Not a totally shitty book, but not the shit, either.

READ REVIEW

EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT POOP

The scoop on poop.

Cartoon art and cheeky text mark this as a potty-training book that uses humor to make young readers comfortable with toileting. The downside to this is that some may be a bit uncomfortable with the humor’s tone, which veers toward the gross and has little regard for privacy. On the former point, poop is likened to food: “Cows make huge poops like a pizza! And goats make little balls, like olives.” (Eeew.) On the latter point, the narrator, a boy who seems well beyond potty-training age, has a series of four spreads toward the end devoted to answering “What about me? What about you? How do we poop?” He’s first depicted running down a hallway clutching his backside, then sitting on the toilet while his sister brings a roll of toilet paper. Then, on a page with a closed bathroom door, text reads, “Sometimes a few little farts escape,” before a page-turn shows the boy, red-faced and straining while his sister and their cat literally cheer him on, complete with pompoms. The rest of the family joins in on the cheering on the next page when (“PLOP!”) he successfully poops. It’s a logical conclusion but an oddly public one for a child who seems decidedly older than the implied toddler audience. The narrator and his family present white.

Not a totally shitty book, but not the shit, either. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-2281-0083-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Firefly

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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More information than toddlers will sit still for; not enough for preschoolers who are outgrowing board books.

MY BODY

From the Hello World! series

An introduction to the body for the youngest readers.

It’s an endlessly fascinating topic, but here it is explained in wordy and needlessly exclamatory detail. On the opening spread three children play: One flies a kite, another plays hopscotch, and a third hangs upside down from a branch while the text explains that “your body can do so many things!” Basic facts about each body part are explained on subsequent spreads—more or less. A spread devoted to the belly button gives no hint to its original purpose. A busy park scene with all the characters and summary text that emphasizes the importance of “Lots of sleep, good food, and plenty of exercise” ends this compendium. McDonald’s attempts to be inclusive don’t quite succeed. A brown-skinned boy playing wheelchair basketball is used to explain arm joints, and there are several other children of color in the book. But on the page about hearing, the brown-skinned tot’s prominent ears and his placement in a tree make him look more like a monkey than a child—an unfortunate association. Many spreads include a question that relates to the topic but could also prove distracting. An additional fact on each spread set in a smaller font is clearly for older children or grown-ups, not toddlers.

More information than toddlers will sit still for; not enough for preschoolers who are outgrowing board books. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6636-8

Page Count: 27

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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This whale of a metaphor requires adult assistance to really flow.

YOGA WHALE

SIMPLE POSES FOR LITTLE ONES

Following the pattern set in Yoga Bug and Yoga Bear (2017, 2018), 10 toddlers model yoga poses whimsically named after sea creatures.

Their varied skin tones, hairstyles, and yoga clothes, which match the coloring of their animal partners, stand out against solid-color backgrounds. The brief text describes both animal behavior and the depicted child’s actions. Appropriately, Hinder begins and ends with deep breathing and relaxation, starting with deep breathing that makes “your tummy grow,” illustrated by a puffer fish, and finishing with a “sparkly stretch,” illustrated by a smiling “Starfish.” In between, her fanciful descriptions of yoga poses are not always useful. Young children unfamiliar with sea horses may be mystified by that metaphor. The poses emulating a dolphin and a crab are clear, but “Shark” (for boat or locust pose) or “Sea Urchin” for child pose are a stretch. A child in happy-baby pose waving four limbs is paired with an eight-legged octopus. The picture of a child in a wide-legged forward fold (“Jellyfish”) does not indicate how to move into the position. Thankfully, the final spread includes a thumbnail picture of each child in their posture along with the common name of that pose and clear instructions in small print.

This whale of a metaphor requires adult assistance to really flow. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68364-076-9

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Sounds True

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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