cover image My Mom and Dad Make Me Laugh

My Mom and Dad Make Me Laugh

Nick Sharratt. Candlewick Press (MA), $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-250-9

It's stripes vs. dots in this eye-boggling feast of extroverted colors and shapes. Simon, who stands out, ironically, because he wears that drabbest of hues, gray, observes that his mother loves ``spots in winter, and spots in summer,'' while his father prefers ``stripes on weekdays, and stripes on weekends.'' Accordingly, the rooms in their house feature alarming contrasts of polka dots and both vertical and horizontal lines. Simon's monotone wardrobe looks out of place--in such a household, why hasn't he developed a distinctive style? The answer is soon in coming. On a trip to the safari park, his mom, predictably, praises the leopards and his dad admires the zebras, while the narrator himself can't get enough of the elephants. At home, it turns out, Simon's room is full of elephant toys and knickknacks, and a glance back through the previous pages reveals that subtle elephant motifs have been planted all along. Sharratt ( Snazzy Aunties ) favors wild color combinations and a deliberate, hard-edged drawing style, and he renders every spread busy with patterns. If there's a quibble, it's with the title, which doesn't adequately evoke the book's contents. Ages 3-up. (May)