Bound To Stay Bound

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School Library Journal - 07/01/2013 K-Gr 2—Sammy's neighbors' dad brings home a speedboat from the flea market while his father brings home a square, green, claw-footed bathtub. As the ill-mannered boys head to the beach for some boating, Sammy heads to the tub to clean up before Grandma arrives. While attempting to make his bath as adventurous as possible with bubbles, bathing suit, snorkel, water wings, and ocean song, something adventurous does happen. The great, green tub stands up, rolls down the stairs and out the back door, and then gallops to the beach. It dives into the warm water (tossing aside those boys next door in a bath-made wave) and swims with Sammy into the sea. They meet mermaids and race a sea serpent. They battle with pirates who want his bathtub (luckily the sea serpent is on their side). They get home just as Sammy's mother walks into the bathroom "without knocking, the way mothers sometimes do." Mahy's spot-on text is perfectly matched by Kellogg's illustrations done in his trademark style. Shades of green suffuse the scenes featuring the tub in a delightfully subtle and clever way. Sammy's abundant imagination is matched only by his actual bathtub escapade. Pair this rollicking tale with Susan Seligson's Amos: The Story of an Old Dog and His Couch (Little, Brown, 1987) and a version of "Aladdin" for a storytime highlighting unusual modes of transportation.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 07/01/2013 Opening endpapers show a man buying an apple green bathtub with a quizzical expression from a fantastical flea market. A few pages later, young Sammy is playing pirate in the laundry room when his mother interrupts, telling him to get—and stay—clean for his grandmother’s visit. Sammy helps his father install the same, possibly animate tub in the upstairs bathroom and submits to being its first bather. But before the bubbles are fully bubbled, the tub is off, out of the house, and down to the shore, where mermaids, sea monsters, and pirates await. After having more fun than one ought to in the tub, Sammy and the bath return home to bathe another day. Mahy dots her story with irreverent fun, while Kellogg fills the spreads with exuberant, swirling watercolors dense with detail. Together the text and images offer an imaginary picture of bath time sure to persuade even the most skeptical bather of the joys of ablution. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.

Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2013 While it was a pea-green boat that carried Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat,” it’s a giant, boxy, pea-green claw-foot bathtub that carries the protagonist in this fanciful picture-book tale. When young Sammy grudgingly gets into the tub (a new flea-market purchase), the bath springs into life, bounding across the yard and towards the ocean, taking Sammy along for the ride. The two meet mermaids, a friendly sea serpent, and a boatload of pirates who are quite taken with the porcelain implement and would like to have it for themselves. The boy and bath defend themselves valiantly with a barrage of bubbles, though, managing to make it home safely with a treasure chest filled with loot. Mahy has delivered a charming tale that hangs on the edge of reality (Sammy actually has gold in tow when his mom barges in, but did that bathtub really giggle when the water goes down the drain?), and her text reaches that level of alliteration that’s delightful rather than tiresome, rolling off the tongue smoothly as the tale unfolds (“The buccaneers had swords, but Sammy bewildered them with bubbles and baffled them with soapsuds”). The illustrations, which alternate between full-spread/full-bleed scenes and panel art, are classic Kellogg-the sea serpent is reminiscent of Jerry and Jimmy’s boa in The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash-and they’re often strongly tinted with green from the delicately lined sea. The tub sports a cheerful grin under huge round eyes, making it a friendly companion for such swashbuckling adventures. Pull this one out for a storytime about bathtime adventures-just don’t forget the soap. TA - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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