COOK IT!

A cheery little girl and her dad plan a shopping trip, go to the grocery store (by bike), purchase ingredients and go home to make pizza for the whole family (a biracial one, in a nice touch). An enthusiastic running commentary narrates the activities, which all go smoothly and safely, with just a bit of mess. Birkett’s bright, line-and-color illustrations focus on the child and her contributions, evoking Aliki in line and mood. The narration, which seems to include both the child and her father’s dialogue without distinction, may confuse some readers slightly, but its rapid-fire enthusiasm is appealing. This entry in the Helping Hands series is joined by Clean It! (ISBN: 978-1-84643-283-6), Fix It! (ISBN: 978-1-84643-286-6) and Grow It! (ISBN: 978-1-84643-285-9). All have a thinner-than-usual page stock that suits them, appropriately, to toddlers. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84643-284-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

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TIME TO PEE!

That most basic of functions, subject of countless earnest tomes, at last receives a treatment whose instructional value is equaled by its entertainment value. “If you ever get that funny feeling . . . ” reads a series of signs borne by a host of cheerful, cartoony mice as they fly, drive, march, and (in at least one instance) get shot from a cannon past a bevy of dubious-looking multicultural children: “don’t PANIC! Don’t FRET!” The simple text is direct, not without humor (“And please don’t ignore it!”), and wonderfully child-wise, providing the critical reassurance that “everything will still be right where it was.” The multitudinous mice in their kite-flying, instrument-playing, sky-diving, helicopter-driving variety constitute a visual feast that enlivens the simple text and will keep the inevitable re-readings from becoming snooze-inducing. The uncluttered layout allows the children to take center stage while the legions of mice, with their text-bearing signs, happily perform their supporting roles. Those kids move from doubt to magnificent relief to pride in a happily encouraging progression, making this offering number one in the potty department. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-7868-1868-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2003

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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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