Don't Lick the Minivan

Leanne Shirtliffe

Skyhorse, 2013

Agent: Jill Marr

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' college, eh, 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.

“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

“Leanne Shirtliffe writes with hilarity and poignancy as to the trials and pains (literally) of motherhood. She is our new Erma Bombeck!”
Elizabeth Boyle, New York Times best-selling author

“Forget about the darndest things that kids say, it’s what comes out of our own mouths when we become parents that’s the real shocker. Leanne has a way of making us see the humor in the exchanges we have with our kids, our friends, and most importantly, ourselves. Her quick and witty writing style is the perfect antidote for all moms suffering through life’s most unfunny moments with our kids.”
Kathy Buckworth, author of Shut Up and Eat and The BlackBerry Diaries, and the only two-time winner of the Excellence in Humor Writing Award, presented by the Professional Writers Association of Canada:

“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, winner of both The Stephen Leacock Award for Humor and the prestigious Canada Reads 2011 competition. 

“Leanne 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, author of Naptime Is the New Happy Hour and Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay

 “Toddler diarrhea and newborn vomit isn't all that entertaining, but somehow when Leanne 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, popular American blogger ( and author of Confessions of a Scary Mommy