cover image Meet the Parents

Meet the Parents

Peter Bently, illus. by Sara Ogilvie. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4814-1483-8

What are parents good for? Bently (The Great Balloon Hullaballoo) offers a jaunty rhyming catalogue of the myriad functions mothers and fathers fulfill in the lives of their kids. While the opening scene acknowledges that it’s easy to think “that your mom and your dad/ are there just to nag you and boss you like mad,” subsequent pages offer up true-to-life examples of parents at work, at play, and under duress (“Parents are great to build mountains of sand on,/ and lovely big heaters for warming your hands on”). To bring home such points, Ogilvie’s (Dogs Don’t Do Ballet) wispy, mixed-media compositions depict a spectrum of families in energetic, realistic, and humorous scenes of parenting in action. Her adults are alternately exhausted, beleaguered, bemused, and content as they play with and tend to tireless children. The book wraps up with a playfully cozy cautionary note as Bently warns, “Once they have fixed all your problems... and pickles,/ you’d better watch out because parents love... TICKLES!” This happy love-letter will ring true for many families. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Jodie Hodges, United Agents. Illustrator’s agent: NB Illustration. (May)