Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Children's books are weird.

Interview went well, thanks to good advice from a range of sources: top advice includes 'have some questions ready to ask' (my old boss), 'be yourself,' (my mum) and 'don't wear that fucking tacky leopard head ring you love' (a friend).
I would absolutely hire someone who wore this to an interview.

In completely unrelated news, is this not the most horrific cover for a kid's book?

Its purpose seems to be to teach kids about emotions through the unique method of giving them nightmares about disfigured capsifaces. I was too afraid to 'look inside' but apparently there are "scowling oranges and gregarious scallions." How do you make a scallion gregarious?

Google Images respectfully suggests turning it into a praying mantis.

More importantly, wouldn't the answer to 'how are you peeling' be along the lines of "OH GOD SOMEONE IS REMOVING MY SKIN OH GOD"

This led me into a fascinating to me Amazon trawl where I found heaps of cool shit to read to your kids!

By the same author:

Another educational work executed in menacing fruit sculpture, this time to teach shapes & numbers, apparently with varied success:

"Although the triangular carrot does not have perfectly straight lines, its shape is recognizable."
- reviewer.

"The Orange looks like the Joker, and this is terrifying"
- reviewer who is me.

Also in educational vegetables (a surprisingly large field) we have 'LMNOpeas,' which I originally read as 'LMAOpeas,' which would be a much better book about peas getting into hilarious situations:
"Once again, Percy Pea found himself the butt of a 'I pea'd on the floor' joke."

This is a 'hilarious, occupation-based romp through the alphabet' and the review includes the word 'pea-ple' and that's all you really need to know.

There is also a good line in using utensils to celebrate difference and what makes each of us special, etc:

"Spoon is a spoon who is feeling down because his life is not as exciting as those of his friends Knife, Fork, and Chopsticks."

Poor Spoon!

"He’s always been a happy little utensil. But lately, he feels like life as a spoon just isn’t cutting it."

Poor Spo- wait, is that a pun? Luckily everything ends happily after Spoon discovers that everyone else is jealous of his ability to bang on pots. I am unsatisfied with this ending and think it should have ended with Spoon joining a gang of Bad Spoons (who refer to themselves as the Tarnished) and running around at night attacking, and scooping out, hapless melons.

Spoon is accompanied by another of the Silverware-Drawer-Bunch:

"Spork is the offspring of a spoon mum and a fork dad, and he feels like a misfit."

I bet he does. I would feel like a misfit too if people kept quietly wondering how my mum and dad mated.

The reviewer found Spork 'heartwarming' because of its 'positive portrayal of a mixed-race character,' but was not completely satisfied:

"The story's climax actually weakens the metaphor. Spork accepts himself only after receiving external validation
(he feeds a baby, I think) [...] he never really learns to love himself."


For some much-needed simplicity let us head to my personal favourite book, NOT A BOX:
It is blatantly a box.
Or perhaps a fridge.

In this cardboard-based epic, "the author-illustrator offers a paean to the time-honored imaginative play of young children who can turn a cardboard box into whatever their creativity can conjure."

Oh! It's not a box. It's a paean, which tells us is 'any song of praise, joy, or triumph' or, perhaps, 'a hymn of invocation to Apollo or some other ancient Greek deity.'

Beware! Reading this book may cause Greek deities to appear in your living room, presumably to play in a box.

"The rabbit is queried about why he is sitting in, spraying, or wearing a box. He insists, "It's not a box!" and the opposite page reveals [...] a race car, a mountain, a burning building, a robot."

...a burning building?

I am glad that NOT A BOX didn't creatively bankrupt the author, because otherwise we would not have NOT A STICK!
Blatantly a stick.

"This is literally a follow-up to Not a Box... here, the animal is a pig, and the object is a stick."

Reviewer. You have missed the ENTIRE POINT of this book.


Rob's Blockhead Blog said...


Wet, namby pamby PC nonsense.

Teh gothic horror of Grimms Fairy Tales and the fierce judgemental Calvinism of Hans Christian Andersen was good enough for my generation.

Should be good enough for the youth of today. Get them away from their twitbooks and their sext messsaging.

Its all going to the pack, I tell you.

Holly said...

I actually quite like the look of the last four! Spoon and Spork and Not A Box and Not A Stick! I think they're cute! :P

I agree about How Are You Peeling? though, that is scary.

Zach said...

The meat version of How Are You Peeling is what I show to girls who I'm trying to sleep with.

slommler said...

Zach needs therapy!!
And so do the authors of these books!!

Miss Viv said...

do you remember the munch bunch cartoon and books? that was vegetables and fruit that talked and had whole personalities based on what vege/fruit they were, Its rather odd now I think about it.

Anonymous said...

hahaha ahhh. i want to have babies now (which is new) so I can legitimately buy these books. xxx

cerebral e said...

Burning box => arsonist in training

Spork doesn't look like a spork, he's just a spoon with a bad haircut. I'm not being racist, I'm mixed-race myself so I can say that.

Spoon should find himself a dish and elope. that a cow jumping over the moon?

cerebral e said...

PS Miss Viv - I still have a childhood collection of Munch Bunch stickers. Yes, weird (but at least not creepy like that orange).

cerebral e said...

I just saw this, too:

Em said...

Sooo, you interviewed to write a children's book?

IT IS ALLY said...

Rob - I miss Horace and Little Black Sambo.

Holly - I quite liked Spoon. Spoon is cute!

Zach - please refer to comment from SueAnn

SueAnn - Zach, I fear, is beyond help! Authors of these books possibly same.

Miss Viv - I loved the Munch Bunch! Wish I could get my hands on those books. Button & Tiny! Rozzy Raspberry! She was so naughty. I identified

Sophie - Easier, perhaps, to have nieces & nephews?

cE -Hope you meant the orange from this post, because Pedro was NOT creepy! Did he perhaps have a banjo? Also, I love that card. Love love love.

Em - oh man, I wish.

Awesomeness in the Flesh said...

I am now somewhat disturbed, yet motivated at the same time to begin work on my book which will be called "Not a Book".

Marieke said...

When I saw the cover of "Spork", I thought the book would end with Spork jumping into the toaster and ending it all.