Sometimes I find a children's picture book that really resonates with me, and I know that we'll be reading it over and over. The Paper Dolls was one, and Meet the Parents by Peter Bentley and Sara Ogilvie has become another.
The story takes the form of a rhyme, sympathising with children that often all that parents seem to do is nag them and tell them what to do, which isn't much fun for little ones. But then it goes on to explain some of the other things that parents are good for - like helping to build train tracks, pretending to be a horse, acting as towels for grubby hands and of course giving plenty of cuddles and kisses.
I think what made this book so appealing to me was the wonderful illustrations. They reflect familiar scenes from our house beautifully. I think that my favourite is poor old Mum, buried under two kicking children on the sofa in almost the exact position that we were in while I was reading the story - that made Harry grin! I also loved the Dad holding up the den for the children playing inside while he was reading his book, and the Mum who ends up like a donkey, carrying shopping, teddy, toddler and scooter, which was also me earlier this week! The facial expressions are just perfect, from annoyance and resignation, to sheer joy and delight.
I'm hoping that reading this book will make the little ones see that we have to put up with a lot from them too, I know that Harry spotted a few familiar scenes in it. I would absolutely recommend this book for parents reading to small children, it's brilliant!
Meet the Parents will be published on 2nd January 2014.
I received a copy of this book to review, Amazon links are affiliate.