THE POTTY TRAIN

The latest addition to toilet-training literature takes the train analogy and rides the rails to success . . . one hopes. A toddler engineer is playing with his toy train and stuffed giraffe, lion and elephant (all diapered) when he feels a sudden urge. Opening the bathroom door leads him to the station where the Potty Train awaits with Conductor Lion beckoning him aboard. Giraffe doesn’t quite make it in time, but that’s okay—learning to ride takes a while. Sometimes there are leaks, and sometimes nothing seems to be happening at all. But the potty train keeps going, and soon, the little boy will be able to ride it all the time. As he disembarks with his stuffed friends, the toddler is surprised to see that they are all now wearing underwear. Young children will enjoy the inventiveness of Anderson’s acrylic illustrations, which incorporate everyday objects and toys into a fantasy train ride that marks the journey from diapers to “Undie Junction.” One page is potentially problematic, however, as it shows the train about to chug through a pipe tunnel. Nonetheless, train enthusiasts will toot “Chugga chugga poo-poo.” (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4169-2833-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2007

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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