Saturday, April 11, 2020

Review - Raj's Rule (for the Bathroom at School)

Raj's Rule (for the Bathroom at School)
by Lana Button
illustrated by Hatem Aly
Date: 2020
Publisher: Owlkids Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Raj has one rule: he never uses the bathroom at school. It’s just not the same as the one at home. All day, he avoids bathroom trips. Easy enough, since he lives by these tips: Don’t linger at the sink. Stay away from anyone who makes you laugh. Watch out for distractions, especially schoolwork. And sit still: no running, jumping, cartwheels, or sneezing. Until one day―achoo!―Raj has to break his own rule.

After he faces his fear and uses the bathroom at school, Raj feels different. He doesn’t have to rush! He can try new things, laugh, explore … even enjoy his work. He can stay awhile and play. Raj discovers things are better if you just go when you need to.

Told in speech bubbles with bright, lively art showing a diverse group of kids, this is a riotous rhyming read-aloud with an empathetic take on facing a common fear.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Confession time: I did not pee in high school. At least, not in the school bathrooms. So I can relate to little Raj, who avoids the bathrooms at school with all his might. To accomplish this, he has lots of rules. He doesn't drink liquids. He stays away from water play. He doesn't engage in rough-and-tumble play on the playground. And he definitely stays away from Kyle, who makes everyone laugh. But, one day, Raj just can't hold it and finds himself using the bathroom. To his great surprise (and relief, I'm sure) he realizes just what he's been missing when he's been expending so much energy trying to hold it all day.

The story is funny and relatable, and it's told in rather decent rhyme. (The only part that tripped me up was right near the beginning when a missing line break threw me right off the beat.) The illustrations are cute, and the kids have great facial expressions. The style of some of the characters reminds me of the work of Tony Fucile.

Overall, this is a fun story about a kid who just can't hold it anymore... and what happens when he finally lets himself use that school bathroom.

Thank you to NetGalley and Owlkids Books for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: 4/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.57 out of 5

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