From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2—After stating that her mother "looks like a nice mom" who takes people where they need to go and makes boo-boos stop hurting, Emma goes on to list the ways her parents are trying to ruin her life. She imagines them both thrown in jail for their crimes of kissing her in front of her friends, worrying too much, and making her clean her room and do her homework. But thinking about a parent-free life only serves to remind her how much she really does need her mom and dad, and in the end she says, "I love you!" Done in bright pinks and greens, the expressive cartoon illustrations bring a lot of personality and humor to the plot, but frustrated kids and their struggling parents will find this saccharine story a bit too naive.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
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Feiffer and Goode, the team behind President Pennybaker (2008), have created another fable about independence. With all the pretween angst she can muster, our heroine wonders, “If my mom is such a nice mom, why is she trying to ruin my life?” She talks too loud, brings shorts for her to change into at school, and kisses her face—in public! She gets no relief from her father either, who wants her to do homework and go to bed on time. So the girl devises a plan to run away and have her parents thrown in jail. While the text is skewed to the little girl’s perspective, Goode’s trademark retro illustrations capture the good intentions of Mom and Dad, and the hurt and loss they feel when separated from their daughter. Young readers will enjoy the fantasy of freedom and want to read this without help from their own embarrassing parents. In the end, they will come to the conclusion that even though their parents might be trying to ruin their lives, that’s all a part of being loved. Grades 1-3. --Courtney Jones