Lessons I’m Going To Teach My Kids Too Late

Three Ocean. Jul. 2019. 214p. ISBN 9781988915111. pap. $16.95. CHILD REARING
Cartoonist Yung (Stay As You Are.) has had a number of jobs in his life, including a position as a toy store clerk, which undoubtedly inspired some of his amusing observations here. He offers 101 short lessons (or nonlessons as it were) on parenting mined from his own experiences. All at once sardonic, bitter, smart, tender, and heartbreaking, they chronicle episodes that have influenced his own parenting, from the death of his father at a young age to his crumbling marriage and a series of unsatisfying jobs. Often entertaining (his OCD Q-tip usage ponderings or thoughts on the disappointment of Twinkies as an adult) and wisdom-filled (contemplations on kids’ insights into their parents and the desire for life to be more like a video game, in which the “save game” option provides unlimited do-overs), each lesson is based on an oft-repeated proverb, such as “it’s the thought that counts” and “a rolling stone gathers no moss,” which Yung then spins on its head.
VERDICT As Yung describes how learning these sayings both complicated and shaped his life, readers will appreciate the caustic wit that makes this book impossible to put down.

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