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Book Review – Soap, Soap, Soap by Elizabeth Dulemba

Hugo’s mamá sends him to the store to buy soap. Of course, Hugo takes the long way there which gets him into loads of trouble and plenty of mud. With all his adventures, he keeps forgetting what he’s supposed to buy at the store. But through each mishap he’s somehow reminded he needs soap, soap, soap ~ jabón, jabón, jabón!

Hugo ends up a muddy mess, but he finally prevails. He buys the soap and returns home only to discover that his mamá plans to use the soap on him!
Soap takes the classic Appalachian Jack Tale and gives it a modern twist. The story now takes place in a small rural town with a sweet little troublemaker named Hugo. The artwork is drawn with graphite and rendered digitally using bright, happy colors reminiscent of this playful tale.

The story is presented in English text with embedded Spanish in rojo. The sprinkling of Spanish easily introduces key words using both story context and illustrations to aid in the fun and learning. A vocabulary page is also included to jump start learning in either language.

Soap, Soap, Soap

Raven Tree Press, 2009

Picture book, 32 pages

Ages 4-9


also available in the bilingual SOAP, SOAP, SOAP ~ JABON, JABON, JABON

Teachers are using it both as an introduction to Spanish as well as a tie-in book for hygeine lessons – important in this flu season! The repetition makes it a fun read-aloud. For an activity page which has more information along with a book trailer, coloring pages, downloads, etc. <https://dulemba.com/ActivityPage-Soap.html>

BIO: Elizabeth O. Dulemba was beamed to this planet with a pencil in her hand. Once she stopped chewing on it she began to draw and write stories for children. She is now an award-winning illustrator of magazines such as Highlights – she did the December ’08 cover – and picture books including the bilingual Paco and the Giant Chile Plant, which won a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Bronze Medal.

She also illustrated Glitter Girl and the Crazy Cheese; The Prince’s Diary; and three books in the ParentSmart KidHappy™ series. Her latest releases are her first picture book as both illustrator AND author: Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón! and an iPhone Picture Book App, “Lula’s Brew” (in the app store, search “Lula”). She is currently illustrating The 12 Days of Christmas in Georgia for Sterling Publishers, which will be released in time for the holidays in 2010.

Along with creating picture books, “e” is highly active in the writing community. She is the Illustrators’ Coordinator for the Southern chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, is on the board for the Georgia Center for the Book, and speaks regularly at schools, conferences and events. She also teaches “Creating Picture Books” at the John C. Campbell Folk School. She offers free coloring pages to teachers, librarians and parents at her website, www.dulemba.com.


Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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