What Do Parents Do (When You’re Not Home)?

by Jeanie Franz Ransom
Illustrated by Cyd Moore
Category: Themes:
The tables are turned and the grown-ups have all the fun in this wickedly silly story of parental mayhem.
Price: $16.95
  • ISBN: 9781561454099
  • Publication date: 03/01/2007
  • Page Count: 496
  • Size: 9-5/8" x 12"
  • Age Range: 4-8


The tables are turned and the grown-ups have all the fun in this wickedly silly story of parental mayhem.

When two children set off to stay the night at their grandparents’, they spend their day imagining what their parents are doing while they’re away. Jumping on beds, they think, or sledding down the stairs on pillows. Watching hours of television, playing ball in the house, eating junk food, and in general making one VERY big mess! When the kids come home the house looks tidy. “It was pretty quiet,” says Dad… but was it? Mom is hiding something behind her back. And those socks hanging from the ceiling fan weren’t there yesterday.

Cyd Moore’s antic illustrations contrast the wild adventures at home with the more wholesome fun at their grandparents’ house. Jeanie Ransom’s clever tale will keep young readers laughing long after the story has ended.


Jeanie Franz Ransom


Jeanie Franz Ransom is a school counselor and a freelance writer. She is the author of Grandma U; What Do Parents Do (When You’re Not Home)?; and Don’t Squeal Unless It’s a Big Deal: A Tale of Tattletales. A graduate of Cornell College, she holds a master’s in professional counseling from Lindenwood University and works as a school counselor. She lives in Missouri.

Cyd Moore


Cyd Moore has illustrated more than 40 books, including What Do Parents Do? (When You’re Not Home); Arbor Day Square; the popular I Love You, Stinky Face series; and Willow, which was included in Oprah’s Book Club 2010 Kids’ Reading List: 6 to 9 Years. Originally from Georgia, she now lives in Michigan.


“The main illustrations feature two exuberant adults making a mess with toys, food, and clothes, while smaller pictures show the narrator and his little sister having fun at their grandparents’ house…Most fun, though, are the household mysteries that are explained: a game in which socks are tossed on the ceiling fan engenders the comment, ‘No wonder we can never find two socks that match!’” ―Booklist

“This entertaining story explores the trouble that mischievous adults can get into when they have the house to themselves…The watercolor-and-colored-pencil illustrations add humorous details to the story…This fun-filled selection provides an inventive twist to a typical story.” ―School Library Journal

“In this rollicking flight of fancy, a boy and his sister are spending the night at their grandparent’s house…All this is pictured, large as life, over two-thirds of the page, the parents as jubilant as the brightly hued, busy scenes…Giggles abound as this cheerful tale of imagined role-reversal plucks at the seams of conventionality and lets out a little stuffing.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Moore’s illustrations capture the playful spirit of childhood” ―NYSRA Charlotte Award

“Cyd Moore’s lively and amusing illustrations perfectly compliment the text in this delightful story.” ―Through the Looking Glass


Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education, 2008

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Primary) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2008

More Details

AR Level: 2.7
F&P: GRL L, Gr 2, Genre F
Themes: Family, Imagination, Rules
BISAC 1: JUV013070 JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Siblings
BISAC 2: JUV019000 JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories
BISAC 3: JUV051000 JUVENILE FICTION / Imagination & Play

Books By Jeanie Franz Ransom