No Baths At Camp

Tamar Fox; Natali Vasquez, illus.
  • Review
By – September 12, 2013
Max’s response to his mother’s attempts to con­vince him to take a bath is to con­sis­tent­ly make it clear that there were no baths at camp,” where every­thing was fun; his ques­tion is, why are they required at home? Rock climb­ing, dra­ma (even when end­ing with the campers cov­ered in face paint), camp­fires, canoe­ing, art, music, and Israeli dance do not require baths after­wards, even when the campers get full of dirt. Only before sun­down on Fri­day is it manda­to­ry for every­one to take a show­er. Max makes his moth­er ful­ly aware of all the won­der­ful activ­i­ties he does in camp, bring­ing home the sense of enjoy­ment his sum­mer adven­tures bring. The rich Shab­bat expe­ri­ence in camp is described in great detail, from Kid­dush on Fri­day night through Hav­dalah on the lake at the end of Shab­bat. Illus­tra­tions are age appro­pri­ate; their feel­ing is as whim­si­cal as the sto­ry, and whol­ly appro­pri­ate to the tone and spir­it of the book. They fill the hor­i­zon­tal pages with green and brown col­ors rep­re­sent­ing the out­doors. The illus­tra­tions very clear­ly show alter­na­tive ways in which the camp makes sure that the campers stay clean, using hoses, swim­ming, and pass­ing around hand san­i­tiz­er after the camp­fire. Jew­ish con­tent is pos­i­tive and cul­tur­al­ly re-enforc­ing for the campers. This is a light-heart­ed, amus­ing, and rec­om­mend­ed sto­ry which would be per­fect as a read-to for preschool­ers or as an inde­pen­dent read for ages 6 – 8
Shelly Feit has an M.L.S. and a Sixth-year Spe­cial­ist’s Cer­tifi­cate in infor­ma­tion sci­ence. She is the library direc­tor and media spe­cial­ist at the Mori­ah School in Engle­wood, NJ.

Discussion Questions