01/24/01
Potty Books
    by Fiona Barnes (reader)

Incredible as it may sound, someone has pronounced January 27th to be National "Love Your Toilet" Day. And as though to commemorate this curious occasion, there has been an outpouring of new books designed to encourage this bond with toddlers, as they make their momentous transition out of diapers. While this turning point in a young child's life leads to greater freedom for both parent and child, toilet training also requires patience, flexibility, and a sense of humor.

Uh Oh! Gotta Go! Potty Tales From Toddlers by Bob McGrath, approaches the subject with warmth and playful, and affirmative good spirits. McGrath is already familiar to children as a veteran host on "Sesame Street" where he is known simply as "Bob." His book has the same kind of kid-friendly, educational appeal that characterizes the show. Each page of Uh Oh! Gotta Go! shows a different "vignette" or snapshot of a child's experience, from selecting a potty to well...using it.

Author Alyssa Satin Capucilli and illustrator Dorothy Stott have teamed up to create The Potty Book in two gender-specific versions. The books contain essentially the same rhyme and illustrations, although the narrators vary -- Hannah for girls and Henry for boys. The Potty Book follows Hannah's, or Henry's, adventures throughout the training process and shows that it truly takes a village (Mom, Dad, and even grandparents) to master the process.

Younger children preparing for potty training will especially delight in Lisa Baker's Flush the Potty, with terrific illustrations by artist Ken Wilson-Max. Despite Baker's lively poetry, though, the real star of this interactive book is a button that switches on a sound chip that -- well, you've probably already guessed what it does:

Happily, all of these new "bathroom books" engage children by allowing them (and the adults around them) to see the human side of what can be a very delicate situation. Along with performing an important service, the playful approaches of these books also encourage some problem-solving techniques that are valuable for every turning point in life.

Copyright 2001 by John Cech

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Tuesday, 12-Jul-2005 15:31:15 EDT


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