Most helpful critical review
240 of 250 people found the following review helpful
Might derail your "train"
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.