Saturday, January 03, 2015

Kids Are Weird by Jeffrey Brown

Today is the flip-side of yesterday's book, Guy Delisle's Even More Bad Parenting Advice. (If I was more organized, I could have shoved them into one post for a compare-and-contrast.) Where Delisle revels in being a "bad" parent by indulging himself and using his kids as excuses, Jeffrey Brown has a more conventional "look how cute my son is" book.

Kids Are Weird is a collection of funny things that Brown's son Oscar has said, illustrated and sometimes put into comics form by his father (clearly on the prowl for new book material, as any working creator must be). Oscar already was the inspiration for Brown's recent career in Star Wars books, from Darth Vader and Son through two novels for tweens, so I hope his college account is getting funded adequately at this point. (Because he's earned it!) I would guess that Oscar is in first or second grade now, and that this book collects things he said mostly in preschool: around the ages of three to five. Other kids do make appearances -- including a baby brother, at the very end -- but Oscar is the undisputed star throughout.

This is yet another "kids say the darndest things," focused on one particular kid and on the quasi-profound or quirky. (If you're not familiar with the phrase, google it: it was a major media empire before most of us were born.) Oscar has said some funny things, and his dad is an engaging cartoonist, so this is pleasant to read and look through. It's a short book, so I won't spoil any of the "things."

I'm also pleased to see that the Internet and ebooks haven't yet managed to kill the concept of a gift book, since this is a Platonic ideal of the form: this is obviously made mostly for people to give to friends with young children. So if you're in that situation, here's a great host/hostess gift or indication that your friend is now an old, dull parent and no longer a cool young person.

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