• Booklist Starred Review, October 1st, 1985
  • School Library Journal Starred Review, 1985
  • School Library Journal Best Books of 1985
  • Caldecott Honor, 1986
  • Pen Los Angeles Center Literary Award, 1985
  • Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award, 1988
  • Port Washington Children’s Favorite Book Award, 1990
  • West Virginia Children’s Book Award, 1988 Honor Book
  • Colorado Children’s Book Award, 1987
  • North Carolina Children’s Book Award, 1992
  • Nevada Children’s Book Award, 1988
  • ALA Notable Book
  • Parent’s Choice Award
  • Storytime Featured Book


School Library Journal Starred Review

Nov 15, 1985

“Gr 1-4. In this humorously original tale, various members of the Court, all clothed in elaborate Elizabethan dress, try to dislodge the King from his bubbly tub. Instead they are drawn into it with him, to “do battle” with toy ships and warriors; to eat a lavish feast; to fish and to dance. It is the young page that finds a solution, finally, by pulling the plug. Much of the delight is in Don Wood’s meticulous oil paintings, which juxtapose the starched overdressed, “shocked” demeanor of the Court with the king’s twinkling, sensual, even lascivious manner.

Minute details in the paintings emphasize this contrast; the red-haired naked king frolics while the fully-clothed courtiers emerge dripping from the bath with literally all their starch taken out. A voluptuous book whose rich range of colors and tones reflect the passing hours of the day. As in the Wood’s Napping House (HBJ 1984), the few words of text per large, well designed page invite storytelling – but keep the group very small, so the children can be close enough to pore over the brilliant, robust illustrations – Susan Patron, Los Angeles Public Library”

Reader Review

My seven year old wants you to know that he noticed that in King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub when they are getting ready for the Ball that the night has a battleship on his head, the queen has a swan on her head, and the duke has a fish on his head. He noticed that these are all related to what they do in the tub. He and I love going through your books over and over again to see all of the different surprises in the pictures. – Amber, Blake and Brett Thompson

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