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Off to See the Sea
Off to See the Sea
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Bedtime for Sweet Creatures
Off to See the Sea

Off to See the Sea
written by Nikki Grimes
illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, January 12, 2021
ISBN 978-1492638292

About the Book

Bath time is full of magic.

The faucet flows like a waterfall, the bathroom floor is a distant shore, toy boats sail against the waves. An imagination-fueled adventure on the high seas is just what it takes to get little one clean.


The loving African American family from Grimes and Zunon’s Bedtime for Sweet Creatures (2020) returns for another nighttime routine transformed through play and imagination. When the mother announces it’s bath time, her young child runs and hides, only to be lured to the tub by the promise of bath-time magic. And just like that, the water pouring from the faucet becomes a waterfall and the child a swimmer in a “soft-scented sea.” Children will delight as the young protagonist imagines all kinds of adventures during the bubble bath, from escaping monsters (a yellow rubber duckie) and diving deep beneath the sea to crashing through rough water in a tugboat (a toy from Daddy) and splashing against the waves created by busily kicking legs. Using several mediums—oil and acrylic paint, cut-paper collage, gel pen, and marker—Zunon employs a layered approach to create vibrant illustrations that wonderfully blend realistic elements with those of the unfolding fantasy. The use of detail, from the softly drawn towel to the rainbow-slicked reflections of the main character in soap bubbles, creates evocative scenes that ping the senses. Grimes’ language also contributes to the book’s sensory effect, as words like slip-sliding, giggling, crash, and splash add to the story’s joy and drama. This ebullient account of a common childhood experience bursts with love and universal appeal. (Booklist, starred review)

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