SCRUBBA DUB by Nancy van Laan


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 4
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Van Laan is known and respected for her abilities with story rhymes. In Scrubba Dub’s pre-cursor, Tickle Tum (2001), also illustrated by Pons, the verse moves the story forward and delivers fresh ideas to make supper time more palatable. This bath-time account, however, is rather soggy. The text stumbles from rhymes into halting, herky-jerky tongue stoppers. It begins well enough as a toddler bunny is undressed and prepared for cleansing, “Ewww yuck / sticka stuck! Off goes romper suit / tug tug pull. / Off go sneaker sneaks / tubba tub’s full.” But the reader is soon fumbling for verbal equilibrium and struggling with quasi-words as in “Tippitta dippitta tugboat toots.” The illustrations, in powdery purples and blues, depict tub scenes familiar (and ordinary) to youngsters, e.g. toys, bubbles, soap, water. Clearly happy and harmonious, mommy and babies faces are beaming with love. Pons’s softly lit paintings use watercolors and chalk to appealing effect and her artwork saves this story, but Scrubba Dub as a whole doesn’t offer up anything new or interesting to the saturated bath theme market. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-84459-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2003


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