cover image The Saddest Toilet in the World

The Saddest Toilet in the World

Sam Apple, illus. by Sam Ricks. S&S/Aladdin, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5122-2

“I simply can’t go on like this.... It’s just too hurtful.” That’s a toilet talking, and he’s upset because Danny, who should be making the next big leap in toilet training, refuses to sit on him. Packing his bags and taking the plunger, the toilet hits the streets of New York City, making stops at a museum to contemplate Duchamp’s Fountain and Times Square, where he grumpily obliges some tourists with a photo. Danny, who has finally decided that he is ready, is in hot pursuit with his family; reunited, the toilet’s confidence is restored when Danny does the deed and notes—in a not-so-subtle nudge to readers—“That was fun!” Ricks’s (the Data Set series) bright digital cartoons land every big and small visual joke (note the Potsdam sticker on the toilet’s luggage) and together with newcomer Apple’s surprisingly tasteful text, the result is a mashup of toilet humor and self-esteem lit that’s as lemony fresh as a newly scrubbed bowl. Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. Illustrator’s agent: Minju Chang, Bookstop Literary. (June)