I Don’t Want to Wash My Hands

“I Don’t Want to Wash My Hands!” by Tony Ross

c.2020 edition, G.P. Putnam’s Sons $8.99 / higher in Canada 32 pages

Peas or beans? Carrots or corn?

You’ve been outside all day and it was fun but now there’s dirt beneath your fingernails, maybe enough to grow a garden! You can’t have lunch with dirty hands, of course. Imagine the mess if you went to bed like that, ugh. You know you absolutely have to get cleaned up sometime, but in the new book “I Don’t Want to Wash My Hands!” by Tony Ross, who wants to do it now?

No matter what day it was or what time, Little Princess loved nothing more than to get really, really dirty. Being outside was one of her favorite things ever, especially if there was dirt and mud to play in. But one day, after she came inside and as she reached for a yummy slice of chocolate cake on the Royal Table, the Queen said that Little Princess had to wash her hands first. When Little Princess asked “Why?” the Queen said it was because she’d been playing in the mud.

A little while later, when Cook told Little Princess to wash her hands again because she’d been playing with her puppy, Little Princess did as she was told. She even dried “properly.” But when the King told Little Princess to wash her hands after the potty, Little Princess wasn’t happy at all. Not one bit. She’d washed her hands, not once but twice already that day. It was just ridiculous.

It got worse when Maid told Little Princess to wash her hands after sneezing. Four times? She had to wash her hands four times? Yes, said Maid, because of “germs and nasties” that are everywhere: in the mud, on puppies, in the potty, in sneezes, on the table, and they’ll make you sick. They’re “Worse than crocodiles,” but smaller, so you can’t see them and the only way to keep germs and nasties away is with soap and water and hand-washing.

And that, of course, changes everything.

To fully appreciate “I Don’t Want to Wash My Hands!” all you have to do is have it in yours.

Author Tony Ross is also the illustrator here, and it’s hard to decide which part of this book is better, the words or the artwork. It’ll be hard not to delight in Little Princess, who’s perfectly gleeful as she gets filthy-dirty. It’s difficult to not love the looks on her face as she’s instructed multiple times to wash up, and it’s hard not to know what she’s thinking. Kids will laugh at how she perceives germs and nasties, with an imagination that comes out clearly in these wonderful illustrations. The good news is that those drawings are fun in a way that parents can appreciate, too, and the words are LOL cute.

The bottom line is that you’ll both put this book at the top of your Favorites List, so don’t be surprised if it’s off the shelves more than on. For sure, “I Don’t Want to Wash My Hands!” is one your kids will hang onto by their fingernails.