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THE FISH IS ME by Neil Philip


Bathtime Rhymes

edited by Neil Philip & illustrated by Claire Henley

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 23rd, 2002
ISBN: 0-618-15939-8
Publisher: Clarion

A compilation of effervescent poems celebrate tub time. Philip’s selections date from such early traditional rhymes as “Wash, hands, wash, / Daddy’s gone to plow./ If you want your hands washed, / Have them washed now” through the late-20th century. Authors include Carl Sandburg, Valerie Bloom, Mark Burgess, Douglas Florian, and others as well as Philip himself. Whether loved or loathed, nightly ablutions are routine for nearly all children. The poems selected reflect the universality of this theme as it spans the generations. In Washing (circa 1929), John Drinkwater’s lament “Please, what is all this washing about?” is echoed nearly 70 years later by Pauline Stewart: “Wash wash in the bath / even though I’m not dirty / If I keep on washing every day/ I’ll be clean by the time I’m thirty.”(Bath) Likewise, the sheer joy of a dunk in the tub is fervently celebrated in such poems as Bathtime and Water Everywhere. Henley’s full-bleed illustrations capture the charisma and unique voice of each poem, while retaining that element of playfulness that is the essence of bathtime. Her children encompass many nationalities, reflecting the multicultural blend of the author’s voices. A truly buoyant tribute to the family tub. (Poetry. 3-7)