all by myself

All by Myself by Emile Jadoul

Leon is potty trained, but at night he still wants his parents to help him get to the bathroom.  So when he has to use the bathroom, he calls to his parents from his bed and waits for them to take him to the potty.  Then the next morning, his parents are exhausted.  So his mommy tells him that big boys go to the potty by themselves at night.  Leon decides to try it.  So that night when he has to use the potty, he climbs out of bed.  He considers calling his mother…but ends up going all by himself!  Then comes the clever bit at the end that I won’t spoil, but that makes the book all the more enjoyable to read.

Jadoul perfectly captures the later part of the pottying process, when there is still a little help to be given.  Told in very simple words, it is a quiet story of a loving family.  The writing level is just right for preschool children to enjoy.  The ending twist will have everyone giggling too.

The art in the book is done in black pencil and oil paints.  The rough darkness of all of the penguins plays nicely against the finer lines of the backgrounds in the story.  The addition of the little purple teddy bear emphasizes the youth of the main character and his need for security.

This book will nicely encourage almost-trained children to continue to do things on their own.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.