Monday, July 27, 2015

I Found "Meet the Dullards" Really Stimulating

I'm trying to decide what makes Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker with illustrations by Daniel Salmieri clever and entertaining. The Dullard parents admire all that is dull and boring and are doing their best to pass their values on to their children. Older children (the four- to eight-year-olds the book is recommended for by the publisher) will get that that's funny because it's not supposed to happen. By the time kids reach that age, they're aware that our culture doesn't embrace the bland.

But jokes about a desire for a lifestyle of nothingness aren't enough to hold attention for very long. Because, you know, that gets boring. What really makes Meet the Dullards interesting is that it has a storyline that has run in many an adult novel. Let's say it's about generational loss, not conflict. The Dullard children don't fight Dullard Mom and Dad. They don't actively reject their parents' lives. It just happens, the way this sort of thing has happened since the beginning of time. The Dullard young'uns just can't help running into books, puppies, and the circus. And the young do what the young have always done. They move on to new things.

Yeah, I'm reading way too much into this.

I'll just say that text and illustration work well to provide humor that really does come out of a situation and support a story and leave it at that.

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