Though its single-minded focus on success offers positive role modeling, it needs to be used with other, more realistic...

POTTY TIME!

A toddler shares his glee at leaving diapers behind.

The book is completely child-focused, without an adult in sight. This youngster's independence influences each aspect of his toileting; he takes himself to the pot, and he uses a step stool to reach the sink to wash his hands after. There's no indication that any accidents may occur. The boy boasts, “When it's time, I know.” Brisk, rhyming phrases miss the mark. “Everyone uses the potty, / like me and Daddy and Mommy. / It's potty time, hooray! / I'm a big kid today.” With a little button nose and short spiky hair, the Caucasian tot is appealing. His favorite teddy bear plays the role of a loyal companion and even sits on his own potty just like the child. A die-cut–framed, battery-operated button (“flush me!”) triggers sound effects. Adults looking for a straightforward celebration of this milestone will gravitate toward this short selection, but there's no hint of the inevitable missteps young children face during the process.

Though its single-minded focus on success offers positive role modeling, it needs to be used with other, more realistic titles (and lots of patience). (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-35080-8

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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It’s not the sturdiest, but this French import is good for a practice run or two before trying the real thing.

MIKI GETS DRESSED

With help from pull-tabs (but not visible grown-ups), Miki the lion dons trousers, a sweater, and other clothes before going out to play.

The relatively fragile tabs won’t survive more than a few hard yanks, but the motions they create—pulling green pants up, blue sweater down, orange (pre-tied, or perhaps equipped with elastic rather than laces) shoes on, and finally a red raincoat over all—are realistic if abbreviated. (Just let the fact that he starts out with socks and blue boxers already on slide.) It’s all a setup for an exuberant pop-up surprise at the end as Miki heads outdoors to take a wild leap into a rain puddle as a snail benevolently looks on. Budding fashionistas may find more-stylish dressing guides such as Margaret Chodos-Irvine’s Ella Sarah Gets Dressed (2003) or Denise Fleming’s Maggie and Michael Get Dressed (2016) more to their taste, but younger cubs just getting into the swing of doing-it-myself may appreciate these elementally simple hints as well as the unseen voice that keeps Miki on task: “Oh, it’s raining, Miki! We’re going to get soaked!” Miki obligingly replies, “All right, I’ll put on my red raincoat.”

It’s not the sturdiest, but this French import is good for a practice run or two before trying the real thing. (Pop-up picture book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-2-40801-972-3

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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There are better ways of reassuring toddlers.

NEW HOUSE

A board book for adults seeking to reassure a toddler about a move to a new house.

The moving truck arrives, and a little blond toddler tumbles out; they’ve arrived at the “new house.” The book goes on to show and name in simple two-word phrases all the new things the protagonist will encounter: “new door”; “new doorstop”; “new dustpan”; “new dirt!”; “new mess!” Readers will see how the new dirt and new mess are getting spread around the “new carpet,” “new kitchen,” and “new staircase” all the way up and into the “new tub!” Up to this point it’s all sweet and endearing, but then comes “new nighttime.” The illustrations are now done in different shades of dark blue, and the shadows cast by the railing around the toddler’s crib look eerily like prison bars. “New shadows,” “new noises,” and especially “new dark!” are outright scary. Seeking to reassure the toddler that in spite of all the new things in this “new house” the important things have not changed, the text shifts to introduce the “same mommy,” “same daddy,” “same songs,” “same hugs,” “same monkey,” and “same blankey.” Yet even in the next-to-last spread, when the protagonist has now settled down and is back to sleep (“same night-night”), the illustration with its dark colors and jaillike feel does not feel comforting at all. All family members appear White.

There are better ways of reassuring toddlers. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-22492-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Rise x Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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