A dip in the tub is cause for celebration in this effervescent addition to the Harper Growing Tree series. With the companionship of a toy duck and frog, a gleefully dirty tot frolics about in the bath. Amid the froth of bubbles and fun, the child emerges squeaky-clean and, after a brisk towel dry, is ready to be trundled off to bed for a good night’s sleep. Appelt’s (Rain Dance, p. 654, etc.) cheery rhymes capture all the magic of tub time for toddlers: wacky shampoo hairdos, oodles of bubbles, and more. Playful verses deftly express the universal delight all children have in splashing about. An abundance of nonsense words combined with the exuberant rhymes make for rib-tickling read-aloud sessions. “Bubbles, bubbles in the tubbles, / splish, splash, splooshy scrubbles. / Glimmer, glitter through the air. / Bubbles, bubbles everywhere.” Kosaka’s (Let’s Count the Raindrops, p. 662, etc.) illustrations are ideal for young readers; the simple layout of the full-bleed spreads feature large-scale pictures of the tot merrily washing up. The subtle humor of the illustrations, conveyed through the animated expressions of the child’s toys, mirrors the jaunty tenor of the verses. Jolly fun for little ones. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-694-01458-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2001

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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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This straightforward, graphic book was published in Japan in 1978. Whether the US is ready for its unblinking look at a subject that naturally fascinates children and is basic to toilet training remains to be seen. ``An elephant makes a big poop. A mouse makes a tiny poop,'' begins Gomi, depicting animals, birds, fish, and humans in boldly stylized forms silhouetted against origami-paper colors; their feces are appropriately shaped blobs. There's a lot to know: different shapes, colors, and smells (not described), while some animals stop but ``Others do it on the move.'' A child heading for ``a special place'' introduces a nonjudgmental comparison of adults and tots on toilets and potties with a baby on a diaper. The book concludes with a seven- animal lineup viewed fore (``All living things eat, so...'') and aft (``Everyone poops''). Candid and sensible. (Picture book. 2- 5)

Pub Date: March 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-916291-45-6

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1993

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