People who don't have children sometimes complain that kids are narcissistic, sociopathic little terrors. But any parent will tell you that is an unfair assessment. They are also messy, noisy, whining, and germy.
That's why, as a parent, I loved Tiny Art Director, a new book by artist Bill Zeman. Based on Zeman's funny blog of the same name, Tiny Art Director contains images that Zeman's (now five-year-old) daughter Rosie asked him to paint. Rosie's briefs are hilarious: "A sick crocodile." "A bone dinosaur eating a baby." "A cat killing a rat." "A dragon sneaking up on a girl. She's picking flowers." Each image includes commentary from Rosie (aka, the tiny art director) that reveals her to be as fussy, capricious, self-contradictory, and bossy as many grown up art directors I know. (Click on the example above for a closer look at Rosie's style of criticism.)
My wife, my two daughters, and I read the book last night and we laughed on almost every page. Jane, my six-year-old especially likes the book because she thinks Rosie (left) looks like her (right). In fact, my wife and 12-year-old daughter thought I had somehow put Jane's photo in the book and was pulling a trick on them.
What I loved about this book is learning about the extraordinary relationship between Rosie and Zeman. Rosie is a harsh critic, but it's clear that she and her dad are having a terrific time together. I hope they put out a sequel soon!
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.