PreS. Parents who have trouble getting their toddlers into the tub will warm to this upbeat opening: "Bath time is a lot of fun-- / You won't hear me complain! / My mother turns the water on, / and I pretend it's rain." The little penguin pictured loves his bath so much that he goes overboard with preparations, adding bubble bath, treasures, and lots of toys to the tub, along with soap, a sponge, and a washcloth as an afterthought. In the end, he's puzzled to find no room for himself. The last scene shows the toys lined up against the bathroom wall as the mother washes her little one in the bubbly tub and he plays happily with a ball. The rhyming text rolls along in a satisfying way, while the large-scale artwork, in charcoal pencil with watercolor and gouache, reflects the innocent and lightly humorous tone of the verse. Little listeners probably won't be so easily convinced that bath time is fun, but they will surely enjoy this bright, appealing picture book. ((Reviewed March 15, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews
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.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.