Review Blog

Nov 23 2015

Clementine's bath by Annie White

cover image

New Frontier Publishing, 2015. ISBN 9781925059427
(Age: 5+) Warmly recommended. Dogs, Pets,    Smell, Family. Wrapped in gentle rhyming stanzas the story of Clementine and her days will delight younger readers.  She loves to smell the trees and the flowers, roaming around the garden, but finding something a little smellier, rolls vigorously in it. Readers will love looking at the rubbish bin and its content, knowing full well that the smell coming from the discarded house rubbish will cover the hairy dog with a stiff pong.
And it does. Once back with her family, they all decide that she needs a bath and drag out the bath designed just for her. But Clementine is most unwilling and hides in all sorts of places, only her smell giving her away. But jumping onto a skate board sees her rolling towards the bath and eventually she lands in it realising that she has no other option than to be washed.
This is a sweet story of one dog and children will laugh uproariously at the smell and how she got to be so smelly, as well as her attempts to avoid the bath. The old fashioned illustrations suit the family oriented story, redolent of days gone by. The poetic nature of the writing invites readers to predict what words will rhyme, and read the lines they recognise out loud. New Frontier uses a font that seems fuzzy to me, but the story and illustrations is sure to attract a wide audience, particularly amongst dog owning children listening to the tale.
I love the picture of the dog sailing through the air, covering two pages, before she lands in the bath and the mess of stuff falling from the rubbish bin and the toy box. Each picture gives lots for younger readers to talk about and the map at the last endpaper will engender lots of thinking about maps and house layouts and trails.
Fran Knight

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