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On Parenting
Posted at 11:47 AM ET, 02/22/2012

Author Adam Mansbach tries to get kids to sleep, yet again


(Courtesy of Goldberg McDuffie Communications)
Forget Jill Biden’s coming children’s book or Callista Gingrich’s kids’ history lesson. The anti-hero of children’s book is about to unleash his sophomore effort in the genre.

Adam Mansbach, the author of last year’s best-selling satire “Go The [Expletive] to Sleep,” is releasing a G-version of his book for kids. Seriously.

Seriously, Just Go to Sleep,” will be released in April. Unlike the profanity laced earlier book, this one is intended to be read with children. It’s illustrated, like the first one, by Ricardo Cortes and published by Akashic Books. It also tweaks the popular rhyme format of many children’s books, but much more gently than the first book.

A few examples:

The Windows are dark in the town, child.

The whales huddle down in the deep.

I’ll read you one very last book if you swear

You’ll close you’re eyes and sleep.

And ...

The seeds slumber beneath the earth now,

And the crops that the farmers will reap.

No more questions. The interview’s over.

I’ve got three words for you, kid: go to sleep.

It’s doubtful this book will appease Mansbach’s critics who found his first book, with its repeated profanity and subversive attack on the preciousness of parenting so offensive. “Seriously” also trades on the idea that parenting is not an entirely delightful experience.

It’s also unclear if it will appeal to his fans, as so many of them seemed to embrace the outrageousness of his other book.

It may have an audience among those on the fence about just how much parents should reveal to their kids about the frustrations of parenting. According to Mansbach’s publicist, “Seriously” came about after Mansbach read a highly censored version of his first children’s book to his 3-year-old daughter.

Apparently, she “recognized herself as the culprit and was delighted by the association.”

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