Although not all children’s books are stuffed with rainbows and lollipops, especially the French ones, most kids’ book authors tend to stick with the relentlessly sunnier side of things. This tyranny of pleasantries seems to have finally made one such author snap, though.
Bob Staake, author of Donut Chef, Mary Had a Little Lamp, and My Little Color Book, has apparently gone rogue. He recently unveiled on his website 26 examples of “bad children’s books”, aka children’s books that I would totally read right now. These dead-on parodies of Little Golden Books and their ilk include titles such as The Big Book of Drownings and Dead Whales Can’t Wave Back (and the Japanese Are to Blame), featuring children on the shore waving at a bunch of floating whale carcasses.
This isn’t Staake’s first foray into more adult fare; he is also an illustrator for The New Yorker, responsible for the famous “Reflection” cover following President Obama’s election in 2008, among others. After seeing the dark humor he brings to these mock-up covers, here’s hoping Staake will follow them up with actual book-length parodies eventually.
Have a look through more of the covers in the slide show above.