Big Smelly Bear by Britta Teckentrup (Sterling, 2007).
Big Smelly Bear tells the story of a bear who can't stand to bathe. While this reluctance to keep clean seems to please Big Smelly Bear just fine, it's obvious that the other creatures in the forest can't stand the smell (fittingly, the flies "were the only ones that ever came close"). Then one day the yucky, muddy, dirty, stinky bear becomes so filthy that he starts to itch. What's worse, he can't reach his itch to scratch it! Along comes lovely Big Fluffy Bear who offers her help, but only if Big Smelly Bear agrees to a bath. Finally he surrenders to cleanliness and makes a new friend in the process. Read this one right before bathtime to persuade those preschoolers who avoid baths at all cost.
Pair the story with the following traditional rhyme:
I'm Dusty Bill
From Vinegar Hill
Never had a bath
And I never will!
Additional bathtime books to share:
Sticky People by Tony Johnston (Harper Collins, 2006)
"Sticky children playfully spread their stickiness around until bathtime changes everything." (Syndetics)