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Whale in the Bath

Whale in the Bath

Whale in the bath cover

A Children's Book Council of Australia Notable Book and listed on the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge

Bruno can't wash when there is a whale in the bath! Why won't anyone believe him? An irresistibly sweet read-aloud story perfect for those imaginative 3-6 year olds and their parents.

'Bruno, get in the bath!'

It's bathtime, but there's a whale in the tub and Bruno can't get in! No one in his family believes him and Bruno keeps being sent back to the bathroom until, at last, Bruno and the whale work out a very splashy solution.

A wonderful story that humorously explores bathtime and a playful celebration of a child's imagination.


The combination of Kylie Westaway's simple, imaginative story and Tom Jellett's lively illustrations provides an entertaining read-aloud story for young children. The whale is literally too big to fit on the pages and there's a palpable sense of being splashed with bubbly, soapy water. 

Books + Publishing

This is one of those cute stories where a little person is telling the truth but everyone assumes it's their great imagination...Perfect read for any little one who likes to have the last laugh and would be captured by the idea of finding a whale (who'd prefer krill-scented bubble bath) in their bathroom.

Create Hope Inspire

In a joyful exploration of imagination, Kylie and Tom romp riotously through Bruno’s bathtime – which is somewhat impeded due to there being a whale in the bath! With a fabulous text and Tom Jellet’s outstanding illustrations, this is a marvellous readaloud for little folk and a humorous take on children’s imaginations. Highly recommended for ages 3 and up – and all bath procrastinators! 

Just So Stories

This fabulously fun book reminded me of a great childhood love of mine - A Fish out of Water by Helen Palmer (wife to Dr Seuss) and PD Eastman. The magical absurdity of a whale in a teensy tub is just giggly in the extreme, and Tom Jellett's glorious illustrations, with their cool retro vibe and immensely pleasing colour palette, bring even more frivolity to the old 'kids have a whale of an imagination' storyline we love so much. The ending of this book is particularly rewarding. A sensational offering for out loud readings--kids of all ages will love it.  

Kids Book Review

Very funny on many levels, this book could be used to encourage discussion about avoidance techniques, bath time and telling stories or lies. Whale in the Bath could create great discussion about the mathematical improbability of such a thing happening, of size and shape, of volume, and of the whales in our environment. The possibilities are endless.

Read Plus

A perennial Calvin and Hobbes situation gets a nice twist from new author Kylie Westaway and a good deal of humour from Tom Jellett's distinctive, slightly cartoonish characters and interesting angles. 

The Advertiser, Weekend

This exuberantly illustrated tale is perfect pre-scrub reading.

The Australian

This is the most delightful story of imagination and fun, that has a cute twist in the end that enables the reader to read Bruno’s mind and say “I told you so!’ Tom Jellett has provided some superb illustrations that make this romp all the better. Young listeners will have fun thinking about how the whale might have got into the tub and how it will get out! There’s also scope for following it up with a discussion about why Bruno’s family didn’t believe him and perhaps sharing The Boy who Cried Wolf. From a visual imagery perspective there is opportunity to explore the layout and how certain words have been emphasised as well as how Jellett has managed to suggest the enormity of the whale without trying to fit it into the page. And then there is a mathematical perspective of comparing sizes – perhaps even sharing Bill Martin Jr’s poem, What is Big? 
This one is going in my school box as my next read-aloud to students!  It will set up the learning for the whole day.

The Bottom Shelf

This is a delicious variant on an old fable which will engage pre-toddlers and well beyond. Sibling dispute is excellently judged, together with Bruno's mounting despair when he can't persuade the whale to get out of the bath...Expressive typefaces show just how annoyed, worried, angry or surprised the characters are, and the text itself invites the smallest of readers to join in. This is likely to become a bedtime favourite in many households!

Armadillo Magazine, UK

Whale in the bath is a joyful tale that is highly recommended for pre and early school age children. The kindergarten class, who shared the story with me, laughed uproariously and demanded a second reading on the spot.

Charles Sturt University

Whale colouring page

Print and colour the whale in the bath!

Draw something in the bath

Print and draw your own whale in the bath!