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4 out of 5 stars
Once Upon a Potty -- Boy
Format: HardcoverChange
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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I love everything about this tiny book featuring Joshua and his new potty. To begin with, the illustrations are bright and eye catching. But the very best part of the book is the cler and simple language that the author uses to tell the story. As a first-time mom, I had no idea how to speak to my son about using his little potty chair or what to say about the fluids, etc., coming out of his body. I also found myself very frustrated at the end of a long day, cleaning up an unexpected mess or changing yet another pair of training pants. However, by using the language in the book, and repeating Joshua's mother's kind words about "accidents", I was able to keep my cool and not make potty training any harder for my son. It's nice to see a potty book that shows a child having accidents occasionally but still succeeding. It's also nice to have words to explain to a small child what the new potty is and not to be scared of it. I'm actually logged on today to buy another copy for a friend! Love this book!!!
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128 of 154 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I like the straightforward way the book explains the learning process behind potty training. However, I'm very put off by the "potty", which is, in actuality, a pot. Historically accurate, yes, but hardly applicable to today's world. My son, after reading the book several times, pointed to the giant potted tree we have in the living room, looked at me and said "Potty?"
Um, no, honey.
I also have started from a very young age with my boys teaching them anatomically correct words for their body parts. We use "stomach", "penis", and "buttocks" or "bottom". I really dislike the usage of the words "pee pee", "poo poo" and "wee wee".
I understand this is personal preference, but if your preferences are like mine, you should know.
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114 of 140 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I hate to be so negative, but I did NOT like this book. Here are my primary criticisms, in no particular order.
1) The tone of the book is strange to me. The author says things like "Ever since Joshua was born, he has been making wee-wee and poo-poo into his diaper, and I, his mother have been changing him." She says things like this over and over again. It seems like she is complaining about all of the diaper changes. And where's dad? Given the wierd tone of the book, you're half expecting her to launch into an attack on the dead-beat dad of this good-for-nothing kid that keeps wee-weeing everywhere and wasting her time. :) OK, I'm exaagerating, but its just a little wierd to me.
2) She actually uses terms like "a pee-pee for making wee-wee". We raised out son to say penis and pee, so this seems absurdly babyish to me. Something more neutral would've been better.
3) As others have noted, the potty is not a standard potty chair, but a pitcher with a handle. I don't get the point of that.
A much cuter book, IMO, is Joanna Cole's My Big Boy Potty. I think its more upbeat, less strange and more useful. And she even includes helpful potty training tips at the end.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
After reading some of the negative reviews about this book, I had to respond. This book has been instrumental in starting potty training with my 26-month-old son. We read it at least 10 times the first day I purchased it at his insistence. He seemed completely empowered by the anatomical correct drawings, the visual depiction of pee/poop in a diaper, and Joshua's accident & final success. I know "empowered" is a weird word to use, but there's no other way to describe his reaction. He absolutely loves Joshua and Joshua's mother and cheers at the end when Joshua successfully goes on the potty. He immediately became excited to "run to the potty" like Joshua. It's an absolutely wonderful book that has survived the test of time.

In answer to some other criticisms:
* "wee wee" language: The author suggests customizing the language of the book to suit your own family preferences. I always use "penis", "pee" and "poop" when reading the book. nbd.
* Repetition afa "I, Joshua's Mother..." seemed quite comforting to my toddler in the same way endless singing of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" appeals to him. I have edited a bit in my reading to remove some repetition, mostly for my own comfort.
* The potty....well, there's potties on the market that look exactly like the one "Once Upon a Potty." Search for Hoppop here on Amazon. My son seems to have zero trouble differentiating a flower pot from a toilet...

Anyway, just wanted to add my complete seal of approval to this book. I've recommended it to all my friends. Happy Peeing & Pooping!
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
While Mommy is reading the book, in easy words for toddler to understand, he can enjoy the pictures! Your child can relate himself to "Joshua" and try and do the same things as him. This book is highly recommended! There is no stress whatsoever on your child.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My 21 month old son absolutely loves this book! We read it several times a day (and several times in a row). I like that this book is just matter-of-fact about the body parts and what happens when Joshua uses the potty. It seems to be working. After reading it for about 2 weeks my son went into the bathroom, closed the door, and used the potty for the first time (and all by himself!)
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I bought this book after reading the positive customer reviews and the high 'average rating'. My two-and-a-half year old son really enjoys the book and understands the concept of "go sit on potty", but I don't believe the book has help him all that much. In fact, the first week we had the book I probably read it to him 3-4 times a day. Now when he's sitting on the potty he prefers "The Little Engine That Could" (no pun intended). It's been a couple of months now and he is still in Pull-Ups. I'm considering using the book in combination with a Potty Dotty doll or something similar.
Again, the book is well written and easy to understand but I think, from personal experience, it doesn't promote enthusiasm in the child.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This whole book seems to be written for a different time. The potty they have looks like a flower pot. We found that we had to reword most of the dialog to make it appropriate for our family which is fine, but why not just buy a different book.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book when my son was born because I had the girl book for my daughter. My son is 25 months old and potty trained. I sat on the bathroom floor for hours reading this book over and over! But it kept him interested in staying on the potty!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I think this is a cute, clever book, but it's a little abstract. The "chamber pot" that he uses as a potty looks nothing like today's potty chairs or toilets, so I'm not sure my child ever made the connection. (Especially since half of the book talks about "Is it a hat? Is it a flower vase? etc") There are other, more modern, books out there that I think gets kids' attention more.
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