To the Tub

Peggy Perry Anderson, Author
Peggy Perry Anderson, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $13.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-395-77614-8
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
A frog father tries to get his son Joe to take a bath, but Joe proves to be a master of stalling, leading his father on a chaotic romp through the backyard. Joe's demands to find just one more tub toy are called off when dad and son spot a seductive mud puddle and gleefully jump in, putting them both in need of a scrub (and proving that most dads are really messy kids at heart, although apparently the mom, who appears at the door in a prim apron, is not). Anderson (Time for Bed, the Babysitter Said) has a distinct flair for slapstick--in a variation of the old banana-peel gag, for example, Dad is precariously balancing an armload of toys when he trips on a beachball. The text, however, poses a problem with its ambivalent cadence: it slides in and out of verse indiscriminately, and those who read the book aloud may find themselves struggling to find the right meter. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)