BATH TIME

Eileen Spinelli, Author, Janet Pedersen, Illustrator , illus. by Janet Pederson. Cavendish $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7614-5117-4

Mama Penguin's watch says it's bath time at the igloo, but "You won't hear me complain!" exclaims her perky penguin daughter, who loves the tub. There's just one hitch: the little penguin goes overboard when it comes to toys: "I need some sudsy bubbles/ and a bubble pipe, of course,/ and my beach ball from last summer,/ and my frisky diving horse." By the time she adds "the soap, the sponge,/ the washcloth—one, two, three," she can't get in herself, "because/ there's just no room for me!" Spinelli, showing little of the spare lyricism found in her Night Shift Daddy, offers up an unsurprising execution of a familiar joke (for an approach with the same premise and a bit more zip, see last season's Tub Toys by Terry Miller Shannon and Timothy Warner). Pederson's (Baby for Sale) full-spread pencil-and-watercolor illustrations conjure the texture and naïf verve of a child's crayon drawings and conveys the narrator's bubbly eagerness. The artist also tucks in some fun details (observant readers will notice a copy of 101 Penguin Jokes on top of the igloo's toilet). Ages 3-6. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/03/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
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