cover image Does a Lion Brush?

Does a Lion Brush?

Fred Ehrlich. Blue Apple Books, $10.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-929766-64-2

The answer to both title questions is, of course, ""No."" Therein lies the lesson imparted in these genial, gently pedantic entries in a new Early Experiences series. The author asserts that it's our hygiene behavior that helps set us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. ""Everyone poops, but only people poop in bathrooms."" Ehrlich lauds the example of a girl who uses the big toilet for the first time. If the text carries the medicine, Bolam's (Goin' to Boston) artwork delivers the spoonful of sugar: she shows the girl perched on the potty looking a bit dubious, but game-and demonstrates that it's human nature to want privacy while using the bathroom. The same format holds for Does a Lion Brush? ""Animals' teeth get cleaned by chewing and gnawing. But people's teeth do not."" The author points out that people of all ages brush their teeth and offers step-by-step instructions on the proper way to do it. The narrative may be breezy and matter-of-fact (parceled out to no more than three lines a page), but it brings little new to this already well-served genre. Bolam's cartoons add the pizzazz: her vignettes and characterizations, set against bright, saturated backgrounds, strike a welcome balance between earnest sweetness and deadpan humor-especially in the toilet-training book, where the animals look endearingly perplexed or intrigued by plumbing. Ages 2-5. (Dec.)