Bernard's Bath

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Overview

It's bath time, but little Bernard will not go near the water. So his family tries to make the bath as inviting as possible. Mama pours in bubble bath. Papa adds a rubber ducky. Grandma offers a toy boat. Still, Bernard says, "No bath." Then Papa has an idea. He dives into the tub to show Bernard that bath time is fun time. Soon Mama and Grandma dive into the tub as well, trumpeting and blowing water from their trunks and playing with Bernard's toys. Everyone is having lots of fun. Now Bernard wants to jump ...

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Overview

It's bath time, but little Bernard will not go near the water. So his family tries to make the bath as inviting as possible. Mama pours in bubble bath. Papa adds a rubber ducky. Grandma offers a toy boat. Still, Bernard says, "No bath." Then Papa has an idea. He dives into the tub to show Bernard that bath time is fun time. Soon Mama and Grandma dive into the tub as well, trumpeting and blowing water from their trunks and playing with Bernard's toys. Everyone is having lots of fun. Now Bernard wants to jump in the water, too. Any child who does not like to take baths will find a friend in Joan Elizabeth Goodman's gentle and humorous story, warmly illustrated by Dominic Catalano.

Joan Elizabeth Goodman has written and illustrated numerous picture books, including Hush Little Darlings: A Christmas Song, Amanda's First Day of School, and Good Night, Pippin, which the Christian Science Monitor hailed as a book that "radiates warmth and embraces children in a secure feeling of family caring and unity." She lives in New York City and Fairfield, Connecticut.

Dominic Catalano is an artist, musician, and teacher. Among the books he has illustrated are Merry Christmas, Old Armadillo by Larry Dane Brimner, the thirty-fifth anniversary edition of The Reason for the Pelican by John Ciardi (both published by Boyds Mills Press), and Wolf Plays Alone, which he wrote as well as illustrated. He lives in Oswego, New York.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bernard is an elephant, but he has something in common with many a human child-a loathing of bathtime. "No bath," he announces, taking refuge in the towel closet. His parents' cajolings and even the lure of bubbles and bath toys fail to change his mind. Only when he sees Mama and Papa and even Grandma climb into the tub and cavort happily is he finally enticed. Zeroing in on one of the main events in a small child's day, this frothy tale gives the bath-o-phobic an opportunity for vicarious revolt (and reconciliation). Catalano's (Wolf Plays Along) droll pastels play up Goodman's (Good Night, Pippin) effervescent text, and there's much sly visual enjoyment in such details as Bernard's determined expression and the elephant grown-ups whooping it up in the tub. Kids will soak this one right up. Ages 2-5. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Bernard is a baby elephant with definite ideas. "No Bath" is one of them. It softens to "Maybe Bath" when Papa and Mama Elephant jump in to have fun with soap crayons and bubbles and Grandma creates a tidal wave when she dives in. Bernard is all alone on the bath mat. Gradually his "Maybe Bath" becomes "Bath" and then "BATH, MY BATH!" The flavor of this book for the pre-school child is summed up in a quote from the illustrator, "For my mom who made bathtime, and the rest of my childhood, a joy!" The illustrations are whimsical and alive with action. Mama and Grandma wear fanciful tiaras--a proper way to identify girl elephants! 2000 (orig. 1996), Boyds Mill Press Inc., Ages 2 to 5, $14.95 and $7.95. Reviewer: Jean Leggett—Children's Literature
School Library Journal
PreS-In typical toddler fashion, Bernard, a young elephant, is stoutly avoiding his bath. "No bath," he proclaims from his hiding place in the linen closet, and proceeds to resist the various blandishments offered by his mother, father, and grandmother: pink bubble bath, soap crayons, a rubber ducky, and a boat. Finally, to demonstrate the joy of bathing, all the grownups begin wallowing and splashing in the tub, playing divers and submarines, and having such a good time that they don't even hear Bernard when he declares, "Bath," until he bellows it. The humorous, lively, yet simple text reads aloud well and should produce giggles from listeners. But although the full-page illustrations feature jolly, expressive elephants, the colors-dull rusts, blues, grays, and greens-detract from the lighthearted mood. This heaviness is repeated in the solidity of the artwork. Even the water cascading from the tub has a strange firmness, and the bath toys appear almost monumental. Nevertheless, there is plenty of action and fun here.-Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA
Lauren Peterson
It's time for Bernard's bath, but the baby elephant stubbornly refuses to come out of the closet. Mama creates mountains of bubbles, Papa throws in Duck-Duck, and Grandma offers a boat, but Bernard doesn't take the bait. So Papa climbs in to show Bernard how much fun baths are, then Mama climbs in, and finally Grandma. The three grownups have such a blast that Bernard can't resist joining them. This is perfect for a preschool audience: the text is short and sweet, and Catalano's pastel illustrations are bursting with all the fun and activity one would expect from a tub full of lively elephants. Use this with the hilarious "King Bidgood's in the Bathtub" (1985), about an unruly king who refuses to get out of the bathtub, to illustrate the concept of opposites, or with Raffi's delightful song "Bathtime" to add a multimedia aspect to story time.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563973239
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1996
  • Series: Bernard's Bath Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: 400L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.35 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan Goodman has written and illustrated numerous picture books, including the Bernard series; Hush Little Darling: A Christmas Song; Amanda's First Day of School; and Good Night, Pippin. She is also the author of Songs from Home, a novel for young adults. Ms. Goodman lives with her husband and two children in New York City.

Dominic Catalano has illustrated many books for children, including Mr. Basset Plays, which he also wrote. He lives in Perrysburg, Ohio.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2004

    Bernard's a winner in our house!

    This book is wonderful!! My 2 1/2y daughter loves this book - we first got it at the library, read it every day for weeks, then, when we had to return it she was quite upset. We checked it out again a few months later. Now I am going to march into my bookstore and purchase it so she can have it for keeps! The storyline is great; any preschooler can certainly identify. I would definitely recommend it to other parents.

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