Roz Chast, Author . Bloomsbury $17.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-58234-377-8

Chances are, even if you don't recognize the name, you've seen Chast's work, which appears regularly in the New Yorker , Scientific American and Redbook , among other places. Her wit, humor and style are distinctive and sharp, poking fun at fads, fears and foibles with a gentle walking stick rather than a barbecue skewer. Chast is adept at pinpointing the source of humor, as in a strip entitled "Nancy Drew Mysteries—The Later Years," which features one possible future volume, Nancy Drew and the Mystery of the Eight Pounds . The eternal battles between parent and child are another common topic; "What's the matter? Maybe we don't carry enough of your fancy 'gourmet items'?" reads a sign at the "Mom & Pop Grocerette." Another strip encapsulates "The Big Book of Parent-Child Fights." Chast also examines modern anxieties, as in "Recipes for Comfort Drinks." The "Cozy" includes cocoa, vodka and marshmallows: "Serves one nicely, but it's your call." Chast has a keen eye for the humor in ordinary situations and commonplace irritations. Her art is loose and sketchy, more akin to newspaper comic strips or magazine illustrations. While individual strips may seem only mildly amusing, the more one reads the funnier Chast gets. Split between b&w and full color images, this handsome hardcover edition is a fine conversation piece, which all the adults in the house can appreciate. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 05/24/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
Hardcover - 96 pages - 978-1-63286-107-8
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