Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Parents (May Theme) of a Fictional Sort by Bob Krech

I was going to write about my parents this month. They are nice people and they surely influenced me as a reader and writer. But, to be honest, they are not quite as exciting as some other parents I've come across––in children's books! Here are five of my favorites.

1. Matilda by Roald Dahl. Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood are two of the nastiest, but most entertaining parents ever. Somehow they conceived the honest, intelligent, clever Matilda. And in the end (spoiler alert!) she gets the best single mom ever, Miss Honey!  One of my fave books of all time too.

2. Weird Parents by Audrey Wood. The title kind of says it all, but what a blast being their kid, even though they are eccentric as all get out. The boy is embarrassed, until he realizes how really wonderful his crazy parents are. A fun picture book that lets us parents know it's okay to be a little weird.  

3. Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban. All of the Frances books include Frances the badger's incredibly wise and warm parents. Frances is not an easy one to deal with, but her parents do it with style, grace and love. I am always amazed upon re-reading, how deep and well-written these seemingly simple stories are.


4. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend. Very British. And very funny! Adrian's parents, George and Pauline, though extremely simple, vain, and materialistic have somehow raised a 13 year old intellectual conservative. This series of books follows Adrian and his parents over the course of some thirty years of politics, world events, love and everyday life in modern day, middle class England.

5. In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd. Jean Shepherd's tales of growing up in 1930's Indiana are nostalgic, funny, poignant, and a rollicking read. Featured in many of his short stories is his Dad, a cantankerous character referred to always as "My Old Man." If you don't know Shepherd from his books, you may know him as the creator and narrator of A Christmas Story, which is based on a conglomeration of some of the stories from this book.

These are the ones that jumped to mind for me. What are some of yours?

2 comments:

  1. Ah, Jean Shepherd! A fave in my house...I don't think you can get a better father than the "Old Man."

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