by Ross MacDonald and James Victore

Abrams Books, $14.95, 95 pages

The first clue that this is not your typical Dick and Jane book is the front cover’s picture of Dick in a lip lock with Jane. This is just the beginning of this funny and wild parody of the old elementary school primers.

In and Out with Dick and Jane is split up into six chapters. Our Neighborhood features the beautiful homes along Pleasant Street, where houses are either For Sale or Foreclosed. Meet Dick and Jane’s nice neighbors. Most sit on their porches at night and clean their guns. In all of the chapters, authors Ross MacDonald and James Victore address important social issues by using humor. A Day at School gives us a quick look at what is being taught in one classroom. The teacher is discussing how everyone is different and unique. She shows little children pictures of male and female anatomy to prove her point. One boy can’t sit still. But after he takes his medication he drools very quietly. The illustrations are similar to the originals. You may have to look closely to see the humor in them. The subtle yet obvious flaws in this update of Dick and Jane’s world make this a perfect parody.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin