Fun children's picture books that kids enjoy, help parents, and are from a fresh, modern perspective
Being an indie author, it is sometimes difficult to assess if people like what you are creating. You do get reviews which are extremely helpful, though they are not always forthcoming. For me, hiring an editor and getting unbiased feedback has been invaluable. But this is just one way.
Recently, I joined the Children's Book Council of Australia and am involved in the Northern Sydney branch. Meeting other successful, inspiring and supportive authors continues to give me the encouragement to keep learning, trying and creating more books. It is a great way to meet other like minded people who have been through or are going through what you are doing. Not only do you learn more about the industry, publishing and promotion, you get to meet and network with some truly amazing authors.
I'd recommend getting involved in author/writer groups in your local area if you are thinking of becoming a writer or are interested in continuing to refine your craft.
Regardless of where you are from, or if you say poo or poop, this problem is universal and a common potty training challenge. Your child might be very proficient at doing wees on the toilet but poos are another matter.
After 9 months of trying to get my daughter to do a poo on the toilet and finally succeeding, I’ve done a lot of research around various techniques to help achieve this. I thought I’d share them with you as for others going through the same thing, dirty undies and/or constipation is never fun.
The reason why some kids get the hang of doing poops on the potty or toilet quickly and others take a little longer is unknown. Reasons have included having a bad experience, like a poo that hurts when trying before, falling in or nearly falling in the toilet, constipation, stubbornness, lack of interest, or scared that a part of them is being flushed away.
My daughter went through a few different stages. She would just do it in her undies and not seem to realise or care that it was there. She then suffered from stool withholding and thus constipation. Sometimes this would lead to 3 or 4 poos a day in her undies as only little bits were getting past a blocked poo – a form of constipation I later found out. Then she would only do poos in her nappy when she had her day time sleep or night time sleep. For a while this was actually a relief as there were no more dirty undies and she wasn’t suffering from a sore stomach.
Cleaning poos from dirty undies is never fun, I have to admit some never returned. However, after trying many things, there were definitely some techniques that worked better than others.
Each child is different so I thought I'd list a variety of different techniques you can try. I wish you every success with your poo in the potty challenge. I truly hope these ideas help in some way.
1. RULE OUT CONSTIPATION
Constipation could definitely be a cause for a child not wanting to poop in the toilet. Constipation could be caused by holding on to the poo or they may actually be constipated so poos are hard and can sometimes hurt when they do a poo, their tummy may hurt and hence don’t like doing poos. There could even be a blockage and only small bits of poo get out which a child has limited control over. If you can relate to any of these things, it’s best to see a health care professional to check your child isn’t constipated. If they are, normally a form of laxative is given which will help.
2. REWARD CHARTS (A.K.A BRIBERY)
Using rewards charts are great if your child is occasionally doing a poo in the toilet, especially when they are allowed to choose the stickers and put them on. I find though that reward charts tend to work better when there is a toy or treat involved too. A sticker isn’t always enough. I found my daughter sticking all the stickers on the chart one day when she just did a wee.
Whilst not everyone agrees with this, bribery was definitely a success factor in my experience. A treat for every time we had success wasn’t giving us long term consistency. However, letting my daughter go to the toy shop and pick a toy (she choose an owl Beanie Boo) then hiding it in the house and telling her she can’t have it unless she continues to do poos, I really think is what got her over the line.
If you are happy to subscribe to my page, I have a free download of a reward chart and potty training colouring book.
Another tactic I’ve heard has also worked, though I haven’t tried it, is to reward other members of the family when they do a poo and not the child that isn’t doing a poo. Sometimes reversing the situation has an impact.
3. READ CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOKS
Exasperated by the whole experience, I even wrote a children’s picture book about it. As a children’s picture book author, this seemed natural. She kept asking me to read the poo story to her as she thought it was fun and wanted to make Mr Poo happy. The book is called Come Out Mr Poo! and it is available through Amazon. See below for more details plus a few other books that may help.
4. WATCHING BIGGER KIDS
While it might sound funny, smaller kids want to be big kids and tend to idealise what bigger kids do. If they can watch a slightly older brother or sister, a cousin or friend do a poo on the toilet sometimes this gives them the push to overcome their fear or stubbornness as they too want to be a ‘big kid’.
5. OFFER LOTS OF PRAISE
It goes without saying but kids generally want to make you happy and if you can make them feel proud and grown up then this is something they want to continue to receive. Every time you have success, give as much praise as you can. Many high-fives and hugs go a long way.
6. IF GOING OFF TO HIDE, ENCOURAGE TO DO IN THE BATHROOM
If you child will only do poos in their nappy or slinks off to the corner to do a poop. Encourage them to do this in the bathroom. Whilst it won’t necessarily solve the problem, it gets them closer to understanding the right place for where poos should be done.
7. SEEK HELP FROM OTHER BOOKS
There are other books that you can read that offer suggestions and advice in more depth than this post.
I hope some of these suggestions are useful and work for you. Patience is definitely required. There are some great days and some not so great days. Your child will get there, these are some suggestions to help both you the parent and your little one. Best wishes!
It's hard to believe that in less than a year, the 5th children's picture book in the Secret School Spy Squad series is ready. I wanted to make this one more unbelievable with the introduction of zombies. This time there is more at stake, Sx4 Agent N has to protect the students and teachers from drooling zombies attacking the school.
Appealing to both boys and girls, the Secret School Spy Squad series is about a student spy who's identity is unknown. It could be a boy or a girl. My daughter swears the spy is herself. In each book the spy has to complete a new mission and receives not only the satisfaction of solving a case but receives a badge for each successful mission.
The series is targeted at children between the ages of 4 and 7. Those about to go to school or new to school. Kids that want to feel special and be a hero in their school environment. The books are full of colourful illustrations and relatively short so make a great first reader or bedtime story.
If you like zombies and kid heroes, check out Mission 5 - Zapping Zombies!
As a writer, today was an exciting day for me. My 4th book in the Secret School Spy Squad series, Mission 4 - Hair-Raising Hair was launched and my first book in the series, Mission 1 - Lost Lunchboxes was featured on Storytime Pup Children's Book Read Aloud You Tube Channel.
As a self-published author, there is always so much to do. Writing is the easy bit, though finding time and coming up with new ideas can sometimes be a challenge. The marketing and promotion, for me, is what takes up most of the time. I guess this is also where I have the steepest learning curve.
Some things to think about when it comes to marketing and promotion are:
- categories where your book can be found
- distribution channels
- social media posts - where and when
- paid advertising - Facebooks, Adwords
- press releases - bloggers, news sites
- guest appearances / school talks
Not sure if I have mastered it yet but will let you know how it goes.
If you'd like to check out my new book, it's available on Amazon.
Welcome to the first blog post for my author site. If you had told me this even a year ago I would have thought you were crazy. Me an author? It was the last thing I thought I was capable of. However, after reading numerous books to my two girls and having to tell my eldest daughter a new made up story each bedtime, I decided to have a go at writing a children's picture book.
I'll freely admit I had no idea where to start. Naturally, I thought that writing a story was where you began, so I did that. But after studying the process, I discovered that the first step is research into what customers want to buy. Lesson number 1.
Secret School Spy Squad - Mission 1 - Lost Lunchboxes was my first attempt. After having other children review the story, give me feedback and go through the editing process - it was time to take a leap. I found an illustrator and finished assembly of the book. A couple of months later, I had an eBook ready to go. I published it to Amazon and was away. My book was there for all to see - exciting and scary at the same time! Within the next 3 months, Mission 2 - Germs Galore and Mission 3 - Shrinking Students where released. What a ride!
I enjoy writing and creating books, and am excited to come home at night from my day job to work on more stories. Now I've been bitten by the writing bug there are more stories in progress. Subscribe if you want to be notified when they are released.
The next step is to further seek feedback and advice to become a better writer. The big lesson I've learned the hard way, is that it's not just about writing the book. The promotion, marketing and launch matter too if you want to do this for income. That's going to be my focus and I'm going to blog about this as I learn and develop my skills.
If you've ever had an interest in writing your own children's picture books, follow me on my journey...
My name is Janelle and I'm a full-time working mum of 2 and an indie children's picture book author. I love writing picture books that are fun for kids, help parents and bring a modern perspective. Books that can be experienced by both boys and girls. I am also learning how to better write, self-publish and promote what I do. So if you've ever had an interest in writing children's picture books, join me on my journey.
Janelle McGuinness's books on Goodreads
Mission 2: Germs Galore: Secret School Spy Squad - a fun rhyming spy mystery book for 4-8 year olds
ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)
Mission 3 - Shrinking Students: A Fun Rhyming Spy Mystery Picture Book for Ages 4-6 (Secret School Spy Squad)
ratings: 1 (avg rating 5.00)
Mission 1: Lost Lunchboxes (Secret School Spy Squad)
ratings: 1 (avg rating 5.00)