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During bathtime, Christopher and his mother share an experience in which she shrinks to a very small size and he takes care of her.
"Pick up your blocks," "No more T.V.," and "Time for your bath" are the phrases that set off a small boy's protests. Christopher declares, "Go away, Mommy!" and offers his toy boat for her to ride in. She protests that she's too large, and so, "Be small," he commands. She obligingly shrinks and is set afloat in the tub, where she expresses a list of fears about what's happening to her. Several other mothers appear in a small motorboat on the bathwater horizon, and Christopher admonishes her to have a good time, remember her manners, and don't hit the others. He endearingly reassures her that he will help her; the mother, once restored to size, sighs that it is hard to be small. "I know that already," Christopher replies. Mathers uses the simplest of illustration styles: The people are almost stick figures—but their postures are wonderfully expressive—and the scenes, intentionally naive yet showing intelligent composition, resemble children's crayon scrawls, done with flat perspectives. A highly original book that will strike a chord in every child's experience, and one that parents will enjoy immensely.