A Matter of Life

Jeffrey Brown. Top Shelf, $14.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-60309-266-1
Brown added to his growing rep last year with the bestselling Darth Vader and Son, and his newest title presents a more down-to-earth view of fatherhood, a theme that Brown clearly has deep feelings about. The book focuses on his relationships with his preschool son, and with his own father. By mixing the trials and tribulations of his own journey into fatherhood with his childhood memories of his dad, Brown draws loose parallels between the two and shows the greater insight he has been given concerning his own development. Faith and religion are major themes, with Brown questioning his Christian upbringing as he matures and discovers the gaps in his education. Brown's own father is a minister, making this a sensitive subject to tackle, and the story is intercut with his son's questioning of his grandparents' religion. With simple sketches and strong colors, this book is in the style of Brown's previous autobiographical books Clumsy and Small Things, and fans of his better-known books, like Cat Getting Out of a Bag, will find subtle and quiet insights into the realities of family life in place of humor. Darth Vader and Son was a top present for Father's Day last year, and the new book will likely offer a repeat performance. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/22/2013
Release date: 07/01/2013
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