Whale in the Bath by Kylie Westaway and Tom Jellett

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743318584
(Age: 3-6) Picture book. In a joyful exploration of imagination, Kylie and Tom romp riotously through Bruno's bathtime - which is somewhat impeded due to there being a whale in the bathtub!
Sent upstairs for his bath, Bruno finds a very large, very blue whale overflowing the edges of the bathtub, using, if you don't mind, Bruno's bubblegum scented bubblebath! How RUDE!
Poor Bruno tries to explain this fishy situation to his sister, big brother, his mum and finally his dad but no one believes him. Just because last week he had said there was a bear under his bed, and on Dad's birthday he had seen a walrus in the backyard seems no just reason to disbelieve his whale tale.
Sanguinely, the whale takes his time with his ablutions despite Bruno's protestations. After all, it's not easy washing all your bits when the bath seems bucket-sized to the bather. When things start to get a little heated (and not just the bath water) because Bruno still has not had his bath, the laidback whale comes up with a very 'splashy solution'.
With a fabulous text and Tom Jellet's outstanding illustrations, this is a marvellous read-aloud for little folk and a humorous take on children's imaginations. It could easily springboard to joint writing of other situations - brushing teeth? Getting dressed for school? Taking out the rubbish?
Sue Warren