An interactive bathtime checklist.
Though more of an intellectual exercise than a practical tool since it’s not printed on water-resistant stock, this set of reminders delivers a soapy, splashy agenda just right for newly independent bath-takers. In response to prompts, Miki, a lion cub, first lets water into the tub (“Not too hot, not too cold!”), shampoos his improbably sumptuous mane, methodically soaps up all over, scrubs legs and feet, and finally leaps out in a wild and watery pop-up explosion. In the four cartoon scenes preceding that climax, sliding large tabs back and forth results, mostly, in gratifyingly broad and natural-looking motions. Miki’s forepaws massage shampoo through his mane as a rubber duckie bobs in one image; in the next his paws rub soap onto his tummy. Hardenberg’s translation (this was originally published in France) is likewise free and easy: “Are you forgetting anything, Miki? Nope! I’ll use soap to clean my face. And my arms. And my tummy. And my back. And my bottom.” If there’s nary a towel or a bath mat in sight, well, maybe lions dry off by running around outside.
No substitute for hands-on instruction, but it’s hard to imagine cheerier guidelines. (Pop-up picture book. 3-5)