Todd's TV

James Proimos, Author, James Proimos, Illustrator . HarperCollins/Tegen $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-170985-2

Convincing kids to turn off the TV isn't easy, but with droll humor as his spoonful of sugar, Proimos (Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace ) might win them over. Like Jonathan Swift, Proimos carries the book's absurd plot to the extreme: Todd's busy parents often dump him in front of the TV, and one night when they're debating who will take Todd to a parent-teacher conference, the TV booms, “I'LL DO IT.” As Todd's parents relinquish their responsibilities, the TV ends up making Todd pancakes, giving him “heart-to-heart advice,” taking him on vacation, and finally offering to adopt him. Proimos's witty three-color cartoons are especially delightful, portraying Todd's parents' inept attempts to take back control (even dressing up as a TV). But it's Todd who simply (and somewhat inexplicably) suggests turning off the TV, leading to better reading, listening, and grades, as well as Todd feeling “more loved than he ever had in his life.” There's some serious parental guilt-tripping in the text (“Parents are busy people. They can't spend every minute with their child”), but Proimos's humor should charm adults as well as kids. Ages 4–8. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/29/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Library Binding - 1 pages - 978-0-06-170987-6
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