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Thursday, April 21, 2011

time for a BATH, written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Thomas Allen & Son. 2011. $14.99 ages 3 and up

"Spreading its feathers wide,
this vulture takes a sunbath.
The sun's warmth feels good,
and the sunlight helps kill
bacteria - which is important
for a bird that feeds on dead

In this new series, Steve Jenkins and Robin Page bring superb nonfiction to our youngest readers. The text is short and sweet, offering up a look at many animals of the world and how they manage to keep themselves clean. The methods are as varied as the animals who take them.

The collages made from torn and cut papers are boldly colored, delightfully detailed and expressive. The tiger gazes directly at readers as he soaks in the river water that is his bathtub, while the macaques delve deeply into the hot springs that offer comfort and calm in the midst of the brutal winter.

Some baths hold little appeal:

"Some ants keep clean by scrubbing each other with feet that have been dipped in the ants' oily saliva."

Reminds me of the 'spit washes' we got as kids when company came to the door, or an ice cream cone dripped down our chins. EEEEWWW!

So much to see and learn. As I have come to expect, Robin and Steve have done their research too well. They have more than enough information to share with their readers; and so, they add short descriptive paragraphs further detailing the chosen creatures following the initial text.

In a box that arrived from Thomas Allen today, there is a second book from this series...time to SLEEP. 

Here's one entry:

"The walrus isn't choosy about where it beds down. It naps on the sea floor, sleeps as it drifts along on the ocean's surface, or snoozes on the beach. Sometimes it just hangs out, supported by an ice floe and its long tusks."

On those nights when sleep doesn't come easily, I wouldn't mind being a walrus. How about you?

That's be on the lookout for time to EAT.

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