Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Goldilocks and the Just Right Potty (Leigh Hodgkinson)

Illustrator:  Leigh Hodgkinson

Target Ages:  1-4

Genre:  Fractured Fairy Tale Picture Book

Publisher Summary: 
Little Goldilocks wants to wear underwear—big-girl underwear that’s not too silly and not too frilly, but just right.  Then she needs to find the perfect potty.  But will she know what to do when she needs to go?  And will she get to the potty in time?

First Lines:
Once upon a time, there was a very little girl named Goldilocks who lived in the woods with her mommy and daddy.  Goldilocks was tired of wearing soggy diapers, so she decided it was time to wear BIG girl underwear. 

 I am well passed potty training with my kids, but the fairy tale format caused me to pick up this book from a library display.  I am a sucker for a fractured fairy tale. 

I love the way the author used the format of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” in a realistic and creative way.  Instead of dealing with the obstacles in the bears’ home, this Goldilocks must learn how to understand her body’s cues for when to go potty, find a place to go that is “just right” for her, and accept sometimes she makes potty mistakes.  After some ups and downs, she learns to go on the potty.  Her parents praise her for being a clever girl.

The predictable format and structure as well as the child-friendly phrases are conducive to early childhood reading interaction.  After a couple readings, kids can “read along” with you.  For instance, they can predict (based on pictures and lead in prompts) phrases like “too frilly,” “too silly,” “too big,” and “too small.”  There are some other engaging words they will want to say along with the characters, such as “uh-oh,” “yay,” and “just right.”

The bright colors and vivid illustrations include things children love, like animals, rainbows, stars, hearts, and toys.  Goldilocks is pictured in everyday situations like playing with her toys, eating with her family (appears to be an allusion to the porage from the original fairy tale), and reading books.  Mom and dad are present, but the focus is on Goldilocks feeling empowered to understand her own body and to learn to read its cues. 

This book is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, whether they are being introduced to the concept of potty training or struggling to perfect it. 

My Parenting Potty Training Experience: 
Around the mom-table you may hear about  “advanced” kids fully trained at 12 or 18 months. However, those situations are extremely rare. The average age for being fully potty trained is 3 years old, meaning some master it before but about just as many master it after.  Do not fret if your child is not an early potty master.

Do not compare your child’s progress (or lack thereof) to others’.  I made that mistake with my first child.  Fortunately, she got the BM down early, but peeing on the potty did not interest her.  I pushed her.  She pushed backed.  One day, I put her on the potty.  She did nothing, so I put big girl panties on her.  A couple minutes later, she was standing watching TV.  She nonchalantly peed in her spot.  I quit pushing.  A couple days before she turned 3, she decided on her own she was tired of wet diapers.  She was fully potty trained. 

I did not push my son.   He was a child that was always on his own milestone schedule.  It took him slightly longer to be fully trained, about 3 years, 4 months.  I barely remember his experience because I did not push and stress.  I encouraged, but waited patiently.

Bottom Line: Whether you stress and push or you relax and wait, your child will eventually be potty trained.  In the grand scheme, it does not matter if it is 24, 36, or 40 months. 

Activities and Extension Ideas:
Potty Training Charts HERE, HERE, and HERE

Do you have any potty training advice?  Tell us in the comments.

Visit Susanna Hill's Blog for more Perfect Picture Book Suggestions.


  1. I had to laugh at the illustration. The places Goldilocks considers are off the chart funny. I love fractured fairy tales, too, and this one has moved to the top of my library list.

  2. What a great fractured fairy tale -- perfect for young children. It sounds hilarious. Parents could make a game of it looking for places. This would make a great book for my niece!


Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belphré

Title:  Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belphré Author :   Anika Aldamuy Denise Illustrator :    ...