cover image On My Way to the Bath

On My Way to the Bath

Sarah Maizes, illus. by Michael Paraskevas. Walker, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8027-2364-2

Called to the bath repeatedly by her increasingly frustrated mother (“I mean it! Do you hear me???”), Livi summons her free-range imagination and becomes the embodiment of procrastination. She turns into a snake and taunts her baby brother with her flicking tongue; she hatches a global takeover with her “loyal minions,” the guinea pigs; and she brings a crowd to its feet with her expert tuba playing. Paraskevas (Hoppy and Joe) liberally infuses his pages with goofiness (Livi creates a gravity-defying monument to herself out of blocks) and gives his heroine the sturdy physicality and simple yet evocative facial features of a Peanuts character (think Lucy meets Pig-Pen). The precocious, emphatic narration (“I slither off the sofa. I am a snake. I slink, I slide”) and escalating back-and-forth between Livi and her mother will enliven any read-aloud. There are plenty of books on the shelf covering kids’ reluctance to get into the bathtub, but Maizes, making an assured debut, and Paraskevas suggest there’s room for one more. Ages 3–6. Agent: Helen Breitwieser, Cornerstone Literary. (May)