Dad and the Recycling-Bin Roller Coaster

WaterBrook. May 2023. 40p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780593194430.
PreS-Gr 3–Like the Chip and Joanna Gaines of the picture book realm, the white father has the power tools and lives in the garage making things, but also made three kids (“Mom helped”) while she just “LOVES to decorate stuff./ She knows just where to place throw pillows and rugs and scented candles and mugs.” It’s 2023, people. While she goes shopping, he takes over the backyard to build a bunch of junk over protests from the nameless children (oldest son, middle girl, and baby). Dad admits defeat, cooperates with his kids—the oldest son just wants to learn how to use the drill—and by the time Mom comes home laden with shopping bags, they have created a roller coaster with two recycling bins for cars, as foretold by the title. A chaotic storytelling style, the ditching of the mother early on, and turning the children into straight men for the father’s foibles throws off every attempt at comedy. Like Dad’s inventions, this book just doesn’t add up to anything useful.
VERDICT This plot feels like something recycled from the 1970s Berenstain Bears, but even they were more up to date than this.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing