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Wash 'Em Clean by Kornei Chukovsky
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Wash 'Em Clean

by Kornei Chukovsky

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Put out by Moscow's Foreign Language Publishing House, during the days of the Soviet Union, this slim picture-book contains the classic bath-time children's poem Мойдоды́р, translated here as "Wash 'Em Clean," and first published in 1923. The rhyming, sing-song text (in English, anyway) follows the story of a young boy who wakes up one morning, only to find that all his belongings, from his clothing to his dishes, are intent on running away from him, because he is so dirty. Wash 'Em Clean, an anthropomorphic wash-stand, then emerges from his mother's room, intent on fixing the problem, and after some initial resistance (involving the boy running away himself, and encountering a grouchy crocodile), he allows himself to be properly cleansed...

This poem seems to have been illustrated by quite a number of artists over the years - even the English version has been issued in more that one edition, including this (undated) one, with artwork by A. Kanevsky, and another, published in 1959, and illustrated by Evgeni Meshkov. Looking through the Russian-language editions, I see quite a few different covers. In any case, my copy, picked up at a garage sale a few months ago, is really quite fun, with an entertaining narrative (sometimes the rhymes are a little strained, but not too often) and energetic illustrations. I'm glad to have had the chance to read this poem, as it seems to be quite popular with Russian speakers, and is still in print (in Russia, that is) today. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 25, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kornei Chukovskyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kanevsky, A.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Part of the "Soviet Children's Library for Tiny Tots."
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