The 1970s classic ‘Once Upon a Potty’ goes digital


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The 1975 potty training classic, ‘Once Upon a Potty’ by author/illustrator Alona Frankel, has gone digital. The book, which I remember from my youth, is totally ‘70s fabulous with cute retro flowers on the cover and the mother character dressed in a super chic Pucci-esque maxi dress.

And now it’s been turned into an iPhone and iPad app for $2.99 by Oceanhouse Media.


Frankel’s original book comes in separate editions for each gender and the app does too. The girl version tells the tale of Prudence, who has been going ‘wee-wee’ and ‘poo-poo’ in her diaper since she was 2 days old. The boy version is the story of Joshua, who has been doing the same thing, but with different anatomy. Both children get a potty as a present from grandma, and after trying to figure out what it is (a flower pot? a hat? a milk jug for the cat?) they begin to learn how to use the potty themselves.

This morning my nearly potty-trained son (still wearing pull-ups at bedtime) and I swiped our way through the ‘Once Upon a Potty: Boy’ app on the iPad. We had the story read itself to us in the admirably sedate voice of Joshua’s mother, and then we listened to the unexpectedly jazzy potty song. (In keeping with the book’s obvious 1970s influences, I was hoping for something more in the vein of ‘Free to Be You and Me.’) My son liked the story, unfortunately seeing lots of humor in the part when Joshua accidentally poops on the floor, but he didn’t think much of the Potty Song. To be fair, we’d been listening to a Bob Dylan CD earlier. Retro morning!


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Images: ‘Once Upon a Potty,’ the girl edition, top, and boy edition, below. Credit: Oceanhuse Media Inc.