The Big Bath House

The Big Bath House
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
November 16, 2021
Buy This Book
A joyful celebration of Japanese cultural traditions and body positivity as a young girl visits a bath house with her grandmother and aunties

You'll walk down the street / Your aunties sounding like clip-clopping horses / geta-geta-geta / in their wooden sandals / Until you arrive... / At the bath house / The big bath house.

In this celebration of Japanese culture and family and naked bodies of all shapes and sizes, join a little girl--along with her aunties and grandmother--at a traditional bath house. Once there, the rituals leading up to the baths begin: hair washing, back scrubbing, and, finally, the wood barrel drumroll. Until, at last, it's time, and they ease their bodies--their creased bodies, newly sprouting bodies, saggy, jiggly bodies--into the bath. Ahhhhhh!

With a lyrical text and gorgeous illustrations, this picture book is based on Kyo Maclear's loving memories of childhood visits to Japan, and is an ode to the ties that bind generations of women together.

Editor review

1 review
beautifully written and illustrated
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
THE BIG BATH HOUSE is a celebration of family, community, and togetherness. With lyrical prose, the book describes the joy and calm moments as a young girl arrives in Japan and gets ready to go to the bath house with her grandmother, aunts, and cousins. The book describes the feeling of getting ready, traveling there in their wooden shoes, other rituals once there, and finally slipping into the warm water together. Through it all is the love of family and joy of relaxing in a shared tradition.

What I loved: This is a beautifully written and emotionally evocative read with poignant rhymes and lyrical prose that capture all the feelings, joy, and calmness of the journey to and at the bath house. The book has a thread of body positivity, showing many different body types as they all spend time together at the bath house. The author's note at the end shares in this celebration of all of us as we are. The soft and lovely images of family demonstrate the love and care of the aunts, grandmothers, and cousins for each other. With gently flowing text, this story comes to life through sounds and moments.

Final verdict: Beautifully illustrated and lyrically written, THE BIG BATH HOUSE captures the joy of family and the comfort of traditions with themes of body positivity and love.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account