About the Holiday
Toilet training is a major milestone for kids – and their parents and caregivers. The end of diapers means more independence and leaving babyhood behind. But getting to that big day can be difficult and stressful. Potty Training Awareness Month celebrates this accomplishment with kids while also offering support for the adults involved. With patience, love, and a humor, adults can make potty training a confidence booster – as you’ll see in today’s book. For some tips on making potty training easier, visit Baby+Co.
Written by Adam Lehrhaupt | Illustrated by Benson Shum
Today was the day. Sloth “was excited. And nervous.” He was a little worried about if something happened but also if nothing happened. Sloth’s mom was encouraging, though. She said, “‘You’ll make it,” and promised him a surprise afterward. Sloth was interested in the surprise, so he agreed to go. He clung to the tree waiting to go while a caterpillar descended, crawled over his back, and continued on its way.
Sloth was feeling tired and a little dejected when Butterfly flitted by to see how things were going. “‘I don’t think I’m gonna make it,’” Sloth grumbled. Butterfly told him that was okay “‘as long as you keep trying.’” Sloth clung tighter to his tree and gave it all he had while a snail descended above him, crawled over his leg, and kept on going.
Frog dropped by to wish Sloth well, but Sloth gave a pessimistic report. Hearing this, Frog had some advice that spurred him to keep trying. Sloth looked around from his lofty perch and saw a perfect spot under a nearby tree. He clambered down and raced over. He waggled his stubby tail, then sat down “to take care of business.” He pondered, he pushed, he strained. Then he smiled. He’d done it! He covered it up with a happy dance and climbed back up his own tree. “He couldn’t wait to tell everyone,” and when he reached the top, they were all waiting to celebrate his good news with cheers and hugs and a special surprise treat.
Back matter explains the fascinating facts about sloth digestion, poop, and the dangerous path they take to “take care of business.”
Adam Lehrhaupt’s humorous and unique look at potty training based on the intriguing facts of sloth behavior reflects the feelings and fears that can accompany this major milestone for little ones. Lehrhaupt’s subtle language, emphasizing the words “go” and “make it,” create a story as much about meeting challenges and adventure head on as it is about potty training. Butterfly, Frog, and Mother Sloth’s encouragement to keep trying and to listen to yourself is good advice anywhere along life’s path and especially as little ones become more independent.
Benson Shum’s adorable sloth makes a sweet companion on a child’s adventure to diaper-less living. His facial expressions clearly demonstrate his nervousness about his “big day as well as the boost that his friends’ support provides. Kids will giggle appreciatively as little Sloth grimaces and strains to do what will come naturally. When he finally succeeds in going, little ones will want to join him in his victory dance—a desire that should have them asking for and using the potty in no time. Shum’s vibrant colors and close-up images will captivate kids, who will ask for this book over and over again.
A funny and encouraging addition to potty-training books that gives little ones an endearing companion on their journey of independence, Sloth Went would make a top pick for home and public library collections.
Ages 3 – 6
Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2020 | ISBN 978-1547602452
Discover more about Adam Lehrhaupt and his books on his website.
To learn more about Benson Shum, his books, and his art on his website.
Potty Training Awareness Month Activity
Sometimes a little encouragement from a friend can help kids try something new. This easy-to-make, kind-of-silly Potty Buddy can be designed by the trainee to be just the friend they want along as they make that first step toward independence.
- Toilet paper tube
- Toddler size sock or cloth
- Several feet of yarn
- Googly eyes (optional)
- Scrap of foam, colored paper, or cloth
- Pull a toddler-size sock over the paper towel tube and fold down the top to make a collar. Alternately, wrap cloth around the toilet paper tube and glue in place.
- Glue googly eyes on the tube
- Cut a small triangle or other shape for a nose from the foam or colored paper
- Loop the yarn about 20 times in a 5 – 6 inch length
- Tie the yarn in the middle
- Fold and glue into the top opening of the tube for hair.
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