The Saddest Toilet in the World
Written by Sam Apple and Illustrated by Sam Ricks
Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s publishing Division, 2016
Parents who are struggling with toilet training their youngsters may find help from “The Saddest Toilet in the World,” a cheeky picture book about a toilet who runs away from home because Danny won’t sit on him.
The story is set in New York City and the active, comic-strip like illustrations show the toilet finding a familiar-looking exhibit at a modern art museum, being photographed with a family in Times Square, playing chess with an elderly man in a park, and riding in a horse carriage at Central Park.
The morning after the toilet takes off Danny decides he is ready to begin sitting on the toilet. He and his parents discover the toilet is missing and he and his mom go through the city looking for him. They look everywhere, but can’t find the toilet.
On the way home, Danny spots the toilet on the subway. He tells him he’s ready to sit on him. The toilet needs some assurances, but finally decides to come home. True to his word, Danny sits on the toilet and the toilet is happy and so is Danny. The story ends as the family rides a roller coaster to celebrate.
“The Saddest Toilet in the World” is well written and the colorful, active illustrations perfectly complement the story. Recommended.
About the Author and Illustrator:
Sam Apple teaches creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of “American Parent” and “Schlepping Through the Alps.” His work has appeared in “The New York Times Magazine,” “Financial Times Magazine,” and NewYorker.com, among many other publications. A native Texan, Apple now lives in Philadelphia with his wife Jennifer and their three children, Isaac, Lila and Nina.