Friday, June 17, 2011

Why the ___ Didn’t I Write That Book First?

Okay, I’d guess by now that a good number of our Paper Wait readers have read Adam Mansbach’s hilarious bestselling picture book, Go the F___ to Sleep.

If not, here’s a snippet…

The cats nestle close to their kittens,

The lambs have laid down with the sheep.

You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear.

Please go the ____ to sleep.

Although a PDF of the book, leaked by industry insiders, went viral months ago, the actual print version debuted his week. Despite causing some controversy among readers who thought it was in bad taste, the book has been wildly successful. It has already sold hundreds of thousands of copies—in time for Father’s Day gifts, no doubt--and is now number one on The NY Times' bestseller list. Can you guess under which category it’s listed? Hint: It’s not picture books.

And the answer is….Hardcover Advice and Miscellaneous. That categorization made me laugh. I suppose some readers, primarily sleep-deprived, grumpy, borderline-lunatic parents, might think this parody really does offer up helpful advice. I was one of those parents myself, not too many years ago, and I definitely let a choice word or two slip out when all else failed. I remember it being helpful to me at the time.

I read that several spinoffs of Mansbach’s book are already in the works. This makes me wonder where he’ll take his irreverent take on parenting next. How about... What the _______ is That ______ in Your Diaper?

So, who out there has read the book? Did you love it or hate it? Just for fun: What kind of spinoffs would you guess are in the works?

p.s. Happy Father’s Day, Dads!


  1. Yeah, I've read it - was one of the zillion who read the PDF online before the pub. date.

    I thought most of the meter and rhyme worked, but there were certainly some rough patches. The illustrations were delightful.

    Novelty adult book makes millions. Hope Adam Mansbach shares some of the loot with his ________ kid someday!

  2. As a parent of a child who had chronic ear infections, I went for two solid years without a good night's sleep. I can sympathize with the book's sentiment.

    And of course, when our babies started eating all those strained veggies in a jar, as we watched shades of green and orange trickle down tiny chins didn't we all think, "How can you eat that ____?"

    And to come full circle with J.L.'s post, why the ____ don't I think of the next ________ book that sells a million ________ copies?

  3. Some people insist on pretending that all children are little cherubic bundles of gerber joy and are darling little innocents.
    This is obviously not the book for those people.
    Or maybe it is -- if you're sick of their lack a grip on reality.

    Hmmm.... maybe I'll write the one about teenagers. It'll be called GET THE *&^% OFF FACEBOOK AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

  4. Remember a few years back when there was a list of "picture book titles that never made it"? This sounds like it's from that, lol! OMGosh...too funny.

    And I'm worried about dropping the random f-bomb in my YA...

  5. Corey: It's not the first time I've asked myself that same question...

    Gale: Yeah, he's going to make a _______load of money from that book.

    J.A. I sympathize with it too. I also admire how he was still able to be clever in his sleep-deprived state. When my kids were up all night I was Zombie Mom.

    English Teacher: Your teen title cracked me up!

    Robin: Any chance you can dredge up that list? I'd love to see it.

    Thanks to all for your funny--and telling--comments.