Wax, W., & Wax, N. (2008). Even Firefighters Go to the Potty. New York: Little Simon.
As this blog demonstrates, I’m still struggling to get published. Because of this, I have often had to resort to checking new books out of the library to do these reviews instead of buying my own copies. The library copy of Even Firefighters Go to the Potty, strangely enough, reeks of pickles. I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much though. It is a potty training book and it could stink of things much worse.
The book makes use of onomatopoeia, repetition and tabs to keep its young readers engaged. In terms of potty books that have ‘passed’ before, this one feels most similar to Everybody Poops (2001) in that both normalize the activity and both are unintentionally hilarious. Of course, Everybody Poops includes animals and explicit imagery while Even Firefighters Go to the Potty is more concerned with people (who have jobs) and the actual use of a toilet as opposed to… the outdoors.
It could be the germaphobe in me, but I struggled with the fact that only a single illustration showed one of the many adults (the waiter) washing his hands. While an important step, I personally wouldn’t have minded if an entire page of text was devoted to reminding its readers, young and *cough* OLD, to wash their hands. (I've used a public restroom! I know you're out there, avoiders of cleanliness)
While a doctor, baseball player and pilot are all featured as having to go to the potty. I couldn’t help but feel a few occupations were missing. Does the teacher not go to the potty? The prison inmate? And given the current economic climate, where does the laid-off factory worker go to the bathroom? Is his or her bathroom as nice as the factory owner’s? I don’t think so.
Activities to do with the book:
Honestly, I have no ideas beyond the, umm, obvious….
“The rocket ship is about to take off. But an astronaut is missing. Where could he have gone?”
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