How Cool are Your Parents? (or not) by Francoize Boucher

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A&C Black, 2014. ISBN: 9781472904720.
Recommended for 9-11 year olds and any teenager who needs a reality check about their parents, or parents who need to laugh a little at their life.
What parent would not want their child to read this book! Not only is it easy to read, the colours are bright and eye catching and the cartoon like illustrations highly entertaining, it is an affirmation of all things that make parents, well parents. And as every parent knows, they are cool, (I do have to declare some vested interest here). It's their kids that need reminding.
From reassuring the reader that all parents are pretty similar the message is to listen to them and seek their advice because they offer love unconditionally and are doing everything they can to bring you up properly. Their good points, the things they do for no return, love, accommodation, food, taxi and banking services, are extolled in glorious fluro colours. Poor old Santa is seen as a conman and couch potato for his one day a year input.
The bad news is also revealed. Super-Perfect parents don't exist. However the reasons for their annoying habits, for example the insistence on good manners, cleanliness, healthy eating and getting a good night's sleep are all given space with illustrated examples of a likely alternative outcome. The terrible parent diseases of Severe Anti-trustitis and Fedupwithbeingadultitis are explored in full.
The suggestions on how to make parent, child relationships better are worth taking, however presents on Mother's and Father's Days made of pasta was a step too far for this parent.
What an engaging and fun way for all ages to explore the important relationships between children and parents and promote some understanding and appreciation of the hard work parenting can be.
Sue Keane