Bath time becomes an opportunity for adventure and make-believe in this book by collaborators Grimes and Zunon (Bedtime for Sweet Creatures). In imagery-rich free verse by Grimes, a mother addresses her child: “Up and up I lift you/ till your toes leave the tile.../ slip-sliding into a soft-scented sea.” Zunon renders the family of color naturalistically, with faces and bodies that appear three-dimensional. The figures move among cut-out forms of patterned paper that constitute the story’s make-believe elements—a waterfall (the faucet’s flow), crashing waves (which the child splashes up), undersea treasure (the tub plug), and more. A yellow rubber duck grows life-size: “Monsters straight ahead!” but there’s time for observing, too—the shining bath bubbles carry “copies of your smile.” The mother doesn’t fuss about the waves her child makes; instead, she grabs the opportunity to shampoo “silky,/ wet curls.” As the ocean adventure ends (“I sink my arm into the cooling waters of the raging sea”), the relationship between parent and child deepens through the imaginative possibilities offered by their everyday ritual. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"A joyous chronicle of the delight that a bath can bring-imaginative and charming. " - Kirkus Reviews
"Children will delight... This ebullient account of a common childhood experience bursts with love and universal appeal." - Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
The family from Bedtime for Sweet Creatures (2020) is back for bathtime.
The previous book’s precocious toddler laughingly hides from Mom (Dad’s reading in the living room) when it’s clear bathtime looms. The child is persuaded to the tub with the promise that “Bath time is full of magic!” Changes in the color and capitalization of the type emphasize certain elements of the story (without any clear pattern) as Mom, who narrates, uses the power of imagination to make bathtime an adventure. The water coming out of the faucet is a “WATERFALL”; “MONSTERS” (in yellow) appear on the high seas in the form of a single rubber ducky, which elicits a “squeal” (also in yellow) from the child; mother and child “CRASH [in red] against the waves” aboard a pair of toy tugboats. Zunon’s art is lovely as ever, and her use of colors heightens engagement. It’s unfortunate that, as in the prior book, readers see the mother as the more active parent. If this family returns for a third outing, here’s hoping for more balanced parental responsibilities. Regardless of this gender-normative misstep, this companion to Bedtime for Sweet Creatures is adorable. All characters are Black.
A joyous chronicle of the delight that a bath can bring—imaginative and charming. (Picture book. 2-5)