Assaults by evil unicorns! A giant squid! Aggressive ostriches! A vampire usher! When mom and dad go out for a date night, anything might happen to them. In this deliciously playful picture book a brother and sister, left in the care of a sitter trying her best to keep up with their mind games, let their imaginations run wild as they invent one satisfyingly preposterous scenario after another. After turning the last fun-filled page, young readers may want to make up their own wacky stories about the risks parents face when they take off for dinner and the movies, leaving their tall-tale-telling kids behind.
A wild, whimsical and witty romp that keeps twisting in unexpected directions. A wonderful exploration of the joys—and occasional pitfalls—of letting your imagination run amok. My children were enchanted by the clever drawings and endlessly amused by this charming, laugh-out-loud tale.
The co-authors are professional improv/stand-up performers, and that background shows in the rapid, free-form way scenarios develop as they’re tossed back and forth. …Entertaining.
When the hipstery parents of two siblings sneak out for a date night, their kids fret about all the bad things that could be happening to them. It falls to babysitter Abby to deflect the kids’ worst-case scenarios, and her imagination is as quick as theirs are. First-time authors Goodman and Kisiel, a husband-and-wife team, run a comedy troupe, and it shows: the children’s exchanges with their babysitter have the freewheeling, anything-goes energy of improv. What if a giant squid attacks during dinner? “Your mom would just braid those tentacles right up!” Evil unicorns, jetpack-wearing ostriches, and a movie theater staffed by vampires are just a few of date-night pitfalls the (unnamed) children envision; newcomer Bui pictures these and other daring escapades in dramatic scenes that resemble storyboards for an animated film. While a night spent worrying might not seem like the best use of one’s time and energy, Goodman and Kisiel suggest that imagination is where the real fun is.
The premise of this very funny picture book is golden: two young excitable siblings work themselves into a panic as they imagine what might be happening to their parents on their “date night.” One of the reasons I love this book is because it reminds me of a time back when my kid didn’t think I was the most boring guy ever. It reminds me that once, when I stepped out the front door, leaving my daughter with a babysitter, she honestly could imagine me fighting vampires or escaping from giant squids. When I look at Bui’s illustrations of their goateed dad, holding onto his wife as they ride a unicorn, that’s the dad I want to be (in my kid’s eyes, at least).
A creative babysitter who gets her catastrophizing charges to eat dinner, clean up, do the dishes, brush their teeth, and change into their pajamas while using imaginative mental judo to parry their mounting fears? Give that gal a raise! Two anticipatory anxiety-ridden siblings with paranoiac imaginations gone haywire are convinced that their parents’ date night might be turning into an Indiana Jones-type adventure filled with refracting rainbows, evil unicorns, sewer alligators, and guard ostriches. This might be what we’d get if Thomas Pynchon re-wrote The Cat in the Hat. It goes without saying that The Night Our Parents Went Out should be required reading for babysitters everywhere.
A delightfully entertaining romp based on the boundless power of children’s imagination. A great icebreaker for any new babysitter.