"They don't mean to be messy. They haven't got a clue. Let's meet some potty animals and tell them what to do."
Potty Animals: What to Know When You've Gotta Go! by Hope Vestergaard, illustrated by Valeria Petrone; Sterling Publishing (June 2010); ISBN 9781402759963; 32 pages;
Book Source: Review copy provided by publisher
Potty animals. Every daycare, preschool and kindergarten teacher has seen their fair share of them. I'm sure you've even seen them yourself. Maybe even in your home. What kind of animals am I talking about? Those kids that refuse to wash their hands, flush the toilet and, time after time, display poor bathroom hygiene. Hope Vestergaard provides a humorous yet instructive book for all those little potty animals. Sycamore Preschool is full of animals that forget their bathroom manners. Wilber doesn't wash his hands, Wilma waits too long, Freddie forgets to flush and Georgie doesn't wipe. In rhyming verses, Vestergaard writes of all sorts of bathroom woes and gently provides tips on the right way to handle bathroom visits. An easy and fun read aloud, the verses even prompt kids to help remind the characters of the potty rules. Hopefully when kids use the bathroom, they'll remember and try to avoid the bad behaviors of the potty animals.
This is not a potty training book, but a book for kids on bathroom manners. Somehow Vestergaard manages to cover this important topic in a fun and tasteful way without sounding preachy. She's a veteran early childhood teacher so she's had plenty of experience with the subject matter. And it's pretty hard not to laugh at Petrone's bold illustrations of the cartoon animal characters as they break the rules. The poor male elephant teacher has his hands full in this zoo of a preschool! The toilet paper letters in the title on the cover are a cute, eye catching touch. My daughter just loves to look at the pictures (she likes the girl raccoon in the pink dress), and I've noticed that she doesn't rush around quite as much in the bathroom and thinks about the rules covered. Read the book to remind kids of proper bathroom etiquette and maybe they won't end up looking like they were raised in a barn. It's a perfect back-to-school read for all young children, and I highly recommend this helpful, humorous bathroom basics book. Teachers of young children will especially appreciate the book.
Hope Vestergaard - Author Website
Potty Animals Bathroom Poster [pdf]
We made our own chart to hang on our bathroom door for our book craft project this week. I drew a big picture of a toilet and let my daughter decorate it. (I didn't think my husband would approve of coloring on our toilet, otherwise I might have let her decorate the real thing.) The chart includes some the rules covered in the book: Flush, Wash Hands, Wipe, Plan, No Mess, Close Lid, Don't Wait
I also printed out a train potty training chart for my son to color from childavenue.com. I'm going to start potty training him next month. Wish me luck. Sometimes potty animals can be stubborn as well as forgetful.
A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Hope Is the Word hosts a Read Aloud Thursday link-up as well. Homeschool Creations hosts the weekly Preschool Corner link-up, a place to share activities for preschool and 5K.
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