Saturday, November 24, 2012

King Bidgood's in the Bathtub

Title: King Bidgood's in the Bathtub
Author: Audrey Wood
Illustrator: Don Wood
Copyright Date: 1985
Genre: fiction
Theme: baths, royalty, repeating
Grades: P-2 (source)
Awards: Booklist Starred Review, School Library Journal Starred Review, School Library Journal Best Books of 1985, Caldecott Honor, Pen Los Angeles Center Literary Award, Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award, Port Washington Children's Favorite Book Award, West Virginia Children's Book Award Honor Book, Colorado Children's Book Award, North Carolina Children's Book Award, Nevada Children's Book Award, ALA Notable Book, Parent's Choice Award, Storytime Featured Book (source)


King Bidgood is enjoying a bath in his royal bathtub but when it comes time for him to leave it, he won't get out. The Page cries for help and the different members of the court come up with reasons for him to end his bath. Unfortunately  King Bidgood finds a way to have each of their other activities, such as battling and fishing, happen right in his tub with hilarious consequences. 

What or who will finally get King Bidgood out of the tub? Read this book to find out.

Pre-reading Activity

The humor of this book relies on readers understanding the ridiculousness of fishing, eating, and dancing in the tub. Have a discussion about baths before reading this book, possibly making two lists. The first would be what they do in the bathtub---wash our hair, play with rubber ducks, have bubbles, etc. The other would be things that they don't (or shouldn't) do in the bathtub---ride a bike, cook, play videogames, etc. After the two lists are done, explain that you are going to be reading a book about a very silly king who does some very strange things in the bathtub.

During Reading Activity

This book is written in a repetitive and wonderfully predictable way. Have the students predict what they think will happen to the Queen and the Duke, after seeing how King Bidgood waged battle in the tub earlier. Students may also enjoy reading along with the teacher, especially if you read this book more than once.

Post-reading Activity

Due to its repetitive style and large cast of characters, this book is a favorite to turn into a reader's theater. You can assign parts to students and have them read the words and perform the actions from their parts of the book, acting in front of an audience of classmates, another class, or even parents. 

These two videos show different classes performing their versions of the book in play form, utilyzing the audio recording of the book available here

Author and Illustrator

Audrey Wood is not only an author, but also an artist (the fourth generation of artists in her family), has owned and ran a book and import store, taught drama, even traveled throughout South America. Along with writing this book, she has written and illustrated her own books (like Blue Sky), and written others that have been illustrated by her husband Don (like Heckedy Pig) and her son Bruce (like Alphabet Rescue). She currently lives in California. (Sources: book jacket, here, and here)   

Don Wood provided the wonderful illustrations for this book that won it the prestigious Caldecott Medal. Along with illustrating this book, he has illustrated many books by his wife Audrey, (such as Piggies). He is also an author himself, writing books with his wife (such as The Big Hungry Bear) and even one by himself (Into the Volcano). He currently lives in California. (Sources: book jacket, here, and here)


This is one of my favorite books from my childhood and it really holds up years later. Your class will love the  sing song nature of the book and and being able to "read" along with the teacher. No doubt you will also find students pouring over the illustrations, looking at the great details and funny things hidden in them. I can almost guarantee that this will become a favorite in your classroom. I highly recommend it.

If you are interested in purchasing this book, click here

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