Bonus Book Review: Kids Are Weird (and Other Observations of Parenthood) by Jeffrey Brown

Kids Are Weird (and Other Observations of Parenthood) by Jeffrey Brown. Chronicle Books, 2014. 9781452118703. 101pp. 

Guest review by Murphy’s Mom.

Oscar (who is based on Jeffrey’s real-life son) is a three-year-old who has much more insight and a much bigger vocabulary than most the toddlers. Oscar claims his pet snake is “sad because he doesn’t get to have any love.”  The simple but expressive artwork Brown uses when drawing his family members is as wonderful as Oscar’s candid musings are hilarious and thought-provoking.  My favorite comic in the book shows Oscar’s sitting in class, bored out of his mind. He sighs, “Instead of getting closer to my destiny, I keep getting farther away.” Chin up, Oscar, we’re all there with you, bud!
Books like this resonate with me for two reasons: I listen to kids in the library after storytimes — they’re total weirdos —  and I was a weird kid myself. I learned to read chapter books and how to write my name when I was four which really pissed off my kindergarten teacher later, when I told her I’d already read the primers she handed me. Growing up preferred eating peanut butter straight out of the jar versus in a sandwich. My mom told me (with malice) when I was about ten that she hoped I had five kids “just like me.” Two years later I decided not to have any kids. Thirty plus years on I have no regrets about growing up to be an even weirder adult with a strange husband and a pretty mixed up dogs. We are happy as a couple sans children — though I was once called a “selfish bitch” by a library patron with several wild kids for going this route. I bet she’d like Jeffrey Brown’s book as much as I did, though. 

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