While most potty books strike readers as too old or too young, here’s one that almost everyone can agree is (you guessed it)...

GOLDILOCKS AND THE JUST RIGHT POTTY

A classic fairy tale is cleverly reworked for those transitioning from diapers.

Breaking out buckets o’ charm, Hodgkinson tackles the finicky tendencies of the soon-to-be potty-trained with the aid of a familiar face. Living in the woods with her mommy and daddy (not an ursine porridge-eater to be seen), Goldilocks (unsurprisingly, a blonde, white girl) decides one day that soggy diapers are not ideal. But what underwear suits her best? Nothing too frilly and nothing too silly, but undies that are “just right!” Next comes the search for a potty itself. She rejects a pair of boots as too big and a teacup as too small (child readers may well find this hilarious, even as caregivers sigh in relief when she moves on). Correct potty secured, the final challenge is the hardest, as any toddler will attest. When is it the “just right” time to sit on the potty? Sprinkling her art with images of bear toys, Hodgkinson creates mixed-media illustrations that lend the simple text a peppy tone that encourages young readers to keep trying through their setbacks. And thanks to the easy language, this book proves ideal for a wide range of potty training ages (a nice change of pace from potty books that truck in complex sentence structures).

While most potty books strike readers as too old or too young, here’s one that almost everyone can agree is (you guessed it) just right. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9799-0

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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