Alfie in the bath by Deb Gliori
Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781408853511
(Age: 2-5) Highly recommended. Baths. Imagination. Alfie-Bun is splashing around in the bath, surrounded by his toys, bubbles floating in the air, he's having fun. What's under the waves? What a surprise for the young reader when the gatefold spread is opened, the bath toys have come to life. He's in the middle of an underwater adventure. There's a large blue octopus waving seaweed, the tugboat steaming along, catfish - half cat, half fish, and a big multi-coloured Merlion rides the waves. Crab is splashing in soap, his claws ready to pinch frog, there's so much to enjoy and discover. Alfie pretends to be a sea monster waving his tentacles and sinking the other animals. When he pretends to be a huge whale spouting and makes a giant splash, Daddy-Bun is there to clean up.
This is a wonderful read-aloud picture book. Scottish author Deb Gliori's simple text is filled with sounds and noises, just right for repeating. There are little pink crab's claws licking SNICK-SNECK, the snorkel bubbles and hisses and the giant wave goes KERSPLOOOOSH! Her illustrations are bright and her animated characters are boldly drawn with pen, ink and watercolours. Shades of blue anchor each page as the swirling bathwater underpins the animals' activities. Alfie's bathtime is a celebration of the imagination.