cover image Gotta Go!

Gotta Go!

Frank Viva. Toon, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-66266-507-3

In this rollicking and appropriately goldenrod-washed comic, Viva (Weekend Dad) assures readers that no one ever outgrows needing to go. After distractedly assuring Mom that he doesn’t need to use the restroom before heading to his grandfather’s, young Owen—focused on screen time—realizes en route, “I gotta go!” When Owen barely makes it to the toilet (“Ahhh...”) and a dog called Whizzer is seen letting loose against a tree, Owen and Grampa, portrayed with largely bald heads and tan skin, turn a park outing into a discussion of holding-it tactics. “I find that dancing helps me!” Grampa says, and the two are soon demonstrating an entire repertoire of preventive moves, including the Tinkle Twist, the Wee-wee Walk, the Piddle Patter, and the Leaky Shake. Viva employs a highly stylized aesthetic across rounded, accessible panels, including lots of profiles and silhouettes—and a bleeding yellow wash. Even more importantly, there isn’t a put-upon or tut-tutting grown-up in these pages: Grampa is game for anything; the fantastical figures, shown with various skin tones, queueing for the park bathrooms each do dances of their own; and Mom is both bemused and empathic: “Ha, ha, ha! Stop it, you guys,” she admonishes the cavorting Owen and Grampa. “You’re going to make me pee in my pants.” Ages 5–7. (Sept.)