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Funny Books - For Better Or For Worse -Teaching Is A Learning Experience

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Teaching Is A Learning Experience
A For Better Or For Worse Collection
Lynn Johnston
Andrews McMeel 2007
144 pages

You have to love the For Better Or For Worse comic strip by Lynn Johnston. Teaching Is A Learning Experience, the latest collection, is as always a lot of fun. This family friendly, smart, warm, realistic cartoon has been around for some 25 years and we have all followed the Patterson family in its daily newspaper trial and tribulations. The only comparison one can now make to Lynn Johnston is past For Better Or For Worse collections and this one is better than the last one.

For Better or For Worse® © 2007 by Lynn Johnston Productions, Inc. reprinted with permission of Andrews McMeel Publishing 

For Better or For Worse® © 2007 by Lynn Johnston Productions, Inc. reprinted with permission of Andrews McMeel Publishing

In Teaching Is A Learning Experience John and Elly Patterson start talking about retirement. You can only hope this will not happen too soon as you can suspect if John and Elly retire so will Lynn Johnston. Mike and Deanna now have two children and a too small apartment, Elizabeth is starting her second year teaching in northern Canada, and baby April, now a teenager, has typical teenage problems.

For Better or For Worse® © 2007 by Lynn Johnston Productions, Inc. reprinted with permission of Andrews McMeel Publishing 

For Better or For Worse® © 2007 by Lynn Johnston Productions, Inc. reprinted with permission of Andrews McMeel Publishing

If there is a weak point in this FBFW collection it is the strips about April's problems. Fans of the series will certainly get a feeling of déjà vu all over again here. Then again, this is a syndicated daily cartoon and not everybody has the entire For Better Or For Worse set at home (though many, including my sister, do). I also found it hard sometimes to tell if the character in the strip was April or Elizabeth.

The high point of Teaching Is A Learning Experience is the struggles Mike and Deanna experience with their new downstairs neighbors. There is also a certain chemistry and attitude towards life in this relationship many young couples will find comforting if not a very good mirror.

Other good moments in this FBFW collection include the strips featuring the Patterson's pets, especially the Sunday color page on page 71.

Less interesting is the will they or won't they relationship between Elizabeth and Anthony, especially as there is a pilot and now a cop in the picture. I got the feeling Elizabeth was stuck because Lynn Johnston herself does not know what to do with this part of the story.

Teaching Is A Learning Experience, A For Better Or For Worse Collection is its usual good solid self. It's just that it is easier sometimes to be difficult with a standard bearer in its field.



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