Originally published in Japan, it’s probably been an interesting ride for author Taro Gomi to see how her book has been received in the western culture of the United States. Graphic and straightforward, although not without humor, it can take some getting used to. Once you’ve read it once or twice however, it’s an easy book to embrace. Everyone Poops, in addition to providing entertainment value, is also an excellent potty training tool and a way to explain to young children something they’re all fascinated with.
Our culture has put the kibosh somewhat on certain bodily functions. It was probably well intended, we did want to teach youngsters some manners after all, but it’s sort of snowballed until everything around going to the bathroom is hush hush. So now, going to the bathroom and pooping becomes a mystery for children. Parents too can get uncomfortable explaining in a straightforward manner exactly what is going-which is where Everyone Poops comes in as a savior of sorts, for curious children and awkward parents alike.
Children should never feel ashamed of their bodily functions; they should be educated on them instead, rather than trying to cover them up. Particularly around the potty training age, this book can seriously come in handy. It gives parents a wonderful tool that takes the pressure off explaining about how ‘everyone poops’ and even takes it a step farther-satisfying any further questions kids might have with pictures of all kinds of animals and their poo, which are not detailed but accurate nonetheless.
How do you illustrate a picture book all about poop? You draw all kinds of poop of course, and even include some action shots. Taro Gomi uses stylized forms against origami colored paper backdrops to depict a natural act in an open and shameless way that kids will find both humorous and informative. The poop itself is all different shapes and colors, matching whichever animal it’s coming out of, which is a very good thing. If you’re going to write a book about pooping, go big or go home I say, don’t just draw a bunch of uniform brown blobs. Gomi did an excellent job with the illustrations in this book, and even if you are taken aback by them at first, you’ll quickly adjust.
Pooping is a somewhat taboo subject for little kids, which it shouldn’t be. Not completely anyways. They shouldn’t be self-conscious about it, and they should feel open to ask questions without getting scorned. Young ones respond amazingly well to an adult being open and straightforward, as uncomfortable as it can be for us sometimes, they aren’t judging. Just think if you were trying to figure out the whole wide world wouldn’t you want someone to do the same as well? Everyone Poops is a book that I think children will enjoy immensely, and once adults get a little more used to the idea they will warm up too.