Author: Lana Button
Illustrator: Hatem Aly
Publisher: Owlkids, 2020
Themes: restrooms, fear, school
Opening: (see image above)
Summary: (from my library’s catalog) Raj has one steadfast rule: NEVER USE THE BATHROOM AT SCHOOL! Of course, it can be challenging to follow this rule. After all, sometimes, a person’s gotta go! So Raj has come up with a series of how-to rules to help him “hold it” — avoid all liquids; stay very still at recess; squeeze your knees tight, stay away from funny friends who might make you laugh too hard, and at all costs, avoid sneezing. But, inevitably, Raj ends up accidentally breaking his own rule with a big “Ahh-choo!” Then has has to use the school bathroom, and he realizes that it’s not so bad after all. So he lets go of his old rules, and now he can drink from the fountain, enjoy his juice box, play at the water table, laugh at Kyle’s jokes, and even stay to play after school! Raj’s new rule: Just go when you need to! Ahhhhh.
I picked this book because: I liked the eye-catching cover, and I had a child who had the same rule! I wish we had had this book to open up a discussion and for my child to be able to identify and relate to even a fictional character to feel better about their own feelings. The illustrations and bright and engaging, and there is enough humor in the book to put reader’s at ease discussing what might be a difficult subject. And Raj is ADORABLE! Hope we see more of him!
Resources/activities: talk about similar rules kids might have had when they started school that have since changed – or not! Discuss such fears, why we might have them, is it okay to feel that way, are there other ways kids have overcome their fears, how might we be able to help friends with their fears?
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.