Eddy Popcorn's guide to parent training by Dee White
Illus. by Benjamin Johnston. Omnibus, 2020. ISBN: 9781743834022.
(Age: 11+) Recommended. Eddy is not happy to be grounded and missing the first days of the school holidays, when he should be hanging out at the local beach with his mates. The teacher has contacted his parents to say he hadn't completed his two book reflections. Mum, a policewoman, has convinced Dad to ground Eddy until he has caught up.
It should be easy, but something is always getting in the way of task completion, like the dog destroying one of the set books, forcing Eddy to order it online. Meanwhile Eddy becomes side-tracked by his indignation at discovering that his parents have been consulting a self-help book, A parent's guide to raising tweens. Eddy decides to retaliate and write a guide for children whose parents are strict or unwittingly embarrassing their child. Much of the humour in the book comes from this sub-text.
Being grounded is at times excruciating, but Eddy spends increasing amounts of quality time with his parents and brother, if only at first to ingratiate himself and have his punishment reversed. Most of his angst concerns his upcoming twelfth birthday sleepover party. He's banking on his Grandma's generosity to save him from his parent's wrath but can he be any more embarrassed by his well-meaning and hands-on parents?
Submitting his book reflection videos may finally end Eddy's suffering, but what his brother Davey does next, ensures that Eddy's own manuscript makes a splash.
Benjamin Johnston inserts copious sketches in each section - one for each day of Eddy's ruined holiday. The chapters fit between and some words are illuminated to enhance the narrator's emotions and make this a very visually engaging and easily read novel for upper primary.