The Big Bath House by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Gracey Zhang

Published by Random House

The Big Bath House: Maclear, Kyo, Zhang, Gracey: 9780593181959:  Books

The Big Bath House: Maclear, Kyo, Zhang, Gracey: 9780593181959:  Books

Summary:  The author recalls her childhood visits to a Japanese bath house with her female relatives.  It begins at her grandmother’s (Baachan’s) house, where she and her mom and aunts gather and change into robes and wooden sandals.  They clomp down the street to the bath house, disrobe, then wash up before blissfully sinking into the steamy heat of the big bathtub.  Afterward, there are soft towels to wrap up in and sweet shaved ices to slurp before heading for home and bed.  Includes an author’s note telling of her summers spent in Japan and how her visits to the bath house made her more comfortable with all types of bodies.  40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  A lyrical memoir showing readers a body-positive environment that brings together family members.  The whole experience feels luxurious, relaxing, and loving, with the illustrations capturing all of those feelings, as well as plenty of details of the Japanese setting.

Cons:  Given the current mad rush to censor, I’m sure this book will receive more than its share of challenges.

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