A filth-encrusted gamin ticks off precisely why a trip to the tub is not on the list of priorities.
Sporting grimy skin and twiggy hair, a brown-haired, fair-skinned child decides to list the 101 reasons why bathing is not an appealing option. Starting with “I’m not dirty” and proceeding from there, the grubby kid plays every card in the deck. McAnulty manages to keep the action hopping in a narrative that really is just a very long list. There are the expected excuses (“Monsters live in the drain”), the unexpected (“I have a self-cleaning button like the oven”—that would be a bellybutton), and the downright clever (“Most household accidents happen in the bathroom. Scientific fact!”). When confronted with the kicker that only 88 reasons have been listed (a sly twist adults won’t see coming), the child responds with an additional 13 repetitions of “I don’t want to” (the title of the book isn’t 101 Unique Reasons Why I’m NOT Taking a Bath, after all). In the end bathtime is achieved, and the child has a sudden change of heart. Ang provides a peppy visual narrative to pair with the extensive monologue, though, alas, the art never quite reaches the levels of eclectic, original insanity the text leaves openings for.
There’s really only one reason to read this book: it’s a hoot. (Picture book. 4-7)