cover image Weird Parents

Weird Parents

Audrey Wood. Dial Books, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0648-4

Everyone knows the mortification of having parents who are ``different''--and no one better than Wood, or so it would seem from this oddball and thoroughly captivating book. Her brilliantly colored paintings, awash in quirky details, are rendered with joyous abandon. In a deadpan text, she portrays the world of a conventional boy who has been cursed--or is it blessed?--with parents who are unabashedly and very publicly eccentric. Watching her son depart in the school bus, his mother would ``blow a huge kiss and press her hand to her heart.'' This poor lad's embarrassment is balanced in the end by affection, tolerance and even appreciation of his parents' oddities--feelings which, Wood skillfully suggests, coexist despite the seeming contradiction, as they indeed would in real life. Ages 4-8. (May)