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Don't Lick the Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I'd Say to My Kids [Kindle Edition]

Leanne Shirtliffe
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Print List Price: £16.47
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Book Description

As a woman used to traveling and living the high life in Bangkok, Leanne Shirtliffe recognized the constant fodder for humor while pregnant with twins in Asia's sin city. But in spite of deep-fried bug cuisine and nurses who cover newborn bassinets with plastic wrap, Shirtliffe manages to keep her babies alive for a year with help from a Coca-Cola deliveryman, several waitresses, and a bra factory. Then she and her husband return home to the isolation of North American suburbia.

In Don't Lick the Minivan, Shirtliffe captures the bizarre aspects of parenting in her edgy, honest voice. She explores the hazards of everyday life with children such as:

  • The birthday party where neighborhood kids took home skin rashes from the second-hand face paint she applied.
  • The time she discovered her twins carving their names into her minivan's paint with rocks.
  • The funeral she officiated for "Stripper Barbie."
  • The horror of glitter.
  • And much more!

A delayed encounter with postpartum depression helps Shirtliffe to realize that even if she can't teach her kids how to tie their shoelaces, she's a good enough mom. At least good enough to start saving for her twins' therapy fund. And possibly her own. Crisply written, Don't Lick the Minivan will have parents laughing out loud and nodding in agreement. Shirtliffe's memoir might not replace a therapist, but it is a lot cheaper.

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Product Description


An entertaining look at raising twins. Amid the humor are frank confessions of Shirtliffe's dips into postpartum depression and her frequent assessment of her ability to be a good mom to two normal kids. Mostly witty commentary on the common ups and downs of being a new parent, times two. --Kirkus Reviews


Editorial Reviews

"Leanne Shirtliffe is awesome and so is this book. I'm bad at writing blurbs." -Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess), #1 New York Times bestselling author of Let's Pretend This Never Happened

"Toddler diarrhea and newborn vomit isn't all that entertaining, but somehow when Leanne Shirtliffe writes about it, it's laugh-out-loud funny. I swear, she's living in my house and taking notes. Actually, I wish she were--we'd have a freaking blast together." -Jill Smokler, New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of a Scary Mommy

"Leanne Shirtliffe has a sharp eye for the little moments of insanity that make up the modern parenting experience. Also, she's super funny and the chapters are short enough to read in the four minutes you're allowed in the bathroom each day." -Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, bestselling author of Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and Naptime Is the New Happy Hour

"When you become a parent, conversations start to sound more like a game of Mad Libs than anything actually sane. In the laugh-out-loud book Don't Lick the Minivan, Leanne Shirtliffe shares the funniest phrases she never thought she'd say. Hands down, the best book with the phrase 'He looks like a human Pez dispenser' I've read all year!" -Kristen Pomranz, Editor, Nickelodeon's

"Leanne Shirtliffe has written a side-splitting and thoughtful take on life with twins. As a humor writer, a parent, and a twin myself, this book had me laughing and thinking, then laughing again, long after I finished it. If you're into public fits of hysterics, try reading this book on a subway or bus, and prepare for strange looks from fellow passengers." -Terry Fallis, author of The Best Laid Plans and winner of both The Stephen Leacock Award for Humour and Canada Reads 2011

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 667 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (1 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CSS0WS2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #126,193 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Leanne Shirtliffe is a humor writer whose motto is "If you can't laugh at yourself, laugh at your kids." She writes for the Huffington Post and Nickelodeon's humor site,

Besides birthing twins, Leanne has chased transvestites in heels, won a caber toss championship, and silenced crying children by sneezing like Donald Duck.

When she's not stopping her children from licking frozen flagpoles, Leanne teaches English to teenagers who are slightly less hormonal than she is.

She lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada because she likes complaining about the weather.

Read more about her misadventures at

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious 22 Jan. 2014
Even if you don't have kids, this book will touch your heart and have you splitting your sides laughing out loud. Please can we have more.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funnier than Jim Gaffigan's Dad is Fat 24 May 2013
By JacquiO - Published on
This book is fantastic!

Jim Gaffigan is one of my favorite comedians. Last week, I read his book Dad is Fat and loved it. I just read Don't Lick the Minivan and laughed out loud more often while reading this one!

My fiancee is not sure he's even going to read it since he's convinced I read the whole thing aloud to him as I went. Which is basically true.

I'm going to send it as a gift to several people who I know will love it too.

Buy this book!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespearian wit combined with modern parenting... 5 Jun. 2013
By Ellie Ann - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
If Shakespeare and Anne Lamott had a love child, it would be Leanne Shirtliffe.
I completely enjoyed these wildly self-deprecating parenting stories told in a laugh-out-loud, quip-a-minute style. The pace is perfect, the writing is so good I didn't even notice I was reading, and she does it all with such a lovely grace that by the end of the book, I was profoundly thankful for the carnival that is Motherhood.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Hilarious Must-Read! 2 Jun. 2013
By Julie M. Randolph - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book. I have followed Leanne's blog for a while and always get a kick out of it, but at some point- like after the tenth time I laughed out loud and had to explain what I was laughing at to my husband- I looked up and said, "Oh, my. She's been holding back." Don't Lick the Minivan is a very satisfying book that is possible to read in short bits in the bathroom with the door locked, or when you are pretending to work. I like that Leanne offers the unique perspective on parenting that only giving birth to twins in Thailand and then moving them to Antarctica- I mean Canada- could give. She's really funny. But what really puts me over the moon for this book are two things- two very rare things that new voices in the parenting genre should pay attention to: a complete absence of mean-spirited snark at the expense of her children, and genuine honesty and how flattening post-partum depression is. . .and the fact that it can happen long past when your children are infants. You get this impression that this is a family full of love that is going to band together, pitch in, and laugh their way through anything. . .even whilst peeing in each others' bike helmets and giving toxic shock to the neighborhood children via birthday party face paint. It's a great read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a funny book 2 Jun. 2013
By Dana - Published on
I wasn't surprised that Don't Lick The Minivan made me laugh. And it did. But it also made me tear up in several places too. Every parent will identify and laugh along with Leanne as she describes the ups and downs of raising twins. A perfect book for a busy mom looking for a laugh.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars parents: read this book 25 Aug. 2013
By Jim Cooper - Published on
I'm not finished yet, but it doesn't matter. For every parent anywhere in the world: read this book. Outrageous, funny, heartfelt and so so true. Leanne Shirtliffe's voice is pitch-perfect, reflecting the joys, anxieties, frustrations and wonder of parenthood. As a grandparent of twins, I can so relate to the tales of supernatural communication between the identical spawn; it makes me want become a kid's birthday party clown - just for the the visceral thrill of creating nightmares. Only for those that deserve it, of course.
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