Can four animals share a bathtub?
Not if the pig protagonist, who utters a satisfied “Oink!” upon spotting the empty, large, white, claw-foot tub, has anything to say about it. No sooner is the pig in the water than: “Knock! Knock!” A sheep in a frilly pink skirt enters: “Maaa?” Is this a polite request to enter the bath? The pig doesn’t answer but looks unhappy as the sheep climbs in and proceeds to splash. Another “Knock! Knock!” and a large, horned bovine wearing a shower cap and long yellow trunks appears. The bovine says “Moo?”; the sheep answers “Maaa!”; the pig just glowers. How could things get worse? Well, a donkey in another outlandish bathing costume shows up with a “Hee haw?” Soon the animal companions are talking up a storm, save for the poor pig—but in a completely wordless spread, the tables turn. With a few expressive pencil lines emanating from the water, Elliot finds a way for the pig to regain privacy. The surprised and then disgusted looks on the other animals’ faces, their accusatory animal-sound questions, and then their huffy departures tell the story perfectly. The soft pencil-and-watercolor drawings are masterful in their simple details, and kids will enjoy telling the tale themselves, intoning the animal sounds in different ways to heighten the drama of the story.
Told only in animal dialect and sound effects but with brilliant visual details, this story will become a bathtime favorite. (Picture book. 3-5)