GirlChild wanted to know why one of the books we checked out from the library was called Tubby. When I told her it was about taking a bath, she wanted to know why. When I told her that BoyChild and other babies like to read about things that they already know about, like pacifiers and baths and eating, and she seemed satisfied with that answer. She never did explain to me why *she* likes some of these books so much!
Barnyard Bath! and Bath Time!, by Sandra Boynton (infant/toddler): I’ve not read either of these books, but I’m ordering Barnyard Bath! (the bath time companion to Barnyard Dance!) for BoyChild’s birthday…it’s to actually use in the bathtub, and it even comes with a washcloth with the cow on it! The Bath Time! one appears to feature Little Pookie and has a squeaker in it for little ones who like that sort of thing. 🙂
Tubby, by Leslie Patricelli (infant/toddler): The diapered hero of all the Leslie Patricelli books goes through the steps of “tubby time,” from getting naked to getting diapered again and all clean at the end. Little sneaky bits of humor are there (“We wash my hair.”–and it shows his mommy lathering up the single strand of hair on top of his head), and even preschoolers will get a kick out of the silly antics of the baby although they probably feel like they’re real big kids by comparison.
Bath Time, by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Janet Pedersen (preschool): This rhyming bath story is told in first person…by a little penguin getting ready for his bath only to find that there’s not enough room for him once all his toys are in! The illustrations are done in charcoal pencil, watercolor, and gouache, and they have the appearance and appeal of crayon drawings. Very cute.
Bernard’s Bath, by Joan Elizabeth Goodman, illustrated by Dominic Catalano (preschool/early elementary): Bernard (pre-Bernard’s Baby) just doesn’t want to take a bath. His mother, father, and grandmother all get in (literally) on showing him it’s not so bad!
Squeaky Clean, by Simon Puttock, illustrated by Mary McQuillan (preschool/early elementary): Three dirty piglets of various verbal skills find out what fun a bath can be when their mother adds bubbles, duckies, and splooshing to the cleanliness routine. In the end, these three reluctant porkers just can’t get enough bath time!
Andrew’s Bath, by David McPhail (preschool/early elementary): Andrew is very hard to please about his bath, so his parents finally give up and tell him to do it himself. As they listen from downstairs, things sound a little suspicious–and Andrew tells them a variety of animals are interfering with his bath–but Andrew comes out clean and happy! (A great elementary activity to go with this book might be to have students extend the story to tell what happens when his parents come upstairs to check on him and see the bathroom. Is there real evidence of the animals we saw? Are they in bed with him? Or was it all his imagination? How do they respond to what they find?)
Big Red Tub, by Julia Jarman, illustrated by Adrian Reynolds (preschool/early elementary): With Dad in charge (although he only appears on the first and last page), Stan and Stella have a riotous bath time with a new animal joining them on every page. Repetition of the refrain (“Stan and Stella in the bath–I splash! You splash! Splash! Splash! Splash!”) with the addition of each new animal to the chant creates anticipation and the ability of even pre-readers to join in on the reading fun.
The Dirtiest Hair in the World, by Bob McAllen, illustrated by Tom McClure (preschool/early elementary): A friend’s preschool daughter wanted to bathe immediately following her first reading of this book, and you can’t go wrong with that! Claire, after a long, long while of not wanting to wash her hair, finally agrees to get clean, and her parents find all manner of whatnot hiding in there while they get the job done. The perspective and style of the illustrations are unique…there’s a lot to be found in them (just like in Claire’s hair!).
Do you have any other favorite books about bath time? Leave a comment!