Monday, September 12, 2011
The Young Person's Guide to Grown-Ups, by Monte Montgomery, illustrated by Patricia Storms (Bloomsbury, 2012)
Recommended for ages 9-12
Being a kid is tough. What if there were some sort of guide to figuring out the grown-ups in their lives? Monte Montgomery and Patricia Storms have created a field guide to the average grown-up to help children navigate these strange people who seem to hold so much sway over them.
The book examines grown-ups from a basic description of similarities and differences between adults and kids. Adults have stopped growing taller but may still be growing wider, for instance, but have never stopped feeling like the kid they used to be, providing kids with an entry point to relate.
Set up like a Grown-Ups for Dummies book, complete with "Tactics" call-out boxes and line drawings throughout, Young Person's Guide takes kids through everything they need to know about grown-ups at home, at school, and "in the wild". There are descriptions of various adults in each of these settings and an FAQs at the end of each chapter. Montgomery imparts three Universal Truths that adults and kids alike need to know, and provides an in-depth, illustrated guide on various classes of adults, like atheletes, dentists, police officers and millionaires (complete with illustrated Donald Trump caricature).
Young Person's Guide is a fun book that will help younger children feel like they have some handle on why grown-ups say and do the things they do, while helping them understand that adults and kids have much more in common than they may think. It is a fun book that can start conversations both at home and in the classroom.
Monte Montgomery's webpage and Patricia Storms' webpage are as fun as their books. Infused with bright graphics and personal information, the reader can see that the author and illustrator take the message of Young Person's Guide to heart and keep in touch with the kid that used to look back at them in the mirror. Montgomery and his wife Claire have a section on "wheels", with pictures of giant unicycles, paddle boat wheels, and other wheels they have seen on their travels. Both author and illustrator have links to information about school visits.