ifyougiveakidacookieFor the parent who has read aloud Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? for the thousandth time, the recent success of children’s book parodies affords a welcome respite. Representative books of the genre include Goodnight iPad or If You Give a Kid a Cookie, Will He Shut the F**k Up? There is also Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach, which doesn’t parody any book in particular, just the whole idea of a children’s bedtime story.

It’s possible to see the success of these parodies as an indicator of a high level of cynicism in the modern reader (and I don’t doubt that it is there). But I think there is another way to look at it. Many classic children’s stories have been steeped with menace. Think of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel or LIttle Red Riding Hood. They all haven’t been as anodyne as Goodnight Moon. These new parodies has been a way of adding some edge back into the children’s fable, even if the audience has been primarily adults.

Goldilocks and the Three DinosaursA new book from the Caldecott-winning writer Mo Williams is also a parody and it maintains much of the menace of the original. In Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs we get to explore the evil trap that the dinosaurs are planning for Goldilocks. We also get a new look at the gluttony of Goldilocks who eats all of the dinosaurs’ chocolate pudding. In reinterpreting the classic tale, Williams maintains the dangerous side to the story, while also giving the modern reader a few good laughs.

Goodnight iPad and Go The F**k to Sleep aren’t really books for kids. At least, I don’t know too many parents who will admit to having read the latter to their toddler. But Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is really something the whole family can enjoy. Hopefully we will see more of this kind of parody or reinterpretation. I’m hoping someone comes out with Eloise, Vampire Hunter. It would combine our generation’s love of vampires and put some edge back into a classic story for kids.

 

4 Responses to Parodies of Classic Children’s Stories

  1. Una Beaumont says:

    I think I know the Thomas books off by heart…lol

    • Monica says:

      The week started out with The Hillywood Show reelsaing their Vampire Diaries Parody.a0 The Hillywood Show have made parodies of all three of the first Twilight Saga movies and I’m a big fan!a0 You can watch the new parody HERE.

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