In our attempt to deluge our toddler with potty training education, J picked up a handful (ie. all available) of books at the fancy new train hosting library. And two videos. I know we’re missing a few classics yet, but I thought I’d list the useful ones, with descriptions.
The star of the potty book show is Tinkle, Tinkle Little Tot: Songbook and CD: Songs and Rhymes for Toilet Training by Bruce Lansky. I’m not personally crazy about the cd, but Q happily listened through it several times. The illustrations are appealing and happy. But the rhymes, set to traditional tunes like ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ and ‘My Bonnie lies over the ocean’, are good. Our librarian called it addictive. You can’t help yourself. You end up muttering songs celebrating toilets and pee.
One morning this week, Q snuck into our room, picked up the book and recited my favorite one:
Hush little darling,
don’t you fret,
Let’s clean up,
your pants are wet.
Hush little darling,
don’t you cry,
you will stay dry.
Also good, with very simple visuals and text, is P.J. & Puppy
by Cathryn Falwell. If you are lucky enough to have a 2 year old ambitiously potty training, I think this one would be brilliant. Parallels a child potty training with a new puppy paper training, complete with mistakes.
Very solid, although somewhat dated photos, is a nice classic by Fred Rogers, Going to the Potty (First Experiences). This is a really gentle, but matter-of-fact depiction of what potty training is all about. Nothing glamorous, but Q has had us read this multiple times.
Which brings me to one I do not recommend. In the Mr. Roger’s vein, Heidi Murkoff (of the What to Expect series for pregnancy, babies etc. series) has done a book on potty training. What to Expect When You Use the Potty has great illustrations and a very appealing main character, a dog, and Q loved looking at it. Unfortunately, it has text sophisticated enough that you might consider using it with a 6 year old. Hopefully most 6 year olds are potty trained, which seriously limits the usefulness of this book. Since Q loved the illustrations so much, we would sit and paraphrase each page, but it was a bit boring and annoying for the adults to deal with long explanations about food becoming energy for our body. It did bring up useful information with nice illustrations, such as where poop goes when you flush it away. But overall, it just didn’t have the usefulness of Mr. Rogers’ book on potty training.
Another fun book, not really about potty training, but often useful with potty training, since after all, we’re talking about poop all the time, is the newer classic Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi. Not every adult is into scatalogical humor, but, well, almost every small child tends to develop a sense of amusement about it, and this book is great for addressing the basic concept of food in: poop out.
I should note that I’ve seen some other books in libraries which I haven’t gotten a chance to read and evaluate yet. I’d love to hear from anyone who has read these or found other useful potty books!
Standards I hope to check out soon include:
Once Upon a Potty (Girl and Boy versions, and a video, which might be really useful) by Frankel;
The Potty Book (again in boy and girl versions) by Capucilli;
My Big Boy/Girl Potty by Cole.