Childrens Books Spark Adult Miscues
Often writers embed tidbits for adults into their books for children. Kids may not understand the subtle adult humor underlying the text and pictures. At least we hope they don’t because often this humor is curiously suggestive. Not that we judge; they do give us a chuckle. Sometimes the humor is the result of an adult miscue that causes us to read more into an illustration or text than we should. This is especially true with older books, like those we find on our orange shelves. Those of us with a more refined sense of humor collect these books because we enjoy them more than maybe we should. Take a look with us at a few of the more curious kids books that sneak from an author’s pen, through agents and editors, past publishers and buyers, and onto our shelves.
As a disclaimer, these are fine, respectable books and our reading says more about us. It takes a twisted sense of humor to appreciate these miscues. Who knows what this says about us, but working in a bookstore you come across some titles that can’t escape notice.
The I Can Read series scores high on our adult miscue scale with Made by God: Cats, Dogs, Hamsters and Horses. Too bad for all the duck-billed platypuses, ostriches and toucans who are created by…Satan?
Have you heard about Cow’s Ding Dong Bell? If so, then you can keep that to yourself. We sincerely apologize. We can’t help these miscues. Our reading process is fatally flawed.
Animals figure largely in our miscues but for decency’s sake we will skip the horsey books to maintain some semblance of decorum. Dogs, however, are fair game. The Dog: Why Do Dogs Love to Sniff never answers its own question. It shares many other doggy qualities, but we still don’t know why they sniff? Perhaps that is what Google is for–or maybe not. We get in trouble on Google too.
The cover of our next curious book features a sexy clock with a fancy hat posing with animated mushrooms. Where do we begin? Conrad the Clock says more than it appears to say by flashing those shapely gams.
Bob the Builder can always be counted on for a double take. Take Bob’s Busy Screwdriver. Please. The writers could have chosen any tool, but they chose the one to spark sophomoric bouts of giggles. The imitated shape of the screwdriver only makes it worse.
The board book Balls features an adorable Elmo playing with his favorite toys. Forget the pubescent humor about balls in general. The kicker is the sticker at the bottom proclaiming, “with BIG FLAPS”. Okay, Elmo. We understand what you mean, but really guys? Really?
Last but not least, we highlight the Boy Scout Songbook. Nothing wrong with that, right? Wholesome, all-American and stuff–except that its cover depicts a group of Boy Scouts on fire and screaming. Quit singing and help those boys stop, drop and roll!
These are not the worst offenders. Even we won’t go there. You’ll see them on our shelves though. When you do, have a laugh with us because we noticed too. If you’d like to share your adult miscues and double-takes, feel free to tag us on Instagram at @BookmansAZ.
* Bookmans is your store to explore. If you would like to pick up a title from this list or another children’s book, please give us a call and we will check our shelves for you. Otherwise, we hope you will come and browse.