Little One Books Review & Giveaway - Once Upon a Potty: Boy (Alona Frankel)

~ Posted on Friday, October 15, 2010 at 12:01 AM ~

I have the privilege of reviewing a children's book by Alona Frankel (illustrated by her as well) called "Once Upon a Potty: Boy".

Author & Ilustrator: Alona Frankel
Publisher: Firefly Books
ISBN: 978-1554072835
Hardcover: 40 pages
Dimension: 7.2 x 7.3 x 0.4 inches

Product description from Little One Books website:

"In 1975, Alona Frankel wrote and illustrated her first book, especially for her son Michael, on how to use the potty. Thirty-two years later, Once Upon a Potty -- Boy and its companion Once Upon a Potty -- Girl are the classic books on potty training. These children's books help parents everywhere deal successfully with an often vexing challenge for the whole family. Thanks to its timeless words and beloved images, Once Upon a Potty -- Boy is being discovered and used by a new generation of parents. "

This book is provided by Little One Books for my review. Now, a brief introduction to them:

"We specialize in quality books, music, and video, for children birth through age five, and have personally reviewed and selected each and every item in our store. You'll find detailed information on why we prefer a particular product in our "Why We Chose" section of each product page.
At Little One Books, we match each product to what we believe is the youngest appropriate age group. However, our carefully selected items can and will be used for many years to come. As children develop they often find pleasure in revisiting illustrations from old favorites, and eventually learning to read them on their own.
"

Honestly, we've been getting hints and well-meaning advices from people around us that Ben should be potty trained already at this age (he's 19 months old btw)! I don't know how others did it but hubby and I felt that we should let nature takes its course, I mean, Ben will be ready when he's ready.

But that doesn't mean that I can't read any information pertaining to potty training right?

So, I requested this particular book the moment I saw the cute illustrations on the cover of this book. I've always been very much geared to separated gender books, meaning if there are books that are generalised for both boys and girls, and books that are for boys only, I'll definitely go for the boys books. I find it easier for my son to relate himself to the story when it's illustrated and told from their point of view.

Check out Ben's reactions as he flips through the book...

Ben with Once Upon a Potty: Boy book

Checking out the cute cover...

Ben with Once Upon a Potty: Boy book

Looking at the main character...

Ben with Once Upon a Potty: Boy book

Studying how the boy sits on the potty

One thing I don't like about this book is how the potty is being potrayed. Honestly, it looks like a vase (with a handle) to me. I find myself subtly covering the handles when I go through the book with Ben, maybe it's just me, but I don't want him to go around seeing anything (such as a vase with handle) and think that's a potty! I also flipped through the pages where the little boy initially wonders what is the object (potty) given to him by his grandma. For example, he wears it on his head  wondering whether it's a hat (no, I don't want Ben doing that!).

As for illustrations wise, I totally love it! It's cute and doesn't seem gross at all! The paper quality of the book is good as well, thick enough for easy handling. I don't mind the terms used to represent peeing ('Wee-Wee' in the book, I used 'Pee-Pee') and pooping (both the book and I used 'Poo-Poo').

Now, I just want to highlight that the moment I received the book, I went through 1 round with Ben (just make up my own story as we go along) and I can immediately see some results, albeit a small one, but it is very exciting to see my boy approaching the potty and trying to sit on it (of course, he's still wearing his diapers and pants), but the point is he approached the potty without us coaxing him into doing that! It happened so fast that I don't have enough time to grab my camera to snap this memorable moment!

Pictures below taken 2 days after we received the book:

Ben with his potty

Ben with his potty

Picture on the left of Ben sitting on the potty (with his pants on) when I asked him to show me how the little boy sat on the potty. Please note that prior to this book, Ben never approach nor even touch the potty at all (it's in our bathroom to get him to familiar himself with) and now, he's sitting on it!

Picture on the right of Ben passing back the potty to me when I asked him how the boy gives the potty back to his mummy when he's done with his poo-poo and pee-pee.

Amazing milestones I would say! I'm still very happy and glad I chose this book! It'll definitely be used again and again until Ben is potty trained successfully. In the meantime, I'm already a very happy mummy seeing the mini milestones achieved by my boy within such a short span of time!

Overall, I give this book a 9 out of 10.

You can get this book from Little One Books and many more.

But wait!!!

I'm not going to leave you reading this long review of mine without something right? Now hear me out, ONE of my lucky awesome blog reader/visitor will be able to win a $25 gift certificate from Little One Books! Yup! You read that right!

Your awesome bloggy pal here has got the greenlight to hold a giveaway for a gift certificate worth $25! Woohoo!!

* Eligibility: OPEN WORLDWIDE!

* Giveaway expires on 15th November 2010 (Malaysia time)

* You must fulfil the mandatory entry 1st (which is to provide your valid email address & answering the question), else you will be disqualified.

* Winner will be randomly drawn using Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to  my email notification or a new winner will be drawn.

* Winner will receive their prize sent directly by Little One Books.

To enter the giveaway, kindly click at the link shown below and the entry form will appear in a new window:

* $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway Entry Form *

(Link has been disabled as entry closed at 12midnight past 15th Nov 2010)

It'd be great if you could leave me a comment once you have submitted your entry so that I can check and ensure it's safely tracked into my database.

So what are you waiting for?!! Hurry up! You have 1 month time from now to join in the fun and try your luck!

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a copy of the book by Little One Books in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"

Following Daddy's Footsteps?

~ Posted on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 9:43 AM ~

I remembered hubby told me he wrecked his first computer when he was 5 years old.

He ran some DOS commands which wiped out the data in the hard disk.

And look at what his 19 months old son is doing now...

No matter how I tried distracting him with his favorite songs

(The Beatles, The Rattles, Sesame Streets) it just doesn't work!

He's so determined in trying to hack into daddy's laptop that I have to give up and login for him!

One step closer into following daddy's footsteps? Hmmmm...

Luckily it's not MY laptop... Muahahahahahaahh...

Separation Anxiety!

~ Posted on Monday, October 4, 2010 at 9:50 AM ~

Ben attended his Sunday school yesterday and as usual, we arrived early and let Ben played around while waiting for other parents to arrive with their toddlers. We saw 2 ride-on horses in the classroom, glanced at the white board and suspected the day's story will be "Noah's Ark". Saw some presentation boards and toys that goes along with the story.

Ben proceeded to take the story books, one by one to the table where we were seated at and he was almost on his way to clear off the middle bookcase section when the teacher approached hubby and I suggesting one of us attending the church service (at the main hall, the toddler's Sunday classes are categorized by different age groups and are located in a separate building block)

Darn it... I have always been dreading the day when Ben will have to attend school by himself without mummy and daddy watching over him. I worried that he will have separation anxiety if we're no longer around when he goes to school next time. 

I glanced at hubby, looking for his eye signals or some sort of body language whether one of us should leave the Sunday class and attend the church service. Hubby said he's OK with either one of us leaving.

Teacher looks at me and said "Daddy should give mummy a time off from Ben and let mummy attends the church service!", smiling as she said it.

Darn it, darn it. I feel trapped. I kept quiet.

Teacher continued "Go ahead, leave your boy with your hubby and enjoy the short break. Don't think it will be a long sermon today cos there are some presentations going on".

I feel torn apart... Should I go? Should I stay? I stared at hubby... He's already in his own world with Ben, playing with toys. Bahhhh.... men... Sigh... fine... I'll try this time and see how it goes. Told hubby my bag is at the back of the class, all the stuff (water bottles, wet tissues, hanky etc) are inside and left the room with the heaviest heart ever...

(Photo taken from Google image search)

With every steps taken as I walked away from the classroom and leaving the toddler's building block and heading towards the main hall, I was starting to get worried.

"Is Ben crying now?", "Will hubby be able to handle Ben when he fusses?", "Does hubby knows the hankerchiefs are at the bottom of my bag?"... All sorts of worries and concerns played in my head. I reached the main hall of the church and joined my MIL in the baby room (She prefers to sit in this encased room cos it's not so cold and I think maybe she likes looking at other children)

I immediately set my mobile alarm to alert me in half hour time so I could go and check on Ben's progress. Few minutes before the alarm rang, I told MIL I'm going back to check on my 2 men. When I reached the class, I saw the parents and their child are queueing up to wash hands, getting ready for snacks before the art session. Saw hubby putting Ben on the floor to let him walk back to the class after he washed his hands. I called out to Ben and he walked quickly towards me.

Ahhhhh... My heart tears a little. My little man still recognises his mummy! Then Ben asked to be carried, I obliged. I mean, hello...it's been 30 minutes since I last seen and touch my baby! Give me a break!

Then all the kids went back and got ready for their snacks and I had to pass back Ben to hubby. Ben started fussing and crying as I made my quiet exit. Poor boy, mummy feels so sad. Bwaaaaaaa... Hating the teacher for separating us. Walked back to the main hall and sat next to MIL anxiously. Made a note to myself to check Ben again when it's near the end of his art session, which should be around 20 minutes or so.

After 20 minutes, I told MIL I'm going back to check on Ben. Walked faster and imagining my boy should be finishing his class now. Wondered what artwork he did today and whether he cried much when I left earlier. Was climbing up the stairs and I peeped through the door (there's a small glass window at the main door) and saw them still doing their artwork. Arghhhhhh!! Why does the time seem to pass by so slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!

Decided not to go up further in case Ben saw me. Walked down few steps and then decided, I gotta snap a picture of my boy no matter what! I missed him so much! It's almost 1 hour already! So I climbed up a few steps and zoomed in with my digital camera and snap this picture:

Call me pathetic or weirdo mummy for secretly snooping around taking picture like this but... sob, sob, just look at my little man sitting there with his daddy... without mummy... Anyway, when the class ended, I waited outside and Ben showed me the origami boat with some glued pre-printed paper animals in it and I immediately carried him. I missed my boy!

Bwaaaaaaaaa....

How am I going to deal with really separating from Ben when he goes to school next time?

I thought separation anxiety is only for the kids?