Monday, July 29, 2013

Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures

What I try to do with reviews at this Bookshelf blog is keep it simple and spoiler-free, and let you know whether I'd recommend you pick up a copy of what I just read. Seems to work okay. This time, a brief review of Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures (Harlequin, 2013).

The success of the blog Hyperbole and a Half prompted quite a few writers of modest artistic talent to begin blogging with the sort of illustrations that might not have previously found an audience. Mommy blogger Amber Dusick humbly called her own effort "Crappy Pictures," but she's too harsh on herself, honestly. Having seen what sort of boobs-n-butt garbage gets published by the superhero companies these days, I would much, much rather look at Dusick's "crappy" art than whomever's drawing Catwoman with her ass in the air this month.

Anyway, my wife discovered Dusick at the suggestion of another mommy blogger, and was left breathless with laughter for the better part of three evenings. A story about Crappy Boy narrating a pirate adventure sent her outside for oxygen, and she was hooked for good. When Dusick announced she was finishing up a book version of the blog, my wife knew that she'd buy a copy.

As for me, I don't laugh over Crappy Pictures nearly as much as my wife does, but I laugh all the same. I love her goofball stories and I like the expression and emotion in the silly artwork. The book is not a best-of from the blog; it is more than 70% new stories and artwork, with some classic blog episodes sprinkled around them. (The pirate adventure, sadly, doesn't make it in. You'll have to find that on the web instead.)

I raised two kids, mostly on my own for a good few years, and my wife and I made the bizarre decision to have another one. Some of the anecdotes of the first go-round have become the stuff of legend; Dusick does a terrific and hilarious job reminding us that every family has their own legends. Very entertaining from start to finish, and happily recommended.

No comments: