I have many friends who are diving into the fun world of Potty Training with their littles, and usually the first advice I give them is to read about potty training with their kids. That's how June wanted to sit on the potty, anyway. So this month, we're thrilled to have Jenny Sloat, an Ele Story mamma and Potty Training warrior, for yet another awesome Ele Story time review. Enjoy! This is a good one. : )
Are there books in your child’s library that you always sort of hope they’ll choose to read at story time (as opposed to the books that you totally dread them choosing at story time)? Books that somehow stay fresh, that manage to keep both you and your kiddo entertained, and that maybe even say something poignant and true?
In the Sloat house, those books are all written by Mo Willems. Knuffle Bunny, Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus, the Elephant and Piggie books – we absolutely love them. Willems is a brilliant storyteller and illustrator and seems to be this generation’s heir apparent to Dr. Seuss (although, I personally prefer him to the good doctor – gasp!)
So, when my 18 month old started expressing interest in the potty a few weeks ago (including sitting on her stuffed bear and pretending he was a potty – hmm), you can imagine my elation when I discovered that Mo Willems had written a book all about using the potty!
Unfortunately, this elation immediately turned to horror when I saw the title of the book: Time To Pee. Allow me to explain. I cannot say the word “pee.” Honestly, even writing it is a little difficult. It think it’s one of those words that I wasn’t allowed to say when I was five and then for some reason just never got comfortable saying. I know, I know, I have major issues.
Anyways, I desperately wanted to get this book for my potty obsessed kiddo, but feared that I wouldn’t be able to even read the title aloud. And then I thought, “Wait a minute. Your child can’t read yet. Why don’t you just call it Time To Tinkle?” Problem solved. And maybe by the time she is able to read, I’ll be able to say the “P” word. Maybe.
So, once that crisis was averted and we were able to read the book together, I was (not surprisingly) totally delighted. Here are 5 reasons I think you will be too:
1. It’s written in simple and clear steps, which is perfect for toddlers. My kiddo already loves narrating the order of the things we do when we use the potty (“Toilet Paper, “Flush”, “Wash”), so this book is right up her alley. Willems gives very specific instructions including “walk down the hall to the bathroom”, “lift up the lid” and “wait until you are finished.”
2. The illustrations are hilarious and charming. They feature different little kids going through all the steps with an army of tiny mice cheering them on. There’s lots of fun vignettes to point out to your child, like the mouse band playing instruments on the toilet seat or the one mouse wiping a tear from his eye after the kid leaves the bathroom.
3. The tone of this book is one that I totally want to emulate when we actually do start potty training. It’s positive, “Now is your chance to show how big you are!” and completely low pressure, “Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time – you’ll get another chance.”
4. I particularly liked how Willems addresses reasons that kids might not want to use the bathroom. For instance, a kiddo might not want to pay attention to that “funny feeling” because she doesn’t want to leave the activity she's currently immersed in. So Willems makes sure to add “it won’t take long” and that “everything will still be right where it was.”
5. STICKERS! The book comes with a chart and darling mouse stickers to help kids track their potty progress.
I definitely recommend Time To Pee, Time To Tinkle, Time To Visit The Facilities, or whatever you end up calling it!
Have a wonderful rest of your August and I’ll meet you back here next month with another great book.