Friday, March 21, 2014

It's Monday, Mrs. Jolly Bones! by Warren Hanson

It's Monday, Mrs. Jolly Bones! by Warren Hanson, illustrated by Tricia Tusa

Rating: 5 stars

Heaps of people have told me the same thing: "Kate, you think too much."  It's true.  I'm always wondering and analyzing and planning and trying to maximize whatever it is I'm doing.  When Lorelei was born with a furrowed brow of concentration, I worried she inherited the think-too-much gene.  She is so very thoughtful, so content to sit with a book for hours, so happy to concentrate on anything and everything.

Luckily, we girls have Ben and Kiefer in our lives.  They are little kings of silly.  They keep us laughing, like it or not!  Take yesterday: Their nightly ritual of racing around a loop within our house (every house with small children has to have some circular pattern) somehow happened sans clothes.  They first took their shirts off, and then Kiefer wanted to take everything off.  Ben followed his lead.  So, for 15 minutes, I laughed until I cried at the sight of noody-loody joy blurring past me every few seconds.  Hilarious!

What does this parade of skin have to do with books?  Well, I'll tell you!

I'm always up for maximizing time spent reading.  If I'm going to read, either for pleasure myself or with my children, I want to learn something, too!  I'm all for nonfiction, fact-filled books or thought-provoking, lesson-packed books.

But sometimes, it's good to just laugh.  Take a break from all that seriousness and be in the moment and appreciate something that is downright silly (like two little boys running around naked in my house).  It's Monday, Mrs. Jolly Bones! hits that need-for-funny nail right on the head.  Warren Hanson simply gets it RIGHT.  He knows what is funny to kids (and this mom) and he delivers, page after page, with a pattern: normal-suspense-then-funny, normal-suspense-then-funny.

Mrs. Jolly Bones is a woman who, like Hanson's mom, has a set pattern on how she does her housework.  Monday is laundry, Tuesday is weeding, Wednesday is cleaning the house, Thursday is grocery shopping, Friday is baking.  After introducing each new task, Warren explains how she does it in two rhyming lines, and then in the final line of that day's stanza he throws an unexpected flip of silly into the mix, and Mrs. Jones does something hilarious with her housework.  For example:
It's Wednesday, Mrs. Jolly Bones.  It's time to clean the house.
So wear your worn-out overalls.  Put on your oldest blouse.
Sweep all the floors, shake all the rugs, and shine the sing and tub.
Then step into the toilet bowl and give yourself a scrub!
See what I mean?  It's cute and normal but then WHAM she's taking a bath in the toilet (ewwwww!  grosss!)!  The illustrations by Tricia Tusa are fantastic, delightful, and spot-on.
I have to share Saturday; it's my favorite:
It's Saturday, a day for Mrs. Jolly Bones to play.
The food and clothes and tools and brooms have all been put away.
Invite the ladies over.  Share gossip and some tea.
Then clear away the furniture...and wrestle recklessly!
Lorelei especially loved the idea of me inviting my mom-friends over to have tea and then, still in our necklaces and fancy shoes and hats, wrestle!

A delightful book that is a delightful reminder of the healing aspects of a good laugh!


  1. Only you could take naked boy racing and apply to a book! Love it :)