A spacey twist on the potty book.



Can a human preschooler teach a baby alien how to use the potty?

The narrator, who wears a jumper and tights, is charmed by a baby alien from another planet—until noticing he doesn’t know “how to use the loo!” After he pees on the narrator’s easel and then poos in a birdbath outside, the child brings him into the bathroom to show him the toilet. He’s resistant, and so begins a lengthy interlude in which he resists all entreaties to use the potty and instead tries to go in various other places. Bragadottir’s cartoon art exploits every opportunity for laughs as the small, green, froglike alien crouches over a cowboy hat, a trash can, and a fishbowl. The last instance results in a mess, though the narrator saves the fish. Determined child then marches the alien back to the bathroom and teaches him a potty song: “Lid up, pants down, / bottom on the seat. / Sit still, just chill, / until the job’s complete. / Whistle if you want to. / Singing can be fun. / Wipe, flush, wash hands, / then you’re done!” In a humorous aside, the alien flubs the song when he tries to sing it, but eventually he succeeds in using the potty. As he returns to his departing spaceship, the narrator turns his success around to readers, assuring them, “If he can use the potty, you can too!” The narrator presents white; judging by the alien’s posture, his alimentary system and its termini are analogous to humans’.

A spacey twist on the potty book. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-5508-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Andersen Press USA

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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A terrific resource for fans of Daniel Tiger and newcomers alike.


From the Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood series

Animated PBS character Daniel Tiger helps readers tell time.

Mr. Rogers–like (explicitly—the show is produced by the Fred Rogers Co.), Daniel Tiger welcomes his neighbors, inviting them to spend the day with him and learn to use a clock along the way. A large clock face with movable hands is accessible through a large, die-cut circle in the upper-right corner of each double-page spread. The hands click and clack as they’re moved around the clock’s face, and the sound is peculiarly satisfying. Each hand has a different noise, helping children to differentiate between the two. Daniel and his family and friends do lots of things throughout the day, including eating breakfast, going to school, running errands, eating dinner, and going to bed. The illustrations emulate the show’s rounded, calmly colored style. Fans of the television show will be entranced. Daniel’s constant engagement with readers will spawn busy interaction, and the fact that this book covers a whole day makes it an excellent read right before bed.

A terrific resource for fans of Daniel Tiger and newcomers alike. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6934-0

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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If the point is to help children understand and accept their feelings, this effort is a failure. If the point is to sell...


From the Pout-Pout Fish series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

None of the fish in this sea look like anything living outside the cartoon-cute world of Pout-Pout Fish, but that's just the beginning of the problems with this board-book addition to the franchise. The Pout-Pout Fish on the cover and every page of this offering doesn't look pouty at all. Slightly bemused, a bit surprised, maybe—but definitely not pouty. In fact, all of the cartoony creatures swimming in this fantasy sea share the same bug-eyed, slightly kissy-face expression. The rhyming message is that there are many ways to share it—a wave, a smile, holding hands (or fins), making silly faces, a hug, or a kiss—but there’s only one thing to call it: love. What is disturbing is that Mr. Fish seems to have only one choice—to accept love however it is offered. Giving children (or little fish) permission to trust their own feelings might be a more appropriate message.

If the point is to help children understand and accept their feelings, this effort is a failure. If the point is to sell Pout-Pout product, it might succeed. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-374-30190-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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