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How to Handle a Child


An English sample available

How to Handle a Child is mock “how to” book on parenthood (think Edward Gorey’s The Recently Deflowered Girl: The Right Thing to Say on Every Dubious Occasion). The book embraces the most arguable questions of parenthood, never really yielding a single sober advice.

The underpinning is – people shouldn’t be taught how to handle their kids. They should be soothed that parenthood is a most perplexing task in the universe, and so, whatever they are doing, they are doing a great job. Mistakes and failures are inevitable, joys and rewards sporadic, but with a little bit of humor and philosophy, the whole parenting business is a priceless fuel for observing life itself.


All the episodes in the book are based on true stories and conversations with my kids – Adam (aged three), Liran (aged six), and Alex (aged eleven). Each of the 22 episodes starts out with a maxim uttered by a child, be it the “AAAAAAA” of the newborn or a teenager’s verdict on life. The rest of the story elaborates on this ‘prophecy’, trying to deduct wisdom, lesson or principle, in the manner of a parable. The resulting stories are full of subtle humor, truth and are instantly recognizable and appealing to anyone who has dared to tread the unpredictable, full of trial, error and humility path of parenthood.


Each episode is illustrated with a scene from the author’s own childhood, loosely related to the topic of the text. The illustrations balance between the “child’s eyesight perception” (magic, unreal, enchanted, yet taken for granted as solid fact of life – just as kids do) and brutal truth (things that did actually take place and were actually the way they are depicted in the illustration. The truth is – the reality is way wilder than any fiction. The illustrations address adult readers. After all, no matter how dramatically different their childhood was from that of their kids, the core things that make childhood what it is are intact – the freshness of perception, the agony of growing up, the mischief, and the absence of borderline between the real and the unreal.

Book details


Illustrated fiction, 2016

48 pp

Rights sold

  • Romanian Baroque Books

  • Mongolian Nepko

Literary awards

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