Books by Marian De Smet

Released: March 1, 2003

Here's a whiz of a tale that circles around an uncooperative bathroom door. Anna and her mother are at the library. Anna has finished selecting her books, but her mother is dawdling. Anna whispers that she has to go to the bathroom and her mother responds with a distracted, "Mmhmm." Anna enters the door that has the picture of a girl on it, which also has openings both at the foot and the transom, and suddenly we're in Europe, where a toilet is a toilet and not a bathroom. Anna knows her mom doesn't like her to lock doors, but this one gets locked—and stuck. She tries to scoot out the openings, to no avail. She does lose a shoe, though, and a boy named Peter finds it. He manages to squirm into the stall to help Anna, also to no avail. So they sit and read until Anna's mother tracks her down. Freed at last by some fancy work with a nail file, the children wait as Anna's mother uses the toilet, only to find her trapped inside when she tries to get out. As readers leave the story, the librarian is yanking on the door—to no avail, of course. The homey, disheveled illustrations of Anna sitting, then standing on the john, and then sharing it with Peter, suit this story of cascading snafus—and of learning the pleasures of bathroom reading—to a T. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >