A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
One or two words on each page are capitalized and in color, which may draw little eyes in for incidental letter recognition practice.
Use your imagination to make things you have to do more fun.
Positive Role Models
The mom uses pretend play and imagination to engage her little one at bath time. She appears to genuinely enjoy entertaining the toddler. Child, mother, and father are all Black. Child's gender is not identified. The mother does most of the work of bath time, the father reads on the couch and carries the child away from the bath.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Off to See the Sea, by the author-illustrator team of Nikki Grimes and Elizabeth Zunon, brings back the family from Bedtime for Sweet Creatures for bath time. Mom entices her little one to the bathroom with the promise of a "roaring waterfall." Once in the tub, mom pretends and plays with her child with genuine joy. The artwork is bright and full of movement (waves, floating bubbles, swirling water), sure to engage little eyes. The child's expressive face communicates just how much fun bath time can be with a little imagination. The rhythmic, free-verse text is meant to be read aloud. Traditional gender roles are shown: Mom bathes the child while Dad reads on the couch, and then he carries the child off to bed after the bath. This book offers the littlest readers a satisfying bath time adventure.
Is It Any Good?
This sweet, creative bath adventure with stunning art will enchant little daydreamers who sometimes need encouragement to do what they must. Off to See the Sea brings all the imaginative joy from Bedtime for Sweet Creatures to the oft-resisted cleaning ritual. There's a playful, pleasing rhythm to the text for the most part, and lines of text occasionally arc and smile or swirl down the drain for a touch of whimsy. As with the first book, the art is fantastic, crafted in vivid, bold colors of oil and acrylic paint with cut paper collage, lending visual interest and texture to each spread.
Adult readers who value shared parenting responsibilities may be disappointed to see that, as in Bedtime for Sweet Creatures, Dad is less involved in the work (and fun) of bath time. Aside from this snag, it's a really fun romp of a book for little ones and their adults.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.