The Potty Train
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240 of 250 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2010
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. I try to skip over this one so my child doesn't dwell on the looming dark tunnel of waste into which her potty training experience will inevitably lead her.

Today I tried to explain the metaphor to my child. "You're sitting on the potty train." To which she replied, with a wistful note in her voice, "no. I'm just sitting on the potty." Oh, the disappointment.

Seriously. Avoid this book. if your child decides to like it and think about it, it may just derail your "potty train." There are better ones out there.
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64 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2009
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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2009
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
on December 18, 2010
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
on November 3, 2009
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
on January 1, 2008
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2010
Both of my kids have really enjoyed this book during potty training. It has great illustrations and is interesting to read. We have other potty books, but they usually do not want to read them. This is the book that they call out over and over again. If you are looking for a book to clearly illustrate how to use the bathroom this is probably not the book, but it makes the concept fun and brings about questions. I would really recommend it.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2008
What a fun and magical trip! My son loves the book- it is already a must read at potty and bed time. This will make my "book basket" I deliver to friends when they deliver. The colors and story are just great!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2008
our two year old daughter loves the potty train. she was showing all the signs of being ready for the potty but this was the book that turned theory into practice. she loves to sit on her potty with the book in her lap and a big "choo choo" as things started to happen. a wonderful book, very engaging for small children. our six year old even liked it, especially the last page (and i aint going to spoil the surprise for you). i would highly recommend this book for anyone with a child ready to take the next step in life's great adventure.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
In an effort to encourage my son to use the potty, we have purchased almost every child's "potty book" out there. This is my least favorite so far. The pictures are charming, and the theme is encouraging, but the euphemisms are so broad and vague that I am concerned that this might derail my train enthusiast in his potty efforts. It is a shame, as my son loves trains.
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