Kids Survival Guide
Kids will laugh out loud with the must have kids guide to getting away with stuff. You get home from school and before your bag even hits the floor … “Have you got any homework? You’re not playing your X‐box until ALL your homework’s done!” OMG, enough already! Your ball accidentally hits your snotty‐nosed little sisters big butt and breaks the TV. Your mum rants at you for the next 2 hours and finishes with, “And don’t blame your little sister ‐ she’s just a baby!” Well thanks for pointing that out Mum, I thought that Miss Pong Pants was a sooky, 75 year old dwarf with diarrhoea. You ask for pocket‐money and suddenly you hear those five terrifying little words … “When I was your age ...” Your brain goes into instant melt‐ down. Yeah, yeah I know. When you were my age ‐ 698 years ago when you had a dinosaur for a pet and you had to walk to school for 32 kilometres in blinding heat with bare feet over broken glass! Your parents have zillions of these boring lectures to slowly moosh your brain into a cow poop slushie. But its time for kids to strike back. My best mate Jared and I are going to settle the score once and for all and its going to be EPIC.
Every kid knows the feeling of being hassled by their parents for what they did, what they didn’t do, or what they may or may not have thought about doing. And if you throw the relationship with a younger sibling into the mix, the potential for lectures is HUGE! And all parents seem to have read the same manual for how to give a lecture. This guide is full of suggestions for surviving and/or avoiding these lectures and getting off as pain free as possible.
Author Susan Berran gives kid-friendly hints like ‘avoid eye contact at all cost’ and ‘absolutely do not get sucked in and answer them’, and my personal favourite ‘pooears’ (you’ll have to read to find out!) It warns of parent strategies like ‘the guilt trap’ and ‘the rant and rave’ and ‘the ol’ double-back-flip, triple somersault, reverse twist with a half turn of totally useless information’. Following the advice given will undoubtedly provide a lighter side to getting into trouble but also help to shrink lectures to their absolute minimum length.
Encasing the advice is a series of family stories including how Sam came to find the parent manual entitled ‘Boring Useless Lectures, Lessons, Children’s Rules and Punishments’ (that’s Bullcrap for short) and the not-so-great effect of living with a baby sister.
With an easy-to-read layout and font size, some fun cartoon-style images to enhance the reading experience and a large dose of tongue in cheek, this book will undoubtedly appeal to the masses. Having read the first 20 pages aloud to my year 5 class, they voted unanimously to hear more. As a teacher and parent, it is extremely pleasing to see that spelling, punctuation and grammar have not been laid aside for the sake of relatability. Berran proves admirably that you can have both.
Super-relevant for kids from mid-primary to mid-secondary school levels, this survival guide is written in modern kid-speak from the perspective of the harassed young person. Basically a good laugh, the series will also serve to remind kids that they are not alone in their experiences of childhood – a message that is both important and reassuring.
Reviewed by Katie Bingham
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