Where’s the Pot­ty on This Ark?

Ker­ry Olitzky; Abi­gail Tomp­kins, illus.
  • Review
By – June 20, 2018

Mul­ti­ple children’s books have tack­led the ques­tions that arise from the bib­li­cal sto­ry of Noah’s Ark, pon­der­ing prob­lems like: How did Noah keep the weight of the ani­mals even­ly dis­trib­uted? Why did Noah choose the dove to seek out dry land? And how did Noah deal with all the ani­mals’ noise? Now, Ker­ry Olitzky attempts to answer an equal­ly press­ing ques­tion: Where did all of the ani­mals on the ark go pot­ty? The sim­ple text and adorable, play­ful illus­tra­tions explain that there are places on the ark for each ani­mal to eat, sleep, play, and use the pot­ty. The dif­fer­ent pot­ties are made with grass, dirt, sand, and rocks, and come in all sizes. Moth­er Hen shows a lit­tle rac­coon how to use the pot­ty spe­cial­ly designed for him. The wise owl explains to the gath­ered ani­mals: Your body is spe­cial. All kinds of things are hap­pen­ing inside it. Food goes in and helps to make us strong. But food also needs a way to leave your body when your body is done using it.”

The book includes a brief note about the logis­tics of the ark on the inside front flap, but does not give any expla­na­tion of who Noah was, nor does it dis­cuss the flood. The sto­ry ends with Owl teach­ing the ani­mals a bless­ing trans­lat­ed from the Hebrew for using the pot­ty. Young chil­dren already famil­iar with the sto­ry of Noah’s Ark will cer­tain­ly be enter­tained, but as a book to teach about and encour­age pot­ty train­ing, it is rather didac­tic and uninspiring.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 1 to 4.

Rachel Kamin has been a syn­a­gogue librar­i­an and Jew­ish edu­ca­tor for over twen­ty-five years and has worked at North Sub­ur­ban Syn­a­gogue Beth El in High­land Park, IL since 2008, cur­rent­ly serv­ing as the Direc­tor of Life­long Learn­ing. A past chair of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Com­mit­tee and past edi­tor of Book Reviews for Chil­dren & Teens for the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries News & Reviews, her arti­cles and book reviews appear in numer­ous pub­li­ca­tions. She has been a mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Library Association’s Sophie Brody Book Award Com­mit­tee since 2021.

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