reviewed by Marian Dioguardi, MA Ed.
“…at the end of the day, I would pull up the covers and that wonderful smell of the outdoors and its memories, what I call the small of sunshine, was in the sheets.” So ended a day for the child, Constance Anderson but this is where the writing and illustrating of her new book began. Inspired by the time she spent with a busy mother slowing down “to take in the sights and smells and sounds of the world around us.” this loving act brought Constance and her mother closer together. That special “smell of sunshine” at the end of a day was also a special reminder of a busy mom’s love.
The laundry line connection of a mother and daughter in a quiet moment long ago has now been expanded into Smelling Sunshine by Constance Anderson, a beautifully illustrated book for children. This book celebrates the joyful connection of cultures throughout the world by the simple act of hanging laundry. The story is simple enough for young children with clear, colorful and elegantly designed illustrations of multi media “collage paintings”. Recycled papers, in the collages, give the images rich texture and patterns.
Smelling Sunshine makes a lovely gift this holiday season which can be made all the more special by also giving time to a child by hanging laundry with them outside on a sunny day. The lessons are many; the clean energy of the sun and the wind, the joy of being outdoors in the fresh air and the care of a special adult sharing quiet time with a child. We are all connected by the laundry line, everyday, all over the world and all under the same sun.