There's a Bug in the Tub and It Won't Get Out by JJ Allen

There's a Bug in the Tub and It Won't Get Out

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A girl has a startling bathtime experience in this heartwarming sleepover story by debut authors Allen and Knowles.

In this tale, a young girl celebrates her relationship with her youthful-looking grandmother by describing the overnight visits she has with her every week. The pair apparently has endless fun together, whether they’re doing art projects, playing hopscotch on “the world’s largest hopscotch board,” jumping on a trampoline, or making healthy meals. Grandma likes vegetables, and she lets the girl put the salad together while adding a cooked vegetable to the mix. “Eating all my food, especially my vegetables makes my grandma very happy,” the narrator explains. But one night, there’s an extra lesson about what can happen if you don’t eat all your veggies. As the girl takes her bath in Grandma’s special big tub, she sees a “wormy, squirmy and buggy” thing at the bottom of it. Both she and Grandma panic, and wonderfully active illustrations depict the urgency with which the narrator leaves the tub. However, they quickly discover that the mysterious bug is actually a vegetable from dinner. Children will laugh at the big reveal—particularly lap readers and youngsters who try to avoid vegetables themselves. The story’s pacing is on the slow side; the main characters, for example, don’t discover the bug until three-quarters of the way through the book. The easygoing way that the girl describes her grandmother gives the tale a calm tenor, which is only briefly interrupted by the threat of a buggy bath. Overall, the vocabulary is appropriate for newly independent readers. That said, some pages have fairly dense text, while others have only a few words—an uneven division that may throw younger readers. The exuberant illustrations, though, will pull them through. The narrator is precocious and unstoppable, and she clearly gets those qualities from her grandmother; the pictures of them together are joyful and comforting. Young readers, particularly those with close grandparent relationships, will see the love reflected in the pages.

A calm, comedic tale of special friendships with beloved family members.

Pub Date: Jan. 19th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1492938453
Page count: 34pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2015


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