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The Potty Train Hardcover – January 8, 2008

142 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Hochman is a journalist whose articles have been published in the New York Times, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly and Forbes. Upon graduating from Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, he won the prestigious Pultizer Travelling Fellowship, which he used to visit and write about Australia and New Zealand.

Ruth Kennison has been a travel writer and theater critic, and now works as a professional organizer. This is David and Ruth's first children's book. They live in Los Angeles with their son.

Derek Anderson is the bestselling artist and cocreator of the Little Quack series. He is also the talent behind Gladys Goes Out to Lunch and Over the River: A Turkey’s Tale. He and his wife Cheryl reside in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit him at DerekAnderson.net.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 - 4 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (January 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416928332
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416928331
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

252 of 262 people found the following review helpful By Chris Bryson on February 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I should start by saying my daughter loves this book. But it isn't helping her understand a damn thing about the potty, and in fact seems to be setting up rather bizarre expectations about what is possible and achievable on the toilet. Two main problems:

1) First of all, the text really doesn't make any sense. I don't mean to get all English-major on it, but the metaphors are wholly inconsistent. Kids are literalists. This book is a poorly-conceived metaphor. Not a good combo. Climb aboard the potty train = sit on the potty, right? So what do we make of the fact that "soon you'll be riding the potty train all night"? Given the way the metaphor has been set up, this would imply that soon, the child to whom the book is addressed will be sitting all night on the toilet. I find that a worrisome threat rather than something to look forward to. If you ride the potty train, you will be stricken with dysentery?

2) The pictures are as nonsensical as the text. When the child poops ("chugga-chugga Poo poo" --this is, apparently, the supreme goal of sitting on the potty), they are to wash hands. Great. But the picture is of the child being sprayed with water, and his companions, an elephant and a giraffe, are being sprayed with water. The giraffe is being sprayed in the face. What did the giraffe do to require a face wash? The accompanying text reads "it feels good to be clean and dry." Dry? So we soak ourselves? Other bizarre and alarming pictures include that accompanying the text "the potty train keeps chugging along", illustrated by the train on a track leading into what appears to be a giant twisty sewer pipe. The boy on the potty looks thrilled, but the giraffe looks suitably alarmed.
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65 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Our son loves trains, and we bought a couple potty books to help him begin to understand about using the potty. He really enjoyed this one and wanted to read it over and over. The pictures are lovely, but the content of the book is entirely metaphorical - it's all about a boy learing to "ride the potty train", with little if any content about how to actually use a potty. when it came time to wean him off of diapers, our son was confused and a little scared - he was afraid that "the potty train will go too fast.". We had to explain that it's not really a train, and won't move.

So although it gets a couple stars for creativity and good pictures, it just was not a helpful to us for actual potty training.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By NBJP on December 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for our 2-year-old son, thinking that since he loves trains he'd love this book--and it would help us teach him about his upcoming potty training events. Wrong. It's way too obscure for a youngster to understand the connections. The content is very weak and does not at all describe the process of learning to use the potty. I also purchased My Big Boy Potty at the same time, and that book is excellent. I'd highly recommend that one, because it has clear, simple instructions a young child can understand. Our little guy is really enjoying that book and is starting to show signs that he understands what we're starting to talk to him about.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nova Squadron on December 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sure, it doesn't really make a lot of sense. In fact, there isn't all that much text in the whole book - but I view this as a good thing because I can fill in the silence with my own narrative while my son examines the pictures. And for a kid who adores trains this will definitely capture their attention. It won't teach them anything about the potty, but my experience thus far is that even the boring "Hi my name is Henry and I wear diapers" books don't teach my son anything about the potty either because he gets bored with it less than 1/2 the way through. It might be my approach to potty training which is more "you can lead a horse to water..." so my goal is more to get him excited about the potty so he'll want to do it sooner. Other potty books don't do anything any normal parent wouldn't already do in their day to day convo with their toddler "we need to change your diaper but once you can use the potty you won't need these..." So I say even if this doesn't 'teach' it's still an awesome book because it still provides the structure for the parent to teach.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Liz Freeman on November 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I got this book because my son LOVES trains and we were working on potty training. Perfect right? No. There were a lot of metaphors that went right over my son's head. Yeah, the pictures are fun but I had to narrate the whole story so he would get what was going on. There were things like "Don't worry if you get off track and can't make it in time" with a picture of the giraffe running to catch up to the train and "On the potty train, leaks happen and you can get all wet" with a picture of rain falling on everyone while on the train. Too vague for a three year old boy. It was a good idea, obviously others liked it, just not me!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. B. Slatcher on January 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I just picked up a copy of this book--it is terrific! We are reading it with our almost 2-yr old son in the hope that it will get him excited about potty training. He now runs around the house yelling, "chugga poo poo!" It's the first book about the topic that I've seen that is entertaining for the kids as well as the parents. If only we had this book when our older son was potty training.
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