The Treasure Bath by Dan Andreasen

This jolly wordless picture book has a toddler who is busily helping his mother bake a cake.  All messy after the cake goes in the oven, he is put in the bath.  His facial expression makes it clear that he is not happy to be headed there.  But once he is in the bath with his boat, his imagination goes to work and he is surrounded by colorful fish who join him in swimming down deep into the sea to find a treasure map.  They follow the map to the treasure chest which is filled with soap and shampoo.  From there he is grabbed by an eel and scrubbed by an octopus as a whale rinses him off with his spout.  The little boy complains to the fish about how he was treated, then he returns to reality in the bath with his hair neatly combed and his mother waiting to get him out.  And what is waiting when he gets out of the bath?  Cake! 

The joyful and jolly spirit of this book is what captured me immediately.  Yes, the little boy is grumpy when being put into the bath, but then the magic begins.  The scenes underwater are just as crisp and clear as those in reality.  The lines between the two are seamless, letting the book really feel like a vivid daydream.  Andreasen’s art is done in oil on bristol board and has a nice depth, great colors, and a perfect dappled effect in the underwater scenes. 

A sudsy, jolly book that is perfect for toddlers who may not enjoy baths and for those who do too.  Appropriate for ages 2-5.

Reviewed from book received from publisher.