I was so excited to talk with Sherryl Connelly of The Daily News all about Are You My Boyfriend? And I’ll admit, I was an eensy weensy bit less excited when the resulting article didn’t really reflect what we discussed. But you know what? #AYMBF was in The Daily News and I am grateful. And Sherryl was really kind.
Check out the piece on their site or read the full text here:
One of the biggest trends in publishing is satires of children’s board books
Originally published on NYDailyNews.com
P.D. Eastman had the right idea, but the wrong generation.
Instead of writing “Are You My Mother?,” the initial-named children’s book writer could’ve been on top of an even more exciting wave in publishing: board book parodies for adults.
This month, a new satire, C.B. Bryza’s “Are You My Boyfriend?,” hits bookshops — the latest book seeking to profit on a mini-boomlet that has followed the obscene success of “Go the F— to Sleep” by Adam Mansbach in 2011.
That classic parental bedtime lament — the perfect gift for anyone raising a newborn — led to another hit, “Goodnight iPad,” a dead on parody of the ripe-for-parody “Goodnight Moon,” and boosted sales for the adults-only “All My Friends A re Dead.”
“You pick up one of these books and you expect it to be cute, and maybe it’s not so cute,” says Avery Monsen, who co-wrote “All My Friends Are Dead” with Jory John. “That can be funny.”
Bryza’s “Are You My Boyfriend? A Picture Book for Grown-Up Children” follows the format of Eastman’s earlier work — with a twist: a young woman opens another wedding invitation in front of a refrigerator door plastered with such “Save the Date” nuptial notices. And like the bird searching for its mom, she asks herself, “Where is my boyfriend?”
She wanders high and low: The boyfriend is none of the people she meets: not the tough guy, the wealthy cad, the artsy lad or the gay guy. But there is a happily ever after.
Another parody to be published this month is “Movies R Fun! A Collection of Cinematic Class for the Pre-(Film) School Cinephile,” by Josh Cooley.
The author, a Pixar artist who worked on “Cars” and “Ratatouille,” was inspired to write after his daughter was born and his days of couch-surfing to R-rated movies were drawing to a close.
If you can’t watch ’em, draw ’em; Cooley illustrated classic scenes from films such as “Pulp Fiction,” “The Shining,” “Taxi Driver” and “The Silence of the Lambs” to make them look as though they’re suitable for the kids.
Of course, they’re still adults-only stuff: “You talking to me?” asks Travis Bickle, albeit pictured in storybook style.
Not every kid’s book parody does well, of course. “Dancing With Jesus: Featuring a Host of Miraculous Moves” ended up not living up to its hilarious title, and “Bi-Curious George: An Unauthorized Parody” by Andrew Simonian sold just 1,000 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks such things.
That’s a pity because the book is a dead-on satire — in this case, featuring a little monkey who ends up in the arms of the man in purple beret. Raucous, though adults-only, hijinks ensue.