cover image I Want to Be

I Want to Be

Tony Ross. Kane/Miller Book Publishers, $11.95 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-916291-46-4

The impish princess from I Want My Potty announces that ``the time has come to grow up,'' but she's not at all sure how to go about it. ``What is the best way to be?'' she asks of royal family members and staff--and receives a colorful, sometimes confusing array of responses. Her mother instructs her to be kind, like her father; her father suggests she be loving, like her mother; the cook tells her to be clean (as he sticks a finger in his nose and mice scamper about his filthy floor); the prime minister, perplexed about the obvious (where to place the last piece of a puzzle), directs her to ``be clever''; and the doctor--covered with pox--counsels her to be healthy. Finally, the maid turns the question around to usher in a sweet--but not overly so--ending. Ross's pictures contain lively caricatures and details that will elicit giggles: in the kitchen, the princess wears a saucepan on her head, underneath her crown; and exposes her bottom as she chases spiders from the bath. Ages 2-6. (Oct.)