Title: Shut the f@$# up! …When Good Grandparents Go Bad
Author: Christine Allen
Illustrator: Mandy Newham
Publisher: Outskirts Press
“By the time Poppie and Grandma got home and began to relax, they started dreaming of their next visit to see Tenley and Ryder, and both Poppie and Grandma knew that neither their grandchildren, or themselves, were perfect and that perfect isn’t necessary when it comes to families and love,” author Christine Allen writes, ending her relationship book, When Good Grandparents Go Bad – Shut the f@$# up!
At twenty pages in this small paperback book, the front cover has a cartoon drawing of two grandparents yelling at two children in a family room. The back cover has a long paragraph about the book’s contents along with a short author biography and photograph. In the book and in the release, the title is written several different ways, with and without the altered expletive. With no actual profanity but alluding to the most common one, technically the book could be read aloud to children but is targeted more toward an adult, especially a grandparent. Illustrator Mandy Newman’s drawings are detailed, expressive and colorful.
This short tome is about grandparents Poppie and Grandma who dearly love and enjoy their two grandchildren, Tenley and Ryder. Convincing themselves they will be the best grandparents ever, they are thrilled at every chance they get to babysit or hold the little wee ones.
As time goes on and the children grow older, their parents decide to take a trip alone to Las Vegas, leaving the two children in the care of Poppie and Grandma. Of course, the first few days are blissful, playing and taking care of the kids and engaging in their activities. However, as time marches on, the grandparents get worn out and run down, constantly attending to their energetic charges and demanding schedules. At the height of frustration and exhaustion, Poppie suddenly yells to “shut the f@$# up,” shocking everyone including himself. The grandparent never apologizes for his outburst while Grandma laughs about it, and they consider it simply blowing off steam. When the parents come home, the grandparents leave, realizing that they and their grandkids are not perfect.
As a parent or grandparent, each one of us has moments of frustration lashing out or upsetting our loved ones. This book would best be read by parents and grandparents, not children, to remind us to keep our tempers and emotions in check when we are tired, worn out or over-burdened and dealing with others, especially impressionable little ones.