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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
In this pandemic era, it’s important to be aware of our immediate environment and to frequently wash our hands well. But, it’s also important to play outside, even if it means getting dirty. Just so long as we wash well before touching our face or eating. It’s amazing and somewhat frightening to realize how many germs we carry and how many we can quickly pick up just by playing outside – even playing in the water! Maria loves to play outside in the mud and in the ponds. She doesn’t understand why her mother insists she washes her hands – and so often. That is until her mother focuses a magnifying glass over Maria’s hands and she sees for herself what germs are covering her hands and potentially threatening her health.
Brenda Akwar’s picture book story, My hands are clean, or are they? Bah? Mes mains sont propres!, is another entertaining book in the Little Miss Maria’s World series. Written in English and French, this is an excellent bilingual resource that not only teaches young readers about an important health issue (washing hands), but it also teaches and improves their reading skills in two languages, English and French. The plot develops with Maria playing outside and getting dirty, then learning about the germs that are now on her hands and why it’s important to wash regularly and well. The language (in both English and French) is simple so young readers can follow along and the colorful illustrations help move the story forward. A great learning tool for health and language skills.