Wash, Wash, Wash Your Hands! by D. Mason

  • Sean Borle


Mason, David I.A.  Wash, Wash, Wash Your Hands! Illus. Dan Widdowson. Mancato, MN:  Cantata Learning, 2016.  Print.

Many children successfully wash their hands while singing the “ABC” song or other familiar songs, so one wonders if the world needs another hand washing song.  This book provides the lyrics to the song over cartoon images and also comes with a CD of the song.  Dan Widdowson’s images of the anthropomorphized monkey and alligator are bright and small children will enjoy them.  David I.A. Mason’s lyrics could use some polish.  At one point, they read, “1, 2, fast-forward now! 18, 19, 20!”  Since the song encourages children to wash their hands to a count of 20, encouraging them to short-cut through the count does not seem like a good educational technique. 

What saves this book from the mediocre is the music on the CD.  The music, arranged and produced by Mark Oblinger, is a catchy jazz rendition with bass and percussion and an excellent, but unidentified vocalist.  The score is printed in the back of the book and is simple enough that parents with rudimentary musical knowledge will be able to play it.  The song is much longer than the minimum recommendation of 20 seconds for hand washing and would be hard for a small child to remember. However, the chorus is memorable and will stick in children’s minds.  If children sing the chorus twice while they wash hands that should be enough time to kill germs. 

Overall, the music is good, but the book could have been better with stronger writing.  Recommended for public libraries and elementary school libraries. 

Recommended: 3 stars out of 4
Reviewer:  Sean Borle

How to Cite
Borle, S. (2016). Wash, Wash, Wash Your Hands! by D. Mason. The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature, 5(4). https://doi.org/10.20361/G21P5R
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