I love Guy Delisle’s graphic travel memoirs. Shenzhen, Pyongyang, Burma Chronicles and Jerusalem are all well observed records of Delisle’s time abroad, humourously depicting the culture shock he experiences while also addressing the very serious political issues he confronts in his travels. But as much as I love those books, it was delightful to just be able to have fun with Delisle’s most recent book, the 100% lighthearted A User’s Guide to Neglectful Parenting.
The book is short, just a collection of anecdotes about Delisle’s more irresponsible interactions with his son and daughter. I loved it. After a busy day last week, I sat down with it after dinner and had a very pleasant half hour giggling my way through Delisle’s missteps. I still can’t decide which vignette was my favourite. Was it Delisle repeatedly forgetting to act as “la petite souris” several nights in a row after his son loses a tooth and having to persuade his son that the mouse is running behind schedule? Or was it when he is trying to convince his daughter that she prefers sugary cereals so that he can keep his precious Shredded Wheat, brought all the way from Canada, to himself? Or perhaps when he decides to offer his daughter his professional opinion of her drawing? They are all enjoyable. If you’re looking for a fun distraction, this is the book for you.