I nearly asked our creative director Ben to review this book – he’s a lone male in a house full of girls and could attest to its accuracy. Personally, I was attracted to this story because until a few years ago, I was in the reverse situation – a house full of boys where I was outnumbered four to one. Not that there was anything wrong with that. But occasionally, I wanted my family to be mindful that giving me a break from the ‘boy’ stuff was much appreciated.
Author and artist Jonty Lees tells the story of a hen-pecked dad of two daughters in Too Many Girls. Tired of not being able to listen to his own music, watch the football, eat ‘man’ food (pies) and sit on the toilet in peace (there’s an hilarious illustration of the Daddy sitting on the loo with his newspaper, while his daughters and wife are standing outside the bathroom, holding their noses, saying “Poo-di-woo!”) he starts a ‘battle of the sexes’.
“The house is far too pink,
There’s too much singing all the time,
And this dancing has to stop.”
They sang, ‘Don’t worry Dad, it’s fine.'”
They battle over food, fashion, interior decorating and more – some of the battles are a little bizarre and far-fetched but it’s all good fun. I particularly liked the Dad’s efforts in the kitchen – he makes a pie only to have his daughters decorate it with pastry leaves.
“Then they turned up Lily Allen
Shouting ‘Girl songs are the best!'”
There’s a satisfying conclusion to the story involving compromise, the colour purple and being able to watch the footy while having a manicure.
The book is written in rhyme and while it’s sometimes a little contrived, the humour and the sparse, jaunty illustrations carry the story well. Ultimately the story is about compromise but it’s particularly relevant to children living in a household where one parent is ‘out-numbered’.
Find Too Many Girls at Fishpond for $13.80, including delivery.