The Very Silly Mayor Tom Tomorrow Ig (Consortium, dist.), $16.99 (36p) ISBN 978-1-935439-01-1
Tom Tomorrow (a penname for cartoonist Dan Perkins), whose This Modern World comic strip skewers government follies, brings his gee-whiz irony and clip artâ€“style panels to this parable of sorts, his picture book debut. The wild-eyed title character presides over â€œa medium-sized city.â€ Smiling a leprechaunâ€™s overeager grin, he instructs police officers to dress as clowns, firefighters to substitute peanut butter for water and citizens to paint their homes green and purple. Sparky the penguin and Blinky the terrier, two sensible smart-alecks from Tomorrowâ€™s strip, expect public outrage. Instead, clean-cut, dimwitted TV talking heads praise their leader: â€œPeanut butter sounds like a delicious way to fight fires!â€ When Sparky asks his neighbors why they would conform to ridiculous, even dangerous policies, they admit, â€œI didnâ€™t want anyone to laugh at me.â€ They suggest that Sparky replace the mayor, but the pro-election, anti-coup penguin chooses instead to be the mayorâ€™s adviser. While children can appreciate the absurdities, adults are most likely to chuckle at the satire. Followers of Gan Golan and Erich Origenâ€™s parody Goodnight Bush will snap this up. Ages 4â€“7. (Oct.)
Not a bad review, though I would reiterate once again that this is genuinely a book written by a parent, for children — it wasn’t secretly aimed at adults, as so many kid’s books are.