Friday, September 18, 2009

The Very Silly Mayor by Tom Tomorrow - review

The Very Silly Mayor by Tom Tomorrow
You know what? This is not bad! Bright colors, readable artwork, cops in clown costumes... yeah, I'm giving this the thumbs-up.

The worry, of course, with a kid book written by uber-snarkmeister cartoonist Tom Tomorrow, is that Mr. Tomorrow is writing for the parents - that the very silly mayor is in fact a member of the Bush family and Sparky the Penguin is doing his usual emperor-has-no-clothes schtick, and kids will find it amusing but parents will nod smugly. "That George Bush," they'll smirk internally. "What a dorkus."

But that is not what Tom Tomorrow has done here. Sure, you could read the very silly mayor, with his pronouncements that firefighters should use peanut butter to put out fires instead of water, and that everyone should paint their houses purple and green, as George Bush. But you could read the very silly mayor as just about any authority figure that people follow without question. Your third-grade teacher, for example.

The book is, in the end, about dissent. It's about speaking up when you don't understand something, or when you have an opinion, or when you think that cops can't possibly catch robbers when they're wearing clown shoes. Plus - silly!

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