When I was little, I had a book of cartoons called "100 Horrible Ways To Die". I'm not sure how old I was when someone made the decision this was an appropriate book for a child (cute pictures!) but I do remember that my favorite "horrible way to die" was a sky diver parachuting into the swirling blades of a helicopter.
On a related note, I received an email a few weeks ago about the book "Go the Fuck to Sleep". Have you read it? My mother forwarded it to me so I assume the only people left who haven't seen it are locked in Tom Cruise's basement (Hi, Katie!).
Just in case, the book includes prose like:
"The wind whispers soft like the grass, hon.
The field mice they make not a peep.
It's been thirty-eight minutes already.
Jesus Christ, what the fuck? Go to sleep."
It's pretty genius. Which got me thinking— are there other "children's books that are not really meant for children" out there?
An evening's worth of research led me to five others I found worthy of sharing. And just for fun, I'm going to list them in descending order. Five being most appropriate and one involving an ass raping superhero (wait for it).
5) All My Friends Are Dead, by Avery Morsen & Jory John
The adorably dark "All My Friends Are Dead" also features houseplants, zombies and cassette tapes. Perfect to get the "what happens when we die?" discussion started with your kids. I hear parents LOVE when that comes up.
4. The Taking Tree, written by Shrill Travesty and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
A parody of Shell Silverstein's "The Giving Tree"— possibly the saddest book of all time. (Can someone explain to me why we all loved this book as a kid?) "The Taking Tree" on the other hand, includes lines like— "The tree was his best friend. Which shows what a loser the kid was." Zing!
3. Monsters Eat Whiny Children, by Bruce Eric Kaplan
I found this book at Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago and fell immediately in love. It's about two whiny children taken by two even whinier monsters who fight over how to cook them. Ultimately, the book teaches children a valuable life lesson: Whining leads to kidnapping and death. (Editor's Note: If you have an older kid (5 maybe?), buy this book— it's awesome.)
2. My First Dictionary: Corrupting Young Minds One Word at a Time, by Ross Horsley
1. Ice Cream & Sadness, by Kris Wilson, Matt Melvin, Rob Denbleyker and Dave Mcelfatric
Ice Cream & Sadness is a book of short comic strips much like the ones you remember from when you were little— like Garfield or Calvin & Hobbes. That is— if they were all having a three-way involving necrophilia.
And because I promised…
I advise making a splash with these books at your next baby shower or first birthday party. If someone calls you out for poisoning the minds of young children, just remind them that Little Red Riding Hood's Grandmother was eaten by a wolf and "The Old Lady Who Lived In A Shoe" was a whore.
Related: Check out @SaidKristin's post— Mother Goose Was One Demented Broad