Wash On! Reviews

School Library Journal

WashOn_Website“When young Petronilla refuses to ‘wash off’ and instead decides to ‘wash on’ one day, she creates a series of hilariously chaotic events. With colors now staining anything she or her family touches, the world becomes a collage of random colors, spreading from person to person until ‘coloritis’ covers the globe….In her newest book Marineau, with the assistance of translator Woods, has delivered a delightful well-paced narrative that constantly catches readers by surprise….Gauthier has created a series of masterful mixed-media illustrations that work with the text and contain extra details that pump up the humor….VERDICT An extremely fun story for family and storytime sharing. Wash on!”
—Margaret Kennelly, iSchool at ­Urbana-Champaign, IL

Read the full review in the April 2018 issue of School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“A girl alters a simple phrase and changes the world….Gauthier’s gorgeous mixed-media illustrations are quirky and angled, with an energetic combination of drawn lines, watery paint, cut paper, wood textures, and photo collage….Topsy-turvy offbeat fun.”

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CM Magazine

“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….

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…

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….

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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Youth Services Book Review

“Petronilla is a little girl with ‘a talent for chaos’ compared to her ‘perfect’ older sister Babette. One evening while taking a bath Petronilla says ‘Wash on!’ and instead of dirt washing off, colors wash onto her….When the abundance of colors makes it impossible to find the dog, Petronilla finally agrees to say ‘Wash off’ and things go back to normal. Children will enjoy watching young Petronilla wielding her power. The illustrations of mixed media perfectly convey the chaos of color.”
Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

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CanLit for LittleCanadians

“Though most of us wash off any dirt and colours that stain our skin, a little twist of words and fate have colour splotches washing onto little Petronilla in Quebec author and translator Michèle Marineau’s newest picture book Wash On!…

Wash On! may be based on a silly situation in which colours are transferred rather than cleaned off but the story actually has several powerful messages hidden in that imaginative scenario. First, Wash On! focuses on the joie de vivre of a world filled with colour. We all need a little colour in our lives…But like anything, it is possible to have too much of a good thing, as everyone learns, including Petronilla. Once the colours explode and there is no contrast and no way to differentiate objects, that joy is lost, like the dog, in an overabundance of stain. Splashes of colour are wonderfully invigorating and therapeutic but excesses are debilitating and even harmful. Second, Governor General award-winning author Michèle Marineau recognizes the power of children in defining the world and their need to manage their own circumstances. Her family may think of Petronilla as chaotic but she seems to just want a hand in determining the life she will lead.

Michèle Marineau tells powerful stories in her native French language and this translation by Pajama Press’s Erin Woods highlights that poignancy with merriment and spirit. That same boldness is depicted with daring by Manon Gauthier’s mixed media illustrations. Manon Gauthier…continues to do amazing things with gouache, pencil and paper collage, ever different and totally wonderful.

Wash On! may say a lot about living a life in colour but it also reminds us about moderation and having control over the lives we lead. Young readers will laugh at the silliness of the family’s situation but we can all learn a lesson or two from Petronilla and her splashy world.”
—Helen K

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Canadian Bookworm

“This lovely tale of a young girl who finds the magical power of words while taking a bath, will delight all young readers….The fun of imagining [coloritis] happening is enhanced by the illustrations showing color moving to other objects and the confusion it causes. A fun book.”

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