Distracting design aside, the book’s wholehearted embrace of its subject should make it welcome in many a toddler’s...

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POOP OR GET OFF THE POTTY!

A potty-training book with potty humor aplenty.

Mason and Mia are ready to potty train. But the story starts before they reach toddlerhood, when a woman holds baby Mason aloft and at arm’s length while a man with a purplish-gray beard holds baby Mia out in front of himself. “When Mason and Mia were babies, they pooped a lot,” reads the explanatory accompanying text. It seems they’re fraternal twins in a multiracial family (mom presents black and dad presents white), although different-colored backgrounds in the digitally produced cartoon art could make some readers think they’re unrelated and are in different settings. But such understanding isn’t the point—potty humor is. Wherever these babies are, and whoever they are to each other, their “small…big…messy…tidy…easy…tough...smelly…and cute poops” are referenced with parents’ attending, funny reactions. Then toddler Mason stands before a green background on the verso and toddler Mia in a yellow space on the recto, each beside a potty labeled with their name. They joke about what the potties are for until they simultaneously realize, “A poop is coming!” Seated on their respective thrones (which have, for some reason, switched pages) they successfully encourage each other to follow the titular injunction.

Distracting design aside, the book’s wholehearted embrace of its subject should make it welcome in many a toddler’s household. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-12440-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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A helpful way to prepare toddlers for a visit to the doctor with a character who’s easy to love.

LEO GETS A CHECKUP

From the Lola & Leo series

In this episode in the life of toddler Leo, younger brother to Lola (Lola Reads to Leo, 2012, etc.), his parents take him to the doctor’s office for a checkup.

Leo, a brown boy with tightly curled hair, dressed in a onesie and holding onto a table, “is a big boy now.” His mother and father, who are exactly the same shade of brown, are in the background as Leo feeds himself, plays ball, sings, and dances. When it is time to go, he “puts his toys away” and gets “his blankie and Mister Seahorse.” Daddy packs a bag and brings him to the clinic, where Leo sits on the floor playing with Mister Seahorse while they wait for their turn. (This doctor evidently has a separate well-child waiting room, as every soul in the diverse gathering is smiling happily—there’s not a runny nose in sight.) When it is Leo’s turn, he shows his doctor, a white woman, “what he can do now.” He gets a sticker and a book and gets checked all over. He even continues smiling while he gets his shot, which “will keep him healthy.” The rounded features and shining, rosy cheeks of the invariably smiling characters make for a pleasant trip with Leo through his safe and welcoming world.

A helpful way to prepare toddlers for a visit to the doctor with a character who’s easy to love. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58089-891-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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A playful, pull-the-tab potty-training book that’s reassuring, too.

POTTY TIME!

From the Pull and Play series

Storytime meets potty time in this board book with movable parts.

This French import features a different pair of anthropomorphic animals on each spread. One is a parent (Mommy or Daddy) and the other a child of the same species who is learning to use the potty. Instead of letting page turns show each child’s experience, a tab pulls out on each recto to reveal a changed scene. For example, at first Little Crocodile is not ready to try to use the potty, and Daddy doesn’t rush him, but he makes sure Little Crocodile knows that the potty is ready when he is. Then pull the tab, and Little Crocodile is happily sitting on the potty, with his teddy nearby on another one. Subsequent pages show other animal children who: wear underwear instead of diapers; have an accident; don’t need to go; and need help with their clothes. Peeing and pooping on the potty are both addressed, too. The book concludes with all of the animals getting ready for a nap. The line “A clean diaper, a teddy, a kiss, and it’s off to bed!” provides reassurance that learning to use the potty is a process that happens over time. The big-eyed, rounded characters in the pictures reinforce the text’s gentle, encouraging tone, and uncluttered backgrounds allow focus to remain on the characters.

A playful, pull-the-tab potty-training book that’s reassuring, too. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-2-74599-547-6

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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