Pooh-pooh.

READ REVIEW

TINKLE, TINKLE, LITTLE STAR

A potty-time riff on the familiar rhyme.

Rhyming text urges the anthropomorphic Little Star not to “tinkle” until it reaches a potty at the book’s end. “Tinkle, tinkle, Little Star. / Just don’t tinkle in the car!” reads the opening spread, which depicts a worried Little Star strapped in a car seat while holding a juice box. But instead of letting this scene give way to subsequent ones in a logical narrative culminating in Little Star’s arrival at the potty after a long car trip, the ensuing spreads follow no logical sequence. First Little Star tries to “hold it on a train” and then on a plane, in a sandbox, at a puppet show, and so on, without any pit stops along the way. Do these scenes take place on different days? If they’re on a single day, the spreads bear no real narrative relationship to one another—they could just as well be read in a different order entirely, and many could be omitted, without consequence. Indeed, readers might wish some lines had been omitted, as the book seems to draw out the poor little celestial body’s suffering (though the cartoonish digital art in bright colors offers a decidedly light tone). The penultimate scene of Little Star grinning while sitting on a toilet brings relief to the character—and likely to readers as well—but it doesn’t make up for the lack of a satisfying story leading up to this ending.

Pooh-pooh. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77138-839-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A helpful way to prepare toddlers for a visit to the doctor with a character who’s easy to love.

LEO GETS A CHECKUP

From the Lola & Leo series

In this episode in the life of toddler Leo, younger brother to Lola (Lola Reads to Leo, 2012, etc.), his parents take him to the doctor’s office for a checkup.

Leo, a brown boy with tightly curled hair, dressed in a onesie and holding onto a table, “is a big boy now.” His mother and father, who are exactly the same shade of brown, are in the background as Leo feeds himself, plays ball, sings, and dances. When it is time to go, he “puts his toys away” and gets “his blankie and Mister Seahorse.” Daddy packs a bag and brings him to the clinic, where Leo sits on the floor playing with Mister Seahorse while they wait for their turn. (This doctor evidently has a separate well-child waiting room, as every soul in the diverse gathering is smiling happily—there’s not a runny nose in sight.) When it is Leo’s turn, he shows his doctor, a white woman, “what he can do now.” He gets a sticker and a book and gets checked all over. He even continues smiling while he gets his shot, which “will keep him healthy.” The rounded features and shining, rosy cheeks of the invariably smiling characters make for a pleasant trip with Leo through his safe and welcoming world.

A helpful way to prepare toddlers for a visit to the doctor with a character who’s easy to love. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58089-891-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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A playful, pull-the-tab potty-training book that’s reassuring, too.

POTTY TIME!

From the Pull and Play series

Storytime meets potty time in this board book with movable parts.

This French import features a different pair of anthropomorphic animals on each spread. One is a parent (Mommy or Daddy) and the other a child of the same species who is learning to use the potty. Instead of letting page turns show each child’s experience, a tab pulls out on each recto to reveal a changed scene. For example, at first Little Crocodile is not ready to try to use the potty, and Daddy doesn’t rush him, but he makes sure Little Crocodile knows that the potty is ready when he is. Then pull the tab, and Little Crocodile is happily sitting on the potty, with his teddy nearby on another one. Subsequent pages show other animal children who: wear underwear instead of diapers; have an accident; don’t need to go; and need help with their clothes. Peeing and pooping on the potty are both addressed, too. The book concludes with all of the animals getting ready for a nap. The line “A clean diaper, a teddy, a kiss, and it’s off to bed!” provides reassurance that learning to use the potty is a process that happens over time. The big-eyed, rounded characters in the pictures reinforce the text’s gentle, encouraging tone, and uncluttered backgrounds allow focus to remain on the characters.

A playful, pull-the-tab potty-training book that’s reassuring, too. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-2-74599-547-6

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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