Saturday, 13 September 2014

Even More Bad Parenting Advice Review (Guy Delisle)

Even More Bad Parenting Advice is the sequel to last year’s The User’s Guide to Neglectful Parenting by the brilliant Guy Delisle. 

Rather than dispensing advice though (not that the other book did either), this is a collection of very funny vignettes featuring Delisle and his son and daughter, both of whom are roughly between 5 and 10 years old. 

Of course Delisle’s not really a bad parent but you can see he really enjoys teasing his kids like when he stresses out his boy by pretending to invite a homeless man back to the house to stay with them for a time. He even goes as far as tying a string around his daughter’s loose tooth and a doorknob, pretending that he’s going to slam it and pull the tooth out - he doesn’t, but he keeps telling her he’s going to slam the door while she sits on the chair, worried out of her mind! 

Some episodes are funnier than others but all are really enjoyable. Like when he attends a parent/teacher evening and he tunes out and gets carried away doodling in his daughter’s notebook, before the teacher asks him a question and he flashes back to when he was in school and did the same thing then. Or when he introduces his son to Warcraft 2 and pressurises him by getting carried away with the game (“Right click! That peon’s not doing anything! Build towers - they’re attacking! Click click click!”). 

He’s also very wry about his own parenting skills, like how he pretends to be this laid back dad who doesn’t care about punctuality before his own nature overwhelms him and he and his son end up rushing to school. Or when his kids tell him they love him so he rewards them and with each cheer from them, he one-ups himself before committing to buying them a PS3 before he knows what he’s done! 

My favourite story though was his daughter’s birthday party when she invites a boy who hit her in class before getting moved elsewhere in the classroom. Delisle gets pissed off that some snot-nosed punk would hit his little girl so he finds out who the kid is early on in the party, then later rigs a pinata up, making sure the kid is in front. He blindfolds his daughter and lifts her up to whack the pinata, then, while she’s still flailing with the stick, pretends to drop her a bit so that she’s in range of the kid beneath, and whacks him on the head! The look on his face when the boy’s dad comes to pick him and the two walk away is hilarious. 

Though he’s best known for his travelogues to regions like North Korea, Jerusalem, and Burma, Delisle is also a witty observer and storyteller of his everyday life as a father. Whether or not you’re a parent, these humorous comics are a highly entertaining read. Even More Bad Parenting Advice is another excellent book from Guy Delisle.

Even More Bad Parenting Advice

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