Release Date: April 2019

Illustrated by: Cheri Hughes
Published by: Big Sky Publishing

Ben and his best friend, Bandit have decided it’s ‘NO BATHS’ week. Mum plays along but challenges them to find other ways to get clean.

Will Ben and Bandit come up with a clever plan? And will they rediscover their love of having a bath?

This humorous story is bursting with mess, noise, and adventure. A perfect balance of fun and chaos for anyone involved in this often loved, but sometimes dreaded, daily bath routine. Teachers NotesBuy Book Now!


Katrina McKelvey’s story is overflowing with messy mischief. Children aged three to seven years will identify with mud pie-making, sandpit-shovelling Ben and adore his partner in grime, Bandit. Beyond the frothy fun of the story, Katrina dives deep into the themes of friendship and creativity with a unique blend of heart and humour.

Cheri Hughes’ dynamic illustrations dazzle readers with their magic and movement. Bright colours splash across the spreads, adding a layer of visual energy to the lively text, while onomatopoeic words pop from the pages like shiny soap bubbles.

This is an ideal book for children who fuss at bath time, as Ben’s increasingly silly suggestions will make them laugh. When Ben and Bandit eventually give in and take the plunge, the sheer joy on their faces reveals to reluctant bathers just how wonderful a warm bath can be. ∼ Dannielle Viera - Buzz Words

This is a fun, colourful adventure about Ben and his best mate Bandit (his dog) and their mission to avoid the bathtub for an entire week. The best part about this is the unstructured, messy, creative, outdoor play that Ben and Bandit engage in without an adult hovering by and directing the action. In addition they live in a big old house surrounded by space and lawn and a cow over the next door fence. Mum is patient and fun, caring for them, while at the same time letting them be independent. They finger (and paw) paint their secret hide-out, they explore forbidden and dirty places like under the house, they bake dog biscuits (even snail-flavoured ones), dig to the very bottom of the sandpit, make sticky mud pies and a mud slip and slide. At the end of each day they come up with a way of getting clean that doesn't involve the bath (the sprinkler, the mobile dog wash, even the car wash), each one with humorous results. They are running out of ideas when Mum suggests the hot, steamy dishwasher . . . that has Ben and Bandit running for the bath! Ben's unbridled spirit is obvious as he announces that next week is go to bed late week! There is a definite message for parents about giving kids freedom and access to creative and outdoor unstructured play (Ben even wears a t-shirt that says 'Art is Education') and the depiction of this play in the funny, busy illustrations will thoroughly entertain and engage young children. ∼ - Nicole Nelson - Read Plus