cover image TUB-BOO-BOO


Margie Palatini, , illus. by Glin Dibley. . S&S, $16 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-689-82394-7

A kid plugs a spigot with his toe and starts a bathtub hubbub in this blathery, lathery book. "I just wanted to stop one drippy drop. Slow the flow with my little big toe. And now—I'm stuck!" Henry says, wiggling around in a froth of bubbles. His mother tries to help but wedges her fingers in the tap, and his father gets his tie tangled up, too. A policeman and a plumber (with his posterior over-exposed) join the fray and shout the refrain, " 'It's a tub-boo-boo!' 'A tub-what-who?' 'A tub-boo-boo!' " Henry's big sister, who supplies the blustery narration, finally saves the day by applying ice cream to the affected areas: "Shlurp! Out slid Dad's tie. Thwamp! Out came Mother's fingers." Palatini (The Web Files) propels the story to a fever pitch with nonstop wordplay and punchy dialogue. Debut illustrator Dibley, whose acrylics recall somewhat David Shannon's work, overinflates the characters' faces, which bulge like balloons with shiny weak spots. Henry has watery eyes, strange three-fingered hands and a pale, worried face with a bruised green-and-purple cast. The queasy, distorted images lend urgency to this outrageous account of a toe jam. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)