Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review: Mummy, I Have To Go Potty by Wilma Shine

With the Little One showing a passing interest in learning how to use the restroom on his own, I thought maybe this might be a good choice to assist our efforts to encourage him in this new endeavor. I expected an informed history of the toilet with supporting facts, some evidence to support the author's conclusions or maybe a citation here and there. That is not what I found.

The Twitter² Summary:
In author Wilma Shine’s overview of toilets around the world, she informs the reader what
they’re called, what they look like and how to find them. She also discusses
the special language used for toilets and their contents across the globe and
through the ages.

The Low-down:
Shine's book could've been a cute coffee table book. It could've been the kind of book that would go great sticking out of this magazine rack in a guest restroom with these outhouse pictures on the wall.

You see where I'm going with this?

This could've been a book like that, but it just isn't. It falls short in a couple areas.

First, it falls a bit short in content. Though the majority of the book is on target, the occasional off-topic tangents disrupt the flow. (The one on cats is particularly unnecessary). In addition, the tone of the book is almost tongue-in-cheek in the right way, but off just a bit.
No matter whether you are poor or rich, sophisticated or illiterate - no difference between races - you are bound to this relationship for a lifetime. You simply cannot avoid it.
What goes in "upstairs" must come out "downstairs."
Every meal means a walk to a facility later. Whatever delicious, tasty thing goes in on top must come out in
a smelly substance at the bottom.
Other sections of the book ramble in such a way that the author's intent is unclear.
Public facilities may be a meeting place for homosexuals or homeless people. Graffiti may offer an insight to social behaviour.
Have you ever looked at restrooms in universities? You sometimes wonder how educated people express their feelings.
I'm not sure what my response should be to this. Is this observation? Is it critique? I honestly don't know. And finally, we have the seemingly ever-present stereotypical comment about men.
And why do men always have the lid of the commode up?
When you enter a toilet and the lid is up you immediately know the former customer was a man.
The other aspect that distracts from the reader's experience is the design and layout. The picture quality varies widely from sharp and focused on one page to blurry on the next. It could have also used a book-wide color balance to bring all the pictures in line with each other to look like they are each part of a whole.

I'll probably still stick it in the restroom, but it might be behind a magazine or two.

The Rating:
2 of 5 Stars (A book I had to force myself to finish)

The Link: 
The Publisher's Book Page

Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from Dorrance Publishing Company. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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