The Children's Book I Wish I'd Written: 5 More That Maybe I ShouldJohn Cave Osborne
A close friend sent me an email the other day after having read a recent post I wrote for Being Pregnant. His note contained a link prefaced by some content which immediately captured my curiosity.
“After reading your post about how hyped up the triplets were upon your late evening return from the conference, and imagining how much fun that must have been for their exhausted parents, when I saw this link I immediately thought of you. Read about it, because it sounds like you could have written it.”
I immediately clicked over to discover the cover which appears on the left and was most curious to see whether or not it was a joke.
And it’s no joke. Well, I mean, it’s a joke in that you probably shouldn’t read it to your children, but it’s no joke in that it’s an actual book written by an actual writer, Adam Mansbach. Did you happen to read Rebecca Odes’ wonderful post: What Children’s Books Are Really Saying to You? Well, this is an example of what children’s books would be like if they were actually written out of empathy for the frustrated parent who’s likely reading them.
Mansbach, it turns out, is quite an accomplished writer. His most recent novel, The End of the Jews, won the California book award. His best-selling effort, Angry White Boy, was selected as a San Francisco Chronicle Book of 2005. He’s also a professor of fiction at Rutgers University.
But as much as I’m sure I’d enjoy his other writing, I have a feeling I’d enjoy Go the F*$k to Sleep even more. Consider this sample stanza:
The cats nestle close to their kittens now.
The lambs have laid down with the sheep.
You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear
Please go the fuck to sleep.
Ah, yes, Adam. Indeed. You know, after reading about Mansbach’s book on Amazon, I immediately thought of five other books which might make good sequels.
1. No Means I Love You and Hell No Means I Really Love You: this little ditty makes for ideal reading before traipsing into convenient stores where shrewd marketers put worthless trinkets at eye-level to your pint-sized loved ones.
2. Daddy Daydreams: The Disappearance of Dora and Elmo: a heartbreaking tale of how these two amazingly annoying family fixtures one day disappear for good. So sad, y’all. Especially for poor Elmo.
3. The Color of Your Bowl Will Not, in Fact, Impact Your Enjoyment of Breakfast, Damn It: for those finicky kids who get all bent out of shape about the color of their plates or exactly which spoon is offered with it.
4. If You Lose Your Blanket Again, I’m Gonna Staple it to Your Shirt: a delightful anecdote about a forgetful toddler and a creative parent who seeks to remedy said forgetfulness.
5. F#@king Deal With It: a tale of perseverance in which a loving parent repeatedly offers the same tidbit of universal advice in the face of countless minor tragedies in hopes of teaching his child the importance of resolve.
What book would you write?
And, I’m serious, you gotta check out Mansbach’s book on Amazon. It looks quite funny.
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