: : crazybrave has moved to <a href="http://crazybrave.net">http://crazybrave.net/</a>: You wouldn't read about it

Sunday, October 03, 2004

You wouldn't read about it

I have something uncomfortable in common with Robert Corr. We've both recently read a Miranda Devine article and agreed with every word she said. In his case, it was about Darfur.

In mine, it was the dark side of children's books. Andy Griffiths writes books for kids, and his books are loved by many kids who aren't otherwise really into reading, especially boys. There's a lot of poo, of course, and general grossness. The day my bum went psycho” is probably the best known.

His new book is called "The Bad Book". It sounds tops. Listen to this ... "One of the characters in the book, Bad Daddy, always says "no" to his son until finally the child asks for permission to breathe. The exasperated father shouts "NO!" and the boy keels over dead." Now, that is FUNNY.

"Booksellers go psycho when poo hits the fan", an SMH article on 25 September which is now archived from free access, said:

"A children's bookseller, Kate Colley, of Bloomin' Books Caringbah, said: "I'm not a prude, and a lot of the book is fun. But after reading the whole thing, I couldn't sleep." She cited the stories of a grandmother eating her own excrement, a child setting a cat on fire, and a mother sending her child across a six-lane road to be run over by a truck. "This is the first book I've refused to stock in 15 years. But some of us have to take a stand ... I don't think children need this, with so much violence going on."

Richard Hogan, the Angus & Robertson franchisee in Warriewood, said he kept The Bad Book in his storeroom.

"We've sold Griffiths extremely well before, but we don't think this one has a place in a responsible bookshop," he said. "We'll sell it if people ask for it, but we won't promote or display it."

That last guy's a real man of principle, hey? What a self-deluding turd.

I found in an op shop recently a copy of Douglas Macleod's "In the Garden of Badthings" a book of kids' poetry I ADORED as a child. I was thrilled, and immediately bought it for my two year old son. I can't wait to read him "Steam-roller Sam", which starts:

"Oh, lend me an ear and I'll happily tell
The story of steam-roller Sam
Who handled a steam-roller terribly well
And squashed all his neighbours to jam.

He flattened the Mayor, who was caught unaware,
And flattened the Minister too
Then, just for good measure, with merciless pleasure
He ironed the council to glue ..."

That's not horrifying. What's happening in Darfur is what's horrifying.