Pirates Don’t Take Baths by John Segal
Some piglets hate, hate, hate taking a bath. In fact, this little pig NEVER wants to take a bath again. So he decides to become someone who never takes a bath. Like a pirate! But his mother points out that he gets seasick. So the little pig decides to be a cowboy until his mother reminds him that cowboys sleep on hard, cold ground. How about an Eskimo, well they eat things like blubber and liver. The piglet goes from one idea to the next, his mother giving reasons why it isn’t a good option. Until finally, he decides to become a treasure hunter who searches for treasure – under water!
Segal has created a book that nicely mixes avoiding baths and different types of jobs. He infuses the entire book with humor that keeps it moving quickly forward. The relationship between the young pig and his mother is also a pleasure to read. Book design helps in reading the book aloud by having the mother’s comments in italics.
Segal’s art, done in pencil and watercolor, plays white space against fully colored pages to great effect. Reality of the mother and child is done against a white background while his fantasies of different jobs are done in full color backgrounds. The illustrations have strong edges and the watercolor gives a softness that is very appealing.
A fun look at avoiding baths through imagination, this book is appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from copy received from Philomel Books.