The Big Bath House
Author: Kyo Maclear
Illustrator: Gracey Zhang
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.