An energetic, cheerful lion takes his love of trampolining to new heights when ‘all of a sudden he needs to poop.’ Lionel feels no misplaced embarrassment about his unclothed body or his natural bodily functions, and just gets ready to do what needs to be done, wherever he happens to be. This is not to the taste of the poor bystanders that find themselves in the potential line of fire: the cows, the wild cats, even the Eiffel tower!
Thankfully for everyone, the narrator, unnamed and absent from the illustration, tries their best to steer Lionel in the right direction to the chorus of ‘NO, LIONEL, NO!’ until our hero finds a better place for his business. The small format of this boardbook is perfect for little hands to flick through and carry around on a trip to see some cows, the mountains, or indeed to their potty. The simple, clean design, clear structure and repetitive pattern will also help the youngest kids ‘read’ Lionel’s story themselves.
This humorous take on potty training should go a long way towards de-dramatizing a sometimes stressful phase for families. The obstacles that Lionel jumps over (and threatens to poop on) get bigger and more outlandish as the book progresses, and this should reassure adults and their wards that no matter how long it takes, we all get there in the end (‘WELL DONE, LIONEL!’). Veillé’s book is also a primer in how to develop a love of humour and the absurd in young kids. Expect (and welcome) plenty of variations on the theme!