Friday, March 18, 2011

The Sea of Bath

Clever and adorable, and nothing but good, clean fun. I had to say it, this being a bathtub tale and all! Might as well go all the way and also say it's a whale of a good time. Har, har. Thankfully the author doesn't give in to those cheesy tendencies and the result is a really smart and cute book. Bob Logan has worked as a story artist on feature animations such as Madagascar, Open Season, and my favorite, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Considering that impressive background, it should come as no surprise that his books would be as wonderful as this. 
The Captain is snoozing away on his boat, as evidenced by the snoring Z encapsulated in each soap bubble rising from his pipe. As water surrounds the S.S. Rubb A. Dubb, he snaps awake, eyes opened to perfect circles, a wary expression upon his face, as if he is familiar with this water ride. Afloat, the Captain navigates through a large group of ducks of the yellow rubber variety. He passes a deep sea diver and two brightly colored crocodiles. Experienced bathers will recognize the little hand cranks jutting off each body. 

The Captain passes by the strangest collection of sea travelers imaginable. An elephant wearing a sailor's cap floats along next to a tipsy, plum hippo, with brilliantly colored fish and sea creatures of all shapes and sizes bobbing along nearby. As raindrops pelt down and the waves start to rise, the Captain secures his cap and readies his craft for stiff weather. He encounters a several ships engaged in a battle - friendly water fire only, and considers racing a strange little boat named Soap. The Captain's voyage ends as it always does, the water mysteriously ebbs away and his ship is left on dry land.

I love how Logan took a mundane activity, put a spin on it and made it come alive. A large part of that I attribute to his charming illustrations. While it is an accurate portrayal of tub time for young kids, it just seems a heck of a lot more interesting from the Captain's point of view. I particularly like that it's just a mess of all kinds of toys, basically anything that will float, that gets chucked into the tub - just like at our house.

Bob Logan has a second book, titled Rocket Town, being released very soon! 

Review copy provided by Sourcebooks.

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