I’ve read about half of this book, which has certainly provoked some thoughts, but the author wrote it as a private joke and so cannot be blamed for the pressure subsequently put on him to go public. Clearly, it fills a sincere need.
The idea isn’t new, as anyone who has sung ‘Hush a bye Baby’ at three in the morning knows – ‘When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, and down will come baby, cradle and all’ – does the singer ‘rock’ the baby with gritted teeth more and more energetically as s/he sings and the child fails to sleep?
Bedtime stories used to have their fair share of horror, from Grimm’s fairy tales to Hilaire Belloc’s cautionary verses for children who had distasteful social habits – some worse than others – chewing little bits of string attracts the same grisly fate as playing with matches, i.e. untimely death.
The one-trick joke of the new book is the juxtaposition of swear words with pictures and verses suitable for tiny children.
Has anyone read this to their child?
Are swear words really that shocking?