With large font and short phrases, each easy-to-read four-line stanza moves the story forward to its splashy conclusion. Children will be amused by the bouncy rhymes, which are easy for toddlers to grasp and eventually memorize. It’s nice to read strong verbs like smudge, trudge, scoop, wriggle and giggle in a book for toddlers, helping them build their vocabulary and adding interest for the adults who will no doubt read this many times. Splish! Splash! Everyone will look forward to a bath.
The rhyming text is sing-songy and smooth... The subdued acrylic hues of the salmon pink, sky blue, soft yellow, tan, and light brown bears–and their resemblance to the kinds of simple, fuzzy bears used to decorate nurseries–create a childlike feel. The ample white space surrounding the bears allows children to focus on the cuddly critters. This is a sweet story for children to share with their grown-ups before bed or bath time.
—School Library Journal
This charming book will entice young children with its bright palette and energetic narrative. Parenteau’s rhymes flow smoothly and employ an impressive array of synonyms to describe the young bears’ lack of cleanliness. The sketchy illustrations are loose but uncluttered, nicely capturing the simple joys of bath time with their vibrant colors. A sweet addition to the bath-time genre.
Walker’s acrylic paintings make the bears as adorable and personable as ever, and Parenteau’s peppy descriptions of their in-the-tub antics (“They toss the bubbles./ They giggle and shriek”) may persuade a few reluctant bathers to dive in.
Big Brown Bear wants to entice four "grimy" but stubborn cubs into the bath, and finds a wonderful way to accomplish his mission in this fresh twist on bathtime tales. ... David Walker uses acrylics like pastels, as he depicts an irresistible parade of toddler stand-ins tracking muddy paw prints hither and yon. ... Guaranteed to break down resistance to bathtime.
—Shelf Awareness (starred review)