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Review of How to Pee: Potty Training for Boys

spector_how to peeHow to Pee: Potty Training for Boys
by Todd Spector; illus. by Arree Chung
Preschool   Holt   32 pp.
4/15   978-0-8050-9773-3   $12.99   g

This lighthearted peeing primer by a family doctor/father encourages both kids and parents to add some fun to the sometimes-fraught process. In an introductory note “Dr. Todd” explains his approach. When he was potty training his son, “Abe would make up styles for using the potty, and we would try to guess what they were.” To get the creative juices flowing, the book suggests ten peeing “styles.” Take, for example, “Cowboy style”: “Step 1: Don a hat, pardner. Step 2: Find your holster. Step 3: Put your hands on your hips. Step 4: Pee-haw! Yee-haw!” There’s “Rocket style” (no hands, so stand back), “Movie Star style,” and “Firefighter style” (yes, a “hose” is involved). Bringing the whole amusing idea to life, Chung’s acrylic and Photoshopped illustrations gleefully interpret the simple four-step instructions for each technique. Spector provides reassuring advice for parents at book’s end with a few basic rules, such as “Don’t worry about a few accidents on your floor.” A helpful reminder, since the above performances can only complicate the task at hand. (In fact, as this is a book for boys, some pointers on aiming would have been useful.) Along with Mo Willems’s Time to Pee (rev. 1/04), this book hits the mark. And hopefully the kid does, too.

From the March/April 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

About Kitty Flynn

Kitty Flynn is consulting editor for The Horn Book, Inc.

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