Oh No, the Aunts Are Here

Image of Oh No, the Aunts Are Here
Release Date: 
May 23, 2023
Chronicle Books
Reviewed by: 

"A pitch-perfect view of family from a child's sensibility."

Adam Rex is known for his child-pleasing humor and this book is no exception. The story starts when a girls' peaceful breakfast is interrupted by an invasion of relatives. Not a visit, but a literal invasion.

"They're snapping shut their purses and stepping out of shuttles from the airport.

Oh no. The aunts are here."

The aunts crowd enthusiastically into the kitchen, drawn with lively energy by Lian Cho. Like all relatives, they coo and pinch and take up far too much space, sleeping in the girl's room while she moves to a sleeping bag. Their visit takes the girl to see the sights, at least the kind of sights that interest the aunts, such as a quilt museum.

But it's not all bad. The aunts love the girl, and their exuberance shines from Cho's bright pages. They even save the girl from a wolf, dispatching it with their ever-present hand sanitizer. And with that dramatic event over, they change "into amazing, beautiful birds." Soon they're "flapping away. It is time for them to leave. There they go."

Once again the house is peaceful and quiet. It's empty, almost too empty. But not for long, because the uncles are coming!

Rex and Cho show how relatives bring both fun and chaos into the lives of young children. The humorous language is well complemented by the warm, energetic illustrations. Combined, the book provides a pitch-perfect view of family from a child's sensibility. Relatives can be a nuisance, but life without them would be certainly less interesting.