cover image My Parents Won’t Stop Talking!

My Parents Won’t Stop Talking!

Emma Hunsinger and Tillie Walden. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-80027-5

Molly Zurowski, this picture book’s pink-skinned kid narrator, is eager for a family outing to the park with little brother Seth, who has brown skin, and their two moms (one brown-skinned and one white). And then it happens: the parents are intercepted by the across-the-street-neighbors, the marvelously named Credenzas, and the four grown-ups settle in for a long chat (the topics, all “BORING” to Molly’s ears, range from recipes to DIYing). The unfazed Seth is “too young to understand it’s hopeless,” but Molly slowly loses it. Debut creator Hunsinger and Walden (Are You Listening?), who have a freewheeling style with both words and pictures, draw the cartoon protagonist with Keane-like eyes, a put-upon mien, and a body posture that seems almost liquid with despair as Molly flashes back to situations such as contemplating a life caught “forever” in a black-and-white void. The moms finally wrap it up, and Molly and Seth get their park playdate, but not before readers get to indulge in some deeply satisfying, all-too-real wallowing with an expressive character in full-throttle comic agony. Ages 3–6. Agents: (for Walden) Seth Fishman, the Gernert Co.; (for Hunsinger) Molly O’Neill, Root Literary. (Feb.)

The text of this review has been updated to correct the protagonist's first name.