Perfect Picture Book Fridays are the creation of the lovely children’s book author Susanna Leonard Hill. Check in each week on Fridays for new book reviews. Susanna also has a complete list (alphabetically and by theme) of all the book reviews. It’s a wonderful resource if you’re looking for activities for a book, or books focused on a particular theme.
This is the last (for now) in my series reviewing books for babies and very young children. It has been a lovely trip back in time for me. I have given away many of the “baby” books we once owned, but somehow still have a shelf-full, and I’m glad I’ve saved these. My almost-four-year-old has enjoyed looking at them with me, which shows that these books really do span the ages.
Author/Illustrator: Sandra Boynton
Publisher: Little Simon
Year: 1984, 1995 (revised version)
Genre: Board book/picture book
The sun has set not long ago. Now everybody goes below to take a bath in one big tub with soap all over—SCRUB, SCRUB, SCRUB!
Synopsis: (from publisher’s website) This classic bedtime story is just right for winding down the day as a joyful, silly group of animals scrub scrub scrub in the tub, brush, brush brush their teeth and finally rock and rock and rock to sleep.
What makes it great: What makes it great: Boynton’s silly, expressive animals, a little surprise, and a gentle ending (“They rock, and rock, and rock, to sleep.”)
What readers notice: This book became part of my son’s bedtime routine when he was about 8 months old. We would start reciting the lines as he was taking a bath, then getting his pajamas on, and finally while rocking him before putting him in his crib. Anything to help reinforce those rituals was helpful, I thought! At that age, I think he enjoyed looking at the illustrations – each page has a different background color in a medium tone, with bright spots of color that pop. And the last page is dark – perfect for bedtime.
What a writer notices: Even in this short book there’s a little surprise for readers – when the animals, all brushed and bathed, run upstairs in their pajamas to exercise before going to sleep. (It’s a great example of a compelling page turn.) I also love how the setting, a boat, enables the author to plausibly “rock” all of the animals to sleep.
Activities/Links to Resources:
Activities focused on hygiene habits
A special education teacher reviews The Going to Bed Book app for the iPad:
Sandra Boynton: The Unbelievable Fascinating Autobiography