Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Book #46: King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood, Illustrated by Don Wood

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Oh no! What to do? King Bidgood’s in the bathtub, and he won’t get out! A young page steps out of the bathroom to ask the court for help. The mustached knight is the first to volunteer. He tells the king to get out, it’s time for battle! Unfortunately for the knight, the king decides it will be a water battle with bath toys in the tub! As the day wears on the members of the court are defeated one by one. Finally, the page figures out the solution. He pulls the plug out of the bathtub and out runs King Bidgood!

This 1986 Caldecott Honor Book uses a predictable, repetitive structure that will hook kids into the story. Encourage them to help you each time the page repeats his cry for help. The text frequently mentions the passage of time and the illustrations back this up with great use of shadow and light. The characters are exaggerated, with dramatic facial expressions and pompous attire. Bearded and jolly King Bidgood revels in his bath water like Neptune in the ocean.

After you read the book ask the kids how long they think the king was in the bathtub. Go back through the book to find the clues in the text and illustrations. Also take the time to talk about what the page is carrying each time he leaves the bathroom to call for help. For instance, after the king goes fishing with the duke, the page is seen with a basketful of fish.

If you’re reading this at home, it’s a great excuse to do some bathtub science projects. And once you finish with that, use bath toys to retell the story together. If you don’t have a bathtub most of these activities can be done in a sink, an inflatable kid pool, or a tub of water. Make sure to have lots of towels handy!

As with yesterday’s post, 5 Minutes’ Peace, turn a refrigerator box into a bathtub and encourage the kids to retell the story. The page has a lot to say, so try having a Page Hat and give each child a chance to be the page. You’ll probably want to retell the story a few times adding more props, costumes, and embellishments.


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