My ­Parents Won’t Stop Talking!

Roaring Brook. Feb. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250800275.
K-Gr 3–In the two cartoonists’ energetic picture book collaboration, Molly’s moms—one brown, one white—announce a trip to the park. Little brother Seth, who has brown skin and seems to be two or three, and lighter-skinned Molly, who appears to be about five, are thrilled, but they’re hardly out the door, when the chatty neighbors stall them. Molly considers herself an ace at waiting, but this time she almost can’t bear it (it’s unclear why this time is different), despite her active imagination. The very cartoonish illustrations sometimes make Molly’s face a scary caricature but are overall lively and colorful, especially when Molly imagines sinking into the “forever” of her parents’ talking, or realizes that she can unleash the full power of her fantasies. Unfortunately, much of the book is aimed over small heads, offering adults a chuckle via references to “gluten-free crystals” or unconventional (stereotyped) lifestyles. The slow exposition risks the reader’s own patience, with little payoff.
VERDICT The cartoonists are on Molly’s side, but the pacing, disparate styles, anticlimax, and higher reading level are at odds with the intended audience.

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