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Bleary-eyed moms and dads need not suffer in silence, thanks to a profane new tome that may just be the most honest children’s book since Dr. Spock’s.
It’s called, “Go the F—k to Sleep.”
You get the idea.
Billed as “a bedtime book for parents,” the raunchy 32-page kid’s book channels the inner monologue familiar at bedtime in millions of homes across the country (including the curse-laden couplets).
“The cubs and the lions are snoring/Wrapped in a big snuggly heap/How come you can do all this other great s—t/ But you can’t lie the f—k down and sleep?”
Author Adam Mansbach — who is being hailed as the guru of a new generation of overstressed parents — says that the book is “cathartic” for parents fearful that the failure to lull one’s children to sleep is indicative of poor parenting.
“There’s a lot of silence about the frustrations of parenthood in this society,” Mansbach said.
Clearly, the book is not actually for kids (there’s a disclaimer on the back cover to alert absent-minded browsers), thanks to refrains such as, “The flowers doze low in the meadows/And high on the mountain so steep/My life is a failure, I’m a s—tty-ass parent/Stop fucking with me, please, and sleep.”
And the only people it’s keeping awake at night are parents.
“As the father of two children, I’ve more than once screamed the title of this book in my head,” wrote one Amazon reviewer, who gave the book five stars. He added that after reading the book, putting his kids to sleep “isn’t as disheartening.”
In fact, parents have reached out to Akashic Books, thanking it for making light of a problem that they’ve long been too self-conscious to share.
“Parents are expected to swallow their frustrations,” publisher Johnny Temple said, which explains why they’re “really having a strong emotional reaction to the book.”
As an R-rated kids book, however, “Go the F—k to Sleep” might have some scratching their heads about why someone would bother to buy it (or why legendary filmmaker Werner “Nosferatu” Herzog gave a reading of it at a New York Public Library event devoted to the book last Tuesday).
Temple explained that most people buy it as a gift for new or expectant parents who might need the humor — and the empathy — during the rockier patches of raising a toddler.
Illustrator Ricardo Cortés, a Prospect Heights resident, knows all about those travails.
“I was a pain in the ass,” he said. “My mom would have to creep out of the room and leave her foot in the doorway or else I’d start wailing.”
The book will have its big Brooklyn launch on July 7 at Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO. It should be fun — just don’t bring the kids.
Brooklyn Book Launch Party for “Go the F—k to Sleep,” Powerhouse Arena [37 Main St. at Water Street in DUMBO, (718) 666-3049], July 7, 7 pm. RSVP to email@example.com.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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