Monday, September 17, 2007

The Worst Book Ever

Have you see Richard Cohen's book for kids? CLICK HERE It's a picture book that looks like it's for kids up to about kindergarten age, called Alfie's Home. Here's a synopsis of the plot:
  • A little boy was not happy
  • His dad worked and yelled a lot, and his mom cried
  • Uncle Pete came over and was nice, and had sex with the little boy
  • Then, when the boy was bigger, the other kids called him a faggot
  • He went to a counselor who told him he wasn't gay: "I just missed my Dad's love and was taught wrong things by my uncle."
  • The counselor told Dad the little boy needs more attention, and worked with the parents
  • The boy got close with his father
  • Uncle Pete was sorry
  • And now the boy is happy

All told with simple pictures, one or two sentences on a page, a regular picture-book for a toddler.

Anybody who actually reads this book to a preschool-age child should be shot. That's the first thing.

But this book isn't for kids, it's for adults.

It might be that some people who think they're gay really aren't. It is possible that some stupid person would hear about that and infer that all people who think they're gay really aren't. Is that the point -- is that what he's trying to do here?

(And there might be people who think they're straight and really aren't, causing that same stupid person's head to explode.)

If you had any doubts about Richard Cohen's general level of creepiness, this should dispel them. He has written this thing to look like a children's book, but this material is not suitable for children, and it's not for them, obviously, this is for their parents.

But, can you imagine if some gung-ho ideologue actually read this junk to their kid?

Oh, hey, has a review from School Library Journal that says, in part:
Everything about this book screams fake. The illustrations are flat and garish in their simplicity, lacking any personality or appeal. If the generic illustrations aren't a complete turnoff, the saccharine tone of the writing gives further challenge to credibility. If readers were able to ignore the presentation, there is still the message of the text to choke them. A boy from a dysfunctional family who is abused throughout his childhood and into his teens sees a counselor and everything is suddenly wonderful. Now if everything is pulled together, there is still a problem-the format of a picture book with large print makes this look like a book for preschoolers, but the writing attempt is aimed more at preteens who would scorn such a presentation-and rightly so.-Nancy A. Gifford, Schenectady County Public Library, NY

Yes, exactly.

The comments at Amazon are great, too.


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