Review Blog

Oct 07 2014

Whale in the bath by Kylie Westaway

cover image

Ill. by Tom Jellett. Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743318584.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Picture book, Bath time, Whales, Humour. Sent upstairs to have a bath, Bruno finds a whale has taken it over, using his bubble bath and Dad's back scrubber. He loves the warm bath water and all he needs to make things perfect is some krill. But when Bruno goes to tell his sister and mother about why he cannot have a bath, they do not believe him.
He goes back upstairs to tackle the animal, but each time he is defeated by his logic and cunning. Eventually Bruno has a shower, and readers will laugh out loud at the turn of events, as the house does not have a shower in it. All the while, Jellett's hilarious illustrations underscore the story, adding another level of humour to a funny tale. His illustrations can also be seen in recent publications, Santa's secret, and The gobbledydook is eating a book.
Discussion about lying, about avoidance, of being believed can be drawn from this engaging tale, as Bruno struggles to tell people about his problem. Each of his family dismisses his tale as yet another avoidance technique, until dad comes home. Bruno is relieved that he seems to believe him, but even Dad lets him down. Many readers will have experienced similar events and will eagerly recognise Bruno's dilemma.
Very funny on many levels, this book could be used to encourage discussion about avoidance techniques, bath time and telling stories or lies. The whale in the bath could create great discussion about the mathematical improbability of such a thing happening, of size and shape, of volume, and of the whales in our environment. The possibilities are endless.
Fran Knight

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2018
National Book Award winners 2017
Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards 2017
YABBA Awards 2017
Teens' top 10
2017 Man Booker Prize
Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature 2017 winners
2017 Children's Peace Literature Award Short List
Inkys Awards 2017
2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award
2017 NSW Premier's History Awards
The Queensland Literary Awards 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2017
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates