in Winnipeg, MB. She loves exploring the power and expression of colour with her kindergarteners!

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