by Sara Pennypacker
Balzer & Bray, 2015. Picture book.
Mr. and Mrs. Dullard are determined to protect their children from the dangers of excitement and ensure them a perfectly dull life. They let them watch television, but only when it’s unplugged. They let them read, but only blank white paper. They order them ice cream: “Five vanilla cones. Hold the cones. And extract the vanilla.” And they don’t let the neighbors use exclamation marks in front of the kids. But Blanda, Borely, and Little Dud begin to show disturbing signs: reading books, asking to go to school, and even trying to play outside. Will the parents’ heroic efforts to squash this dangerous behavior work, or will the children find a way to express their creativity? The illustrations are full of visual jokes and details that reward careful viewing. This tongue-in-cheek story is full of silliness and wordplay that even older children and adults will enjoy.