When was the last time you picked up a novel, bestseller or even some trashy chick-lit with a kid in the house? I know I haven’t in a long, long time. Like me do you know the words to every Julia Donaldson book off by heart? Have you read The Tiger Who Came to Tea over and over and over. And, can you recite Each Peach Pear Plum with your eyes closed?
Then why not stick to this winning formula of roughly 15 or so pages and one line of text per page with these books I’m calling ‘Kid-ult’ books? Taking inspiration from classic children’s books they are in fact light hearted parodies that will make you giggle and are the perfect grown-up bedtime book – you will finish before your eyes start to shut.
Just be sure to keep them away from little hands and eyes…
* GIFT IDEA * Why not wrap up both versions and give them to your new mum and baby friends or any parents who will get the joke?
THE ONE THAT STARTED IT ALL: Go the F**K to Sleep by Adam Mansbach
After spending over 2 hours a night to get his toddler to sleep Mansbach joked to his friends on Facebook to look out for his kids book. He went on the really write the book and Go the F**K to Sleep became a bestseller almost overnight. Written like a traditional bedtime story – but with grown-up (bad) language! I’m sure this is a sentence many a parent wants to say out loud….
The book was so popular that it led to Mansbach to rewrite his ‘kid-ult’ version for little eyes and ears – Seriously, Just Go to Sleep.
BEST OF THE REST: THE CHILDREN’S CLASSICS RE-WRITTEN FOR ADULTS
THE BEDTIME FAVE: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (read my review here)
This is one of Miss Marnie’s fave bedtime tales. Goodnight Moon is a little tale of saying goodnight to all items around the room before the little bunny will go to sleep – including the moon – has had a modern update.
Goodnight iPad by Ann Droyd is for the new generation. Rather than goodnight socks it goodnight iPhone and goodnight Facebook friend – brilliant and very true.
A great one dads or fans of The Who is Goodnight Keith Moon by Bruce Worden and Clare Cross and Goodnight Husband, Goodnight Wife by Eric Stangel and Justin Stangel will ensure a shared smile for couples with a little bit of a raunchy side too.
THE ONE ABOUT A MUMMY’S LOVE: The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
This tale of a little bunny who decides to run away and a mum who’s love means she will find him wherever he goes or whatever he does. It hasn’t been out of print since it was first published in 1942. Where as The Runaway Mummy by Michael Rex is more of a petrifying parody but still with a ‘mummys’ monster love at the core.
THE ORIGINAL TOUCH & FEEL ONE: Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunnhardt
Loved for over 60 years Pat the Bunny has led to Pat the Husband by Kate Nelligan (a lift the flap/Velcro book about who wears the trousers int he house – also makes a great bridal shower book!); Pat the Bride by Kate Nelligan (for bridezillas everywhere) and Pat the Zombie by Aaron Ximm (a twisted tale for those on the dark side!). A new one to the collection by Kate Nelligan is Pat the Daddy (a parody of what being a new father is all about)
THE CLEVER CUT-OUT ONE : The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (my book club fave here)
Loved for more than 45 years The Very Hungry Caterpillar is beautifully illustrated picture book that has had a scary update with The Very Hungry Zombie by Michael Teitelbaum – but sticks to the side of humour rather than being too gruesome (so, older kids will love this too!)
THE PERFECT TODDLER TALE : If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Give a mouse a cookie he will want a glass of milk and so on – a tale of making a mess and wanting more (toddlers, anyone?) has led to If You Give a Kid a Cookie Will it Shut the F**k up? by Marcy Roznik a more grown-up take on what happens when you give in to toddler tantrums…
THE SELFLESS ONE: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Miss Marnie and I have recently discovered The Giving Tree (we found a perfect copy in a charity shop) about a selfless tree that will give anything to a young boy to make him happy – often over his own needs. It’s given a reality check with The Taking Tree by Dan Ewen – and a cutting final word! Clever and funny.
THE ONE YOU READ OVER & OVER: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
Celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this year – the repetitive verse and watery illustrations make it a big fave in our house. We’re Going on a Bar Hunt by Emlyn Rees and Josie Lloyd uses the same format but this time about a a gaggle of parents who head out on town without the kids with hilarious results!
(The authors are the husband and wife team behind Come Together. I remember reading this on my way to college in the late 90’s! – who came up with the idea after reading Bear Hunt to their 3 kids over and over!)
THE RELATIONSHIP ONE: Are You My Mother? by P. D Eastman
A little bird asks the same question to everyone and everything he meets on his journey to find his mum – as does the female in the adult version Are you my Boyfriend? by C B Bryza – as she’s learns life lessons about men and love.
THE NAUGHTY ONE: Curious George by H. A Ray.
Even after 70 years George is still curious. George is a little monkey who lives with the man in the yellow hat. George is not totally naughty just a little mischievous (although it always works out in the end) – but Bi-Curious George By Andrew Simonian is naughty and pure X-rated.
And, a couple more I love:
THE ONE FOR THE BABY-FASHIONISTA: This Little Piggy Went to Prada by Amy Allen
This book came out in 2005 – and is now a collectible title. If you see it – grab it as the fashionably revamped, name dropping rhymes still ring true today. Give this to your stylish friends with babies.
THE LEARNING YOUR ABC’s: H is for Hummus by Joel Rickett
A modern A-Z for today’s parenting styles and trends. You will giggle at B is for Babyccino, D is for Date Night and R is for reward Chart. Even though it’s really a little book aimed at adults – Miss Marnie loves our copy. I think it’s the bright and bold illustrations – I wonder how long it will be before she gets the joke?
Can you think of any children’s books that could be re-written for us ‘kid-ults’?