A potty-training book to go for.

EVEN SUPERHEROES USE THE POTTY

Rhyming verse and cartoon illustrations assure toilet-training readers that everyone, but everyone, uses the potty.

In this companion title to Even Superheroes Have to Sleep (2017), the cover art depicts a caped woman of color with brown skin and dark hair floating into a bathroom with a can-do look on her face, and then the front endpapers depict her soaring over a cityscape toward the page turn. Although she opens the book, she is not the protagonist. Instead, each double-page spread features a different character heading to the head. A firefighter, a ninja, a magician, a teacher, a zookeeper, a baker, a detective, a movie star, and a pilot are all depicted, and their characterizations present both men and women, white people and people of color, among them. Wordplay abounds from spread to spread to exploit mild scatological humor and offer a bevy of synonyms for the word “bathroom,” but rhythm and cadence often stumble, which will likely make read-alouds falter—still, aesthetics are not usually the priority in a potty book. The book culminates with a group of children rushing off to the potty, heeding the closing admonition: “Always listen to your body. / Even children use the potty.” An enclosed bathroom reward chart with stickers (only in the trade edition) might just prompt readers to head to the loo, too.

A potty-training book to go for. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-399-55934-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more