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by Joy Cowley & illustrated by Elizabeth Fuller

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-399-24344-5
Publisher: Philomel

In this latest addition to the series, Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s favorite animals (a cow, a pig and a duck) are left alone with instructions to take a bath outdoors in a tub of icy water. Instead, they creep into the farmhouse and take a relaxing bubble bath with “rose pink soap” in the fancy pink bathroom. Due to the warm spirit of the holiday season, Mrs. Wishy-Washy forgives the worried but clean animals for invading her house and rewards them with their own bath-themed Christmas gifts. Cowley is an old pro at this appealing format: pitch-perfect, rhyming text with a catchy rhythm, rich vocabulary such as “splashes and sploshes” and amusing antics causing exaggerated reactions. Fuller’s charming watercolor illustrations are a major component of Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s appeal, and her sweetly funny animals and delightful added touches (pink monogrammed towels in the bathroom, for example) add another layer of whimsical humor. Though the series was developed for new readers, this offering also will work well as a read-aloud for younger children. (Picture book. 3-7)