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TODD’S TV by James Proimos


by James Proimos & illustrated by James Proimos

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-170985-2
Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Subtle as a falling safe, Proimos drops a pair of particularly clueless parents on a boy who’s anything but a passive victim. So busy and self-involved are Todd’s mother and father that they’re actually relieved when the household TV offers to go to the lad’s parent-teacher conference, drive him to school, cook breakfast and even take him on vacations. They do finally put their foot (feet) down when the TV expresses an intention to open adoption proceedings, but their efforts to show who’s boss are ineffectual until Todd clues them in to the TV’s power switch. Quality time ensues, and Todd improves so much at school that he wins—a laptop. Using thick, irregular lines and a palette of gray and garish red-orange, the author illustrates the tale in an appropriately stripped-down way, putting confident smiles on Todd and on the screens of both the blocky, old-style TV and the laptop and largely confused looks on the faces of the grown-ups. Todd’s emotional detachment makes a nice change from other alarmist tales of boob-tube slavery, but it doesn't make the book any less preachy. (Picture book. Parents)