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Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures

Parenting

Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures by Amber Dusick

Pub: Jan 2013

Blogger mom-of-two writes (and illustrates!) about the daily trials of parenting.

You know what changed after I had kids? Everything.

I’ve been following Amber Dusick’s mommy blog for some time now. As I went back through, I figured it must have been around the time that I was attempting to potty-train my first son, because I think that one of the first posts I saw was her experience trying to use public restrooms, which included this lovely image:

Ah, yes, the things we do for our children...

Ah, yes, the things we do for our children…

Although this wasn’t one of the blog entries included, this new book does include some old favorites, including “Going Viral,” “What it’s Like to (Not) Sleep at Night,” and “Well-Child Doctor Visits.” In fact, I’d kind of describe this book as a scrapbook of some of the ‘best-of’ moments of the blog, because while it was all organized really neatly into categorized chapters, and included a fun “”50 Crappy Laws of Parenting” at the end, there wasn’t a huge amount of new material. So while this would be a great baby shower gift that’s sure to give the new mom something fun to relate to, if you’re already a follower of the blog, be aware that you’re not going to get a whole lot of new material from buying this one.

Hyperbole and a Half

HyperboleHyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened by Allie Brosh

4 of 5 stars

A self-depreciating book of comic essays on everything from humorous stories about cakes and dogs to a brutally honest look at depression.

I hadn’t planned on investigating the source of the noise, because, as you know from watching scary movies, people who investigate noises die.

I discovered Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half blog a number of years ago and in one sitting read every single post, often laughing to the point of tears.  Even if you haven’t read the blog, you’ve probably seen Brosh’s images if you’ve spent any amount of time online in the last few years, particularly this one:

clean and this one:

alot

 

This entire book is more of the same hilarious drawings, absurd situations, and deeper-than-you’d-expect-from-a-humor-book insights into philosophy and life.  Combined, all these factors just  make me want to give the author a hug.

The Honest Toddler

Honest Toddler

NEW on shelves today!

The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting by Bunmi Laditan

5 of 5 stars

An all-encompassing parenting book for how to raise toddlers, as written by a rather precocious, but incredibly honest two-year-old.

The next time you think about walking out of Starbucks with a grande nonfat extra-hot hazelnut mocha for yourself and no giant cookie for your patient, cherubesque darling, consider the consequences.  Are you ready for a throwdown?  Because we are.

This book saved the day.

It had been one of those days.  You know, one of those days where the three-year-old can’t possibly wear his Optimus Prime pajama pants because they’re — and I quote — “too blue.”  I picked up this book for something lighthearted to read while I regained my mental sanity.  I loved it.  I rarely have opportunity to gush about books, but this one was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Everything in it spoke to me, either in a “thank goodness I’m not alone!” way, a “wow, that is probably exactly what my toddler is thinking in that particular circumstance” way, or a “Wow, I’m soooo glad my kid doesn’t do that!” kind of way.  Not only did it cheer me up, but it reminded me to put things in perspective — even at the peak of their tyranny, toddlers are pretty hilarious.  Self-absorbed, highly reactive, and downright scary sometimes, but also pretty hilarious.

As a side note, I had NOT read The Honest Toddler’s blog prior to reading this book and have only read a few posts on there since finishing this.  I know nothing about the actual toddler upon whom this is based, but the Afterword revealed that Honest Toddler is a girl, which threw me off, because I had imagined the whole book narrated by the E*TRADE baby:

Some of my other favorite tidbits:

Vaccines are nothing but stabbings.

Seven out of eight toddlers who have cried it out can’t distinguish between an apple and an orange by high school.

Ninety-nine percent of vegetables are not fit for human consumption.  The other 1 percent is ketchup.

Overall: This book inspired me to make cookies and watercolor (for two hours) with my small children.  I don’t know that I agree with your policy on sharing “the big bed” but Honest Toddler, you must be doing something right.

The Honest Toddler

Honest Toddler

The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting by Bunmi Laditan

5 of 5 stars

Pub: May 7, 2013

An all-encompassing parenting book for how to raise toddlers, as written by a rather precocious, but incredibly honest two-year-old.

Full review to be posted the week of release.

Overall: This book inspired me to make cookies and watercolor (for two hours) with my small children.  I don’t know that I agree with your policy on sharing “the big bed” but Honest Toddler, you must be doing something right.

BOOKS FOR BITTIES: Darth Vader and Son

Darth Vader and Son

It is pointless to resist, my son.  It’s bedtime.

Truly, this hilarious book of comics is really more for the parents than the kids.  Jeffrey Brown illustrates the life of a four-year-old Luke Skywalker if his father, Darth Vader, had taken an active role in parenting.  Whether he’s putting up with Luke’s stereotypical preschooler shenanigans or teaching him how to construct Lego spaceships, parents will be able to relate to Vader, and maybe feel a bit of sympathy for the Dark Lord of the Sith.  The blending of parenting truths with Star Wars quotes and quips, plus the adorable pictures makes this an awesome book for any Star Wars nerd parents to share with their own little Jedi-wannabes.

Man vs Cat

Man vs Cat Man vs Cat by David M Brown

3 of 5 stars

One man chronicles the life of his six cats as they plot against him.

Occupation?
Omniscient, omnipotent, military leader, tactical and strategic genius, conqueror… oh, and I like whacking toys on the end of pieces of string.

I’ll admit, I’m not a “cat person.”  In fact, I’ve kind of sworn them off since a brand-new adorable baby kitten pooped on my hand way back in the third grade.  Thus, when I read the synopsis included evil cats plotting against a man, I felt I could probably relate.  This book has some truly hilarious lines, told straight from the cat’s perspectives.  My personal favorite was Charlie, a power-hungry feline bent on taking over the world.

The first part of the book was, however, not quite what I had expected.  It made me seriously doubt the author’s feelings about his cats; he sounded much more like a proud papa recalling his offspring’s silly exploits than a man fearing for his life.  I’m glad, however, that I pushed on to get to the latter parts that I, personally, found much more entertaining.  There were also a number of references that were clearly British-isms that — sad to say — ended up going over my head.

Overall: A cat lover’s book of cat humor that cat haters can enjoy, too

Fans might also enjoy:
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Because I Said So!: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids

Because I Said So! : The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its KidsBecause I Said So! : The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids by Ken Jennings

Publication date: Dec 4, 2012

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What if there’s a 0.95 percent chance that a kid who bikes to school will get in a wreck, but a 95 percent chance that a kid who’s not allowed to bike to school will grow up more tentative, complacent, lazy, and/or unhappy, because riding your bike to school is awesome? 

Ever wonder if all of those “mom-isms” that you heard when you were little are actually, scientifically true? This Mythbusters-meets-Snopes.com parenting book runs down a list of frequently-heard old wives’ tales, grandma’s advice, and common parenting quips that may or may not be based in fact. Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings attempts to prove or debunk these using the latest research and science, yielding some results that may surprise you. (You don’t really have to wait a half hour after eating to swim… Only about 10% of your body heat will escape out your head if your entire body is equally uncovered… And unbandaging a wound to let it “breathe” will actually make it take longer to regrow cells!)

Frankly, this is my kind of parenting book. I love how the author used up-to-date research to point out which of these parenting warnings actually have scientific backing. It answered some questions that I’ve had (such as the legitimacy of the “five second rule”), and debunked some things that I had always taken for common-knowledge facts (carrots do NOT improve your eyesight). Jennings also inserts his own sense of humor — slightly sarcastic, somewhat self-depreciating, and occasionally irreverent — which kept this book lighthearted and easy to read, instead of reading like the FAQ section in the back of a textbook.

Jennings does, however, come at his book with a bias, that of an anti-helicopter parent, advocating the “Free Range Kids” promoted by Lenore Skenazy’s book of the same name. I haven’t read the book (yet), so I can’t comment too much on the movement itself, but the philosophy obviously permeated Jenning’s advice and commentary in this book. Although in the preface, he mentions he wants to avoid topics that can’t be scientifically proven or disproven, or which have other moral implications (“minefields like homeschooling, circumcision, co-sleeping, TV banning,” he names a few). But there are a few of the topics he chooses which do stray into these categories — such as when he advocates chicken pox vaccinations and opposes “pox parties” where parents purposely try to expose their children to chicken pox to build up a natural immunity; and when he discourages the use of “unique” spellings of kids’ names. Some of his humor serves to poke fun at helicopter parents, so it’s perhaps not a book for the easily offended or those who take on a “better safe than sorry” approach.

Overall: An enjoyable, informative read that would be a great baby shower / new parent gift or to keep on the shelf for when you need cold, hard evidence to back up your belief that reading with a flashlight will NOT ruin your eyesight or that picking up a bird’s feather will NOT give you diseases.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book!

The Zombie Survival Guide

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living DeadThe Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun and informational how-to book of what the everyday person needs to know to survive a zombie attack. The author obviously put a lot of thought and research into this and had great arguments for all of his advice and admonitions. This book takes your survival in a zombie apocalypse very seriously, and therefore is a great book for any fan of the zombie horror genre.

View all my reviews

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