Review Blog

Dec 18 2019

My folks grew up in the 80s by Beck and Robin Feiner

cover image

HarperCollins, 2019. ISBN: 9780733339417.
(Age: 6-10) This publication is a nostalgic walk down memory lane for parents and a chance for their children to giggle at the craziness of childhood in another time. The front and back cover feature a hair crimper, leotard and legwarmers, scrunchies and cassette tapes, trolls and heart-shaped sunglasses (just to name a few). 'My folks grew up in the '80s. And from what I've heard, it was a really bizarre time!' It goes on to describe all the weird and wonderful things that people wore and did in the 80s, from using a phone book and a landline telephone to aerobic exercising in front of a Jane Fonda VHS.
The pictures are full of neon and '80s patterning and loaded with cultural references and details that will make parents cringe, giggle or both. Floppy discs, slinkies, forgetting to rewind videos before returning them to the store, a BMX Bandit flag on the back of the bicycle, Space Food Sticks and Pop Tarts in the kitchen . . . it's all there.
It is quintessentially Australian and it is quintessentially '80s and it will have kids asking questions and parents wanting to share what life was like when they were a kid. As the last page points out (complete with a nod to the Dirty Dancing water lift scene), it might even help children understand why their folks are so weird.
A fantastic conversation starter for kids of 1980s Australia and their curious and disbelieving offspring.
Nicole Nelson

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