cover image The Treasure Bath

The Treasure Bath

Dan Andreasen, . . Holt/Ottaviano, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-8686-7

In Andreasen's (The Baker's Dozen ) wordless double-page spreads, a wide-eyed boy's evening bath turns into an underwater adventure fantasy. Spattered with cake batter after helping in the kitchen, the boy finds himself in the tub, pushing his toy tugboat listlessly across the suds—clearly, he'd rather be somewhere else. But suddenly colorful fish leap from the water and lead him to the bottom of the tub (now the bottom of the ocean), where a map points the way to a treasure chest filled with soap and shampoo. In the next spread, an energetic octopus scrubs the boy's head while an eel holds him firmly in place. The experience doesn't appear to make a convert of the boy; squeaky clean, he scolds the sea creatures before reappearing in the tub looking rather stunned (though he is plenty excited about the piece of cake that awaits him). Andreasen borrows motifs from comic-book art—extra gleam on objects, squared-off, blunt-cut hair and the humans' doll-like postures—and combines them with Disney-esque cheer to create amiable scenarios with just a hint of irony. Ages 2–6. (Aug.)