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. Volume VIII Number 3 . . . . October 5, 2001
Caillou is playing with his toys. His mommy calls out, "Caillou, I have a surprise for you." Caillou finds his surprise in the bathroom. It's a potty!Potty training is often much more a learning experience for parents than it is the child who will begin to use the potty when and only when s/he is ready and not just because parents are constantly nagging. Initially, Caillou uses his potty as a hat, but then his mother explains that "You're a big boy now. You don't need a diaper anymore. You can use the potty whenever you want." After a "dry" sit and two wettings of his pants, Caillou has a surprise for his mother, one which his father then empties into the toilet and Caillou flushes away.
As in all the Caillou books, the little guy controls his situation while being supported by loving and caring parents. This board book might be a better parenting book than a potty-training book for parents can learn more about the right approach to take in dealing with their child(ren) than the child listener will gain in a behavior change. At the same time, new parents need to recognize that potty training is not as easy as this little board book suggests. A useful addition to home collections and libraries serving young families.
Dave Jenkinson, who survived three rounds of potty training (plus his own), teaches courses in children's and young adult literature in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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