An aristocratic but abandoned bathtub is taken home by a family of bears in this amusing illustrated children’s book.
As told in rhymed verse, an old bathtub left to molder in the forest is taken home by a family of three bears, who are very proud of this acquisition, dubbing it Sir Reginald Tubb—although they aren’t sure of its use. Garbage bin? Peony planter? Kettledrum? Poor Sir Reginald endures many uncomfortable, undignified moments, but at last the plumber-bear arrives and connects the pipes. The bear family greatly enjoys their new bathtub, especially the cub. His imaginative games, like pretending the tub is a magic ship, please Sir Reginald as well: “For this the tub was born and bred, / His life had never been nicer.” When the drain clogs, the tub fears being discarded in the forest again, but the plumber comes to the rescue, and now Sir Reginald lives “splashily ever after.” Everything works in Schacker’s debut book. His rollicking verse is clever, fresh, appealing, and very funny. Serious matters underlie the fun, such as the tub’s loneliness and his existential dilemma (what is his purpose in life?), giving the book unexpected depth. The charming illustrations (with color by Faber) are well-detailed and dynamic as well as expressive. Seemann (Desdemona Saves the Day, 1992) manages to make a bathtub one of the book’s most animated characters. The book’s moral is a useful one: “Have faith—and call the plumber.”
A whimsical delight with well-written verse, excellent illustrations, and appealing characters.