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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
Adorable Scoundrels by Howard Eisenberg is a fun collection of short verses about bringing up toddlers or children. There are 43 poems, each accompanied by bright and colorful illustrations. Parents and grandparents everywhere will recognize and empathize with the humorous take on life with youngsters that these poems convey. Mealtimes, outings, staying in, sleep, shopping – little ones have their own agenda and life is never quite the same again.
Howard Eisenberg captures the exasperation and resignation parents experience when they discover that almost every aspect of daily life needs to be rethought once children arrive. This is the parent’s life exactly, and I love the humor in the poems and the acceptance of the disturbance and mayhem! Tantrums, fussy eaters, selective hearing, getting into danger are all covered in these short poems.
The rhyming adds to the lightness and fun in this humorous look at parenting – reminding us that the only solution, really, is to go with the flow if we are to survive and gain wisdom from these special years. My two favorites are Bedtime Story (those nights when little ones will not stay in their own beds) and Just Looking, which reminds us that, in spite of it all, our children teach us so much and help us to see again the things we overlook or take for granted because of our grown-up busyness:
“Look at the bird! Ooh! Fire truck!
Very pretty tree!
Toddlers open our eyes
To things we’ve forgotten to see.”
Susan Robinson’s illustrations complement the text well, showing the antics and the cheeky and lovable expressions of little characters of various ages on every page. A delightfully funny and perceptive collection of simple poems that will delight and entertain parents, grandparents, and anyone who has the privilege of raising children. It would make a wonderful gift serving to remind us to keep a sense of humor and to treasure every moment, no matter how exhausting or challenging.