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The Best Potty-Training Entertainment

“Daddy read me a story!” The yell comes down the hallway from a hesitant munchkin, atop the potty, not yet privy to the pleasures of privacy.

Good thing we keep a shelf stocked with topical books and songs, in waterproof boombox, to both entertain and encourage forward movement. – Paul Barman


  • Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi

    The best book, with the most improvisational potential, by the most brilliant and accomplished author/illustrator (heretofore ‘authostrator’) is Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi. Part of the superb ‘My Body Science’ Series.

    “A one-hump camel makes a one-hump poop.

    And a two-hump camel makes a two-hump poop.

    Only kidding!”

    Get it from Amazon

  • Once Upon A Potty by Alona Frankel

    A bestseller for 30 years, Once Upon A Potty created a cottage industry of dolls, videos, and the obligatory female version.

    It is unique, not only for its introduction of an old fashioned porcelain jug, rather than a modern toilet, but for its focus on patience.

    “He sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat

    and sat and sat and sat”

    Get it from Amazon

  • Potty Time with Bear in the Big Blue House

    This beautiful Henson precursor to It’s a Big Big World lived on the Disney Channel for four years.

    “Do you want to know a secret?

    To learn to use the potty,

    all you have to do is listen to your body.”


  • Time to Pee by Mo Willems

    Dedicated to “going #1″, Time to Pee by Mo Willems, authostrator of the popular Pigeon series, comes with a success chart and stickers. My family has found stickers to be a tantalizing and sugar-free impetus for a job well-done or well-attempted. Good potty books focus on identifying the feeling of needing to go, not the potty itself, and not messless execution.

    “Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time – you’ll get another chance.”

    Get it from Amazon


  • A Potty For Me by Karen Katz

    Karen Katz, master of simplicity, strikes again with a lift-the-flap board book.

    “I’ve always gone in diapers. That’s what they are for.

    [image of clean unused diapers being tossed into trash]

    But mom says when I’m ready I won’t need them anymore.”

    Get it from Amazon


  • I Have to Go by Sesame Street Toddler Books

    Little Grover, recognizing THAT FEELING, must turn down invitations to play with friend after friend. Plus he needs help from his Mom with his overalls straps. Printed on super-sturdy pages.

    “Little Big Bird was pounding pegs when Little Grover went by.

    ‘Hey, Grover,’ said Little Big Bird. ‘Want to hammer?’

    ‘No, thank you,’ said Little Grover. ‘I have to go.’

    ‘Go where?’ Little Big Bird wondered.”

    Get it from Amazon


  • Standing Up by Marie-Anne Gillet and Isabelle Gilboux

    Some parents train both sons and daughters to sit on the potty for both #1 and #2. In this scenario, a boy must then transition to standing to pee. So far, Standing Up is the only picture book on the subject.

    Manneke Pis!

    The most famous statue in all of Belgium.

    He was right in the center of Brussels, and he was peeing!

    He was peeing STANDING UP!

    It looked faaaaantastic.

    I stood watching him for a long time.

    ‘Why don’t you try it too?’ he seemed to say.”

    Get it from Amazon


  • On Top of the Potty (and Other Get-Up-And-Go Songs) by Alan Katz

    Irresistable interpolations of American standards such as ‘If You Gotta Go Do Poopy’ to the tune of ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’.

    Here’s the first stanza of ‘People Poopy Squooshy Brown’ to the tune of ‘London Bridge is Falling Down':

    “People poopy

    Squooshy brown

    Throughout town

    King and clown

    When they go, they flush it down

    So long, poopy!”

    Get it from Amazon


  • PJ and Puppy by Cathryn Falwell

    The best and only charming member of the Kid Compared to Dog subgenre of Potty Books, PJ and Puppy is written to an age younger than most babies pottytrain.

    “New potty.

    New puppy.

    Potty for P.J.

    Papers for puppy.”

    Get it from Amazon


  • I Want My Potty by Tony Ross

    More mischievous, less didactic, and illustrated with a carefree line.

    “Sometimes the little princess played tricks on the potty…

    [Potty on her head, sitting on the crown]

    … and sometimes the potty played tricks on the little princess.

    [Crown offstage, head in potty, upside down]”

    Get it from Amazon


  • Going to the Potty by Fred Rogers

    The only book in this group to use photographs, Going to the Potty is characterized by Mr. Rogers’s gentle and loving approach. The images capture several families’ expressions of patient concern and restrained pride.

    “It’s a good feeling to know that moms and dads like helping their children to grow! There’s so much to learn while we’re growing. And everyone needs help from time to time.”

    Get it from Amazon

  • “TSR (Toilet Stool Rap)” by Biz Markie

    From hip-hop pioneer inventor (and Yo Gabba Gabba regular) Biz Markie’s second LP, I Need a Haircut.

    “Whether i’m constipated or have diarrhea,

    I always come up with a funkyfresh idea.”


  • Potty! by Mylo Freeman

    Only one bottom will fit on the potty set in the center of the jungle. It is pretty hilarious to see it disappear under the gigantic rumps of the wild animals.

    “Elephant is sitting down, but I can’t see the potty anywhere,” says Zebra.

    “Oops! I missed,” Elephant tells them.

    Get it from Mylo Freeman

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