Bernard's Bath

Book review by
Susan Fitzgerald, Common Sense Media
Bernard's Bath Book Poster Image
Bedtime read is great for reluctant bathers.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that beautiful illustrations show regal elephants. This simple, fun story is written in accessible prose.

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What's the story?

Bernard's "No bath" mantra is all too familiar to preschoolers and parents. Armed with boats, crayons, ducks, and bubbles, however, fun-loving Mama, Papa, and Grandma finally change this reluctant baby elephant's mind, until he's pleading to make his own splash. Delightful illustrations gracefully show Bernard's transformation from bath resister to a positively eager bather.


Is it any good?

This is a good bedtime read: Warm, friendly family members and an easy-to-relate-to subject draw kids into the story. Joan Elizabeth Goodman's text is simple, as Mama, Papa, and Grandma make the transition from pleading pachyderms to ebullient elephants as they splash in the tub. One 5-year-old especially liked the author's description of "pink syrup" that turned into "mountains of bubbles."

Dominic Catalano's talent with pastels is apparent when Bernard sees the expressions on the faces of his three elephant elders transform from giddiness to guilt, but it's Bernard's eagerness to finally get in the tub, and his exuberant splash, that readers will enjoy the most. And therein lies the fun-filled lesson: Try something--you just might like it!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about learning to like something. Why is Bernard so reluctant? Have you ever discovered you enjoyed something you thought you wouldn't like? How did you change your mind?

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