Yucky Mucky by Melanie Drewery, illus. Trevor Pye, Duck Creek Press
A father and his daughter play a game of make-believe as bathtime approaches. She pretends to be a variety of animals, and paints herself accordingly. Towards the end of the book she’s got a black nose, a tangled mane of hair, green-painted skin, sticky fingers, pink ears, dusty knees and frog legs. But none of the “animals” is allowed to participate in the final surprise until they all come together and get dumped into – the bath! An extra dimension is given to the story by frequent mention of the surprise waiting at the end of the book (ie. the bath). Trevor Pye’s crisp pastel-coloured cartoon illustrations have a slightly retro feel to them, especially the round-eyed, solid-teethed faces. Preschoolers will enjoy the juxtaposition of pictures of real animals (puppy, lion, snake, money, pig, camel, frog) with pictures of the girl pretending. This cute story should appeal to littlies who like make-believe – and to parents who have trouble getting their offspring into the bath! The hardback version has patterned end papers and feels nice to touch; note that it’s also available in paperback.
ISBN 978 1 877378 71 3 RRP $29.99 Hb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman