Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
If You Don't Take a Bath is a children’s picture book written by Sally Hutchins Willett and illustrated by Benjamin Norcross. Lots of kids don’t exactly jump up and down for joy when it’s time to take a bath. In fact, some will do just about anything to avoid this nightly ritual, but what would happen if a child never did take a bath? Author Sally Hutchins Willett explores this grimy possibility with a number of whimsical options of what might actually happen. She posits amusing, and alarming, instances of carrots sprouting from ears and cattails growing from a dirty child’s armpits, and, yes, we all know that will never happen -- but what if it did? And wouldn’t it be a lot better to just go take that bath than risk the silly things that can happen if you don’t?
Sally Hutchins Willett’s humorous children’s picture book, If You Don't Take a Bath, tackles the nightly struggle to bathe little ones with a hilarious look at a little girl who is really quite dirty. She’s aghast at the plant life sprouting on her, and even more concerned at the animals, birds and insects that thrive on her unwashed body. Benjamin Norcross’s illustrations deftly show the alarmed expressions on the young girl’s face as she finds caterpillars, snails and even fleas cavorting on her knees. While reading this tale just before bedtime may cause some nightmares in very impressionable young ones, most will find this tale’s funny and charming cautionary message to be just that -- fun and just a little bit of prodding to make that nighttime bath more acceptable. Willett’s story is an excellent choice for story-time, but the simplicity of the language combined with the excellent and illustrative artwork also make it a suitable choice for new readers. If You Don't Take a Bath is highly recommended.