For some reason, lately I’ve been breaking my standard rule to avoid reading parenting books. This has mostly been uneventful, but there’s been one happy exception to this, and that’s when Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures by Amber Dusick landed in my lap for review.
The book was born from Dusick’s great blog and, in a word, is hilarious. She basically takes the daily trials of little children, draws them up, and conveys aggravation. But it’s the amused as opposed to anguished variety, easy to relate to, and light. She also peppers her vignettes of sucky parenting moments with the opium of the magical ones, and all is well throughout her book.
I’m not sure how her line and colour patches can convey so much – she will literally draw a line to represent an arm – but somehow her stick figures do just this. Here is one of my favourite sketches, about aging one year before children (top set of pics on left page) and aging one year after children (bottom set of pics on left page):
Firstly, I so relate to the aging that occurred the *moment* I had kids. But also, I love how much Dusick communicates by the addition of a few wee lines in the “after children” set of pics. (I leave it to you to decipher what the before and after kids pics on the right page refer to.)
Generally there is a little accompanying text to crappy pictures in the book, but it’s more like an adult cartoon book than anything. As Beth-Anne noted when she saw it, “I could read that [whole] book in the bathtub”.
It took me a little longer than that to get through it, but not much. And it was the good kind of getting through: I was reluctant to put the book down, eager to pick it back up again, and sorry when it was done. Luckily, Dusick’s blog has tons more new material, and that’s where readers should go if they need a crappy picture parenting fix.
As a light, run summer read? Perfect.