DON AND AUDREY WOOD are the husband-and-wife creators of many beloved books for children, including The Napping House, Piggies, Heckedy Peg, and King Bidgood's in the Bathtub, a Caldecott Honor Book. The Woods live in Hawaii. www.audreywood.com
Gr 1-4 In this humorously original tale, various members of the Court, all clothed in elaborate Elizabethan dress, try to dislodge the King from his bubbly tub. Instead they are drawn into it with him, to ``do battle'' with toy ships and warriors; to eat a lavish feast; to fish and to dance. It is the young page who finds a solution, finally, by pulling the plug. Much of the delight is in Don Wood's meticulous oil paintings, which juxtapose the starched, overdressed, ``shocked'' demeanor of the Court with the King's twinkling, sensual, even lascivious manner. Minute details in the paintings emphasize this contrast; the red-haired naked King frolics while the fully-clothed courtiers emerge dripping from the bath with literally all their starch taken out. A voluptuous book whose rich range of colors and tones reflect the passing hours of the day. As in the Woods' Napping House (HBJ, 1984), the few simple words of text per large, well-designed page invite storytellingbut keep the group very small, so the children can be close enough to pore over the brilliant, robust illustrations. Susan Patron, Los Angeles Public Library
"Beauty aside, this also has a panache and sly wit that will please children and their parents, who will be called on to peruse the book again and again." (Booklist)"