24 May 2011

I told you picture books weren't just for kids

So. This week's publishing sensation is the as yet unpublished Go the F**k to Sleep, (actually, I started this post last week. And people are still talking about the book. Yup--it's a sensation.) The book started as a personal parental lament from author Adam Mansbach and has resulted in film rights. And the book hasn't even been published yet! Score one for internet piracy, which is credited with spreading the word about this unusual picture book.

The book has generated discussion about everything from hand-wringing about parental devotion, to concern for the feelings of the real-life child at the heart of the book, to cries of enough already. I have not seen the pirated PDF, yet I have the feeling that I've already read this book. But with no swears. And actually written for children. It's called:

This 2006 picture book, written in the tone of "you-know-I'm-kidding-but-not-really" goes like this:

"Love you when you whine.
Love you when you interrupt.
Love you when you don't say please.
Love you when you pour your cereal on the floor."

And my personal favorite:

"Love you when you say "Carry me, Carry me" and I am already carrying two bags of groceries and a backpack full of library books."

You get the general idea. And needless to say, since this is a child's picture book, by the end we are reassured that the mommy really does love her little turd of a kid. As I said, I've not yet read Go the F**k to Sleep, so I can't vouch for any warm fuzzy moment at the end to validate all the four-letter sentiment that comes before. But the fact remains that parenting is hard, and parents know that best. A self-serving laugh at ridiculous bedtime routines and the other ways we bend ourselves into knots trying to raise kids never hurts. With or without the expletives.

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