All by Myself! by Emile Jadoul is a book aimed at kids who are towards the later edge of potty training. A young penguin named Leon wakes up frequently during the night. He always wakes up his mom or dad to take him to the potty. As a result, his mom and dad are always exhausted in the morning. In All by Myself!, Leon learns to be more independent. With a humorous twist at the end.
This is a very simple book, suitable for the youngest of listeners. Like this:
"Leon wakes up.
He has to use the bathroom.
So Leon calls to his mom:
"Mommy, I need to go potty!""
When Leon decides to go potty on his own, he just ... decides. No fuss. I actually think that this is the right approach for the book to take. No pressure, but if you happen to be at an age where you can decide to go on your own, then you do. I doubt it's that simple in real life, but I see no reason for this straigthtforward little book to complicate things.
What really makes All by Myself! is Jadoul's illustrations. The penguin family lives in a cozy little igloo. Leon is oval-shaped and red-cheeked. He's not realistically portrayed, but he is portrayed in a friendly, relatable sort of way. My favorite illustration, though, is the one in which:
"Every morning, it's the same.
Mommy and Daddy are very, very tired."
Mommy's eyes are closed, with bags beneath them. Daddy's eyes are deeply worried, and he clutches his coffee cup like a lifeline. I think that parents everywhere will be able to relate.
All by Myself! is a slim book that covers a particular aspect of the potty training process. A particular aspect that sleepless parents everywhere will appreciate. The minimalist illustrations and short declarative sentences are toddler-friendly, and likely to evoke belly laughs. Recommended (more for home than storytime use).
Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (@eerdmansbooks)
Publication Date: May 3, 2012
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
© 2012 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).