After reading a New York Times article about adult-themed children's book parodies for adults, I asked you all how you felt about kids' books for adults. Thanks to all who participated. Most of you are neutral to iffy about them. One person says that children's book parodies make a fair amount of money for the bookstore where he or she works.
Like any book, there are good ones and bad ones. "I think it's a great way to reconnect with the books you loved (or perhaps hated) as a child. The best parodies carry and underlying mature-themed message or commentary on the world, post-childhood innocence," one respondent said.
More details and comments:
Nearly 32% of you weren't crazy about adult-themed children's book parodies. 26% didn't mind, 13% didn't care, 11% of you love them, 8% hatehateHATE them.
Some of your comments:
"I'm not crazy about them personally, but they make a fair amount of money for the bookstore I work at."
"The punning of the titles always makes me laugh and admire the wit of the person who dreamt them up, but for me the humour is more in the fact of them than the contents of the books. I enjoy seeing them at till points and on tables in humour sections of bookshops but wouldn't go as far as to actually buy one unless it was very cheap or as e.g. a Secret Santa gift."
"I find them sort of pointless. Good for a "heh" in the bookstore, but are you really going to treasure them for years? - @electricland"
"If they're done well enough, they can be fun, but too often I'd be horrified if my kids found and read them - and since they look like kids' books, if they found them they would probably read them. Some could be hurtful. Many just confusing."
"I am entertained but I think the authors need to take more care than they do with their parodies. Mum bought me Goodnight iPad and it doesn't do a good job with the scansion. I think this is a legacy of being Phil's partner - if you're going to Filk something, DO IT RIGHT! I printed out a copy of the additional text someone has written for The Very Hungry Caterpillar with the intention of reading it in a filk circle, and I'd probably buy it if it came out as a book."
"True parodies for adults are great - if shelved in the right section. But I HATE finding them in with the other picture books. And the ones that then go the other way, and try to adapt the parody for adults into something suitable for kids? I've never seen one that worked. - @IshtaWrites"
"I think they perpetuate the belief that a children's book is somehow less of a 'real' book because it's for a child."
"I think it's a fad so far, kicking out clever novelty items, similar to novelty records. It might continue on for a while in the same way Weird Al Yankovic keeps spitting out CDs, but I don't see it becoming a market segment. I think within this small sub-genre there is room for works that are not satirical and snarky, but more thought provoking. It could be a way to make a point regarding some social issue for example, but that market will also only support a very limited number of titles."
"I think it's a great way to reconnect with the books you loved (or perhaps hated) as a child. The best parodies carry and underlying mature-themed message or commentary on the world, post-childhood innocence. I just read The Taking Tree yesterday and loved it."
"Yeah, why not? I guess I've got a chuckle out of one or two of them. I try not to get angry at people who are having fun wrong. @aiabx"
"Would you include Go the Bleep to Sleep in this category? It was a fun one-time-read, but I didn't feel it was worth producing as a book and having on the shelf. Feel the same way about Sense and Sensibility and Zombies, though. A joke taken much too far. Cheapens and deadens a text I love. - Aino Anto"
"Wrote 3! Picture books for adults so simple (but layered) that even a child could understand. Works at many levels."
"I think they can be clever, but more often than not, they're gimmicky and annoying. I have never purchased one."
You can also see other current and past surveys in the Inkygirl Survey Archives.