Small Elephant loves water—most of the time.
But Small Elephant loathes bathtime, even when his mommy adds extra bubbles and toys. His boxy body, dot eyes and wide-set ears all telegraph absolute opposition to watery fun in the tub. Bright, bleach-white backgrounds and a limited palette of primary reds, blues and graphite grays make Small Elephant's flat pencil-outlined form and his fierce refusal of bath quite vivid. Scarlet text with large letters and arresting placement on the page contributes to the artwork's success, while understated, deadpan facial expressions (achieved through minute adjustments to tiny eyes, eyebrows and trunks) make a familiar no-bath picture book effortlessly amusing. Watercolors occasionally appear (on shower curtains, as a roiling red tantrum backdrop, on flapping ears), adding appropriately watery depth and undulation to the starkly one-dimensional illustrations—so perfect for a story about a binary bath experience. After Daddy squeezes himself into a much-too-small tub, Small Elephant happily hops in and promptly refuses to get out.
Charming, brilliant in color and execution, and funny to even the most indignant foot stompers, NO! screamers and bathtime boycotters. (Picture book. 2-6)