cover image I Use the Potty

I Use the Potty

Maria van Lieshout. Chronicle, $9.99 (28p) ISBN 978-1-4521-3535-9

The allure of being a “big kid” is a time-honored way of encouraging children to move out of the diaper phase, and van Lieshout (Hopper and Wilson Fetch a Star) makes exuberant use of the tactic in one of two books launching the Big Kid Power series (Bye-Bye Binky is available simultaneously). A boy with spiky black hair narrates, and he couldn’t be readier to distance himself from his baby days. “I pooped and peed in so many diapers,” he explains, looking back. “Yucky, stinky diapers!” Van Lieshout also appeals directly to kids’ love of discussing all things excretory, and when the boy later shows readers how he uses the toilet, the results speak for themselves with a resounding “plop.” Swoopy black outlines, a chunky typeface, and a contrasting palette of muted teal and bright yellow give the pages a fresh look and a strong visual punch. The small, square trim size is just right for children looking for a little on-the-pot reading material—how better to really act like a grownup? Ages 2–4. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)