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Bad Little Children's Books: KidLit Parodies, Shameless Spoofs, and Offensively Tweaked Covers

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In Bad Little Children’s Books, illustrator Arthur C. Gackley creates hysterical parodies of children’s book covers from more innocent times. Many of these original books focus on life’s lessons, joys, and curiosities. Gackley cleverly takes the books’ classic covers and turns them into unforgettable, edgy, politicaly incorrect parodies that speak to the bad little kid in In Bad Little Children’s Books, illustrator Arthur C. Gackley creates hysterical parodies of children’s book covers from more innocent times. Many of these original books focus on life’s lessons, joys, and curiosities. Gackley cleverly takes the books’ classic covers and turns them into unforgettable, edgy, politicaly incorrect parodies that speak to the bad little kid in all of us. With a catalog of children’s book titles like Peeping Tommy Goes Cougar Hunting, Cousin Milky Is Lactose Intolerant, and The Blind Child’s Picture Dictionary, this collection will have readers in stitches. A fun read for parents, grown-ups, and kids-at-heart everywhere, Bad Little Children’s Books leaves no bad joke unmade.


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In Bad Little Children’s Books, illustrator Arthur C. Gackley creates hysterical parodies of children’s book covers from more innocent times. Many of these original books focus on life’s lessons, joys, and curiosities. Gackley cleverly takes the books’ classic covers and turns them into unforgettable, edgy, politicaly incorrect parodies that speak to the bad little kid in In Bad Little Children’s Books, illustrator Arthur C. Gackley creates hysterical parodies of children’s book covers from more innocent times. Many of these original books focus on life’s lessons, joys, and curiosities. Gackley cleverly takes the books’ classic covers and turns them into unforgettable, edgy, politicaly incorrect parodies that speak to the bad little kid in all of us. With a catalog of children’s book titles like Peeping Tommy Goes Cougar Hunting, Cousin Milky Is Lactose Intolerant, and The Blind Child’s Picture Dictionary, this collection will have readers in stitches. A fun read for parents, grown-ups, and kids-at-heart everywhere, Bad Little Children’s Books leaves no bad joke unmade.

30 review for Bad Little Children's Books: KidLit Parodies, Shameless Spoofs, and Offensively Tweaked Covers

  1. 5 out of 5

    karen

    this book is a hoot. it is designed like a traditional little golden book, but it's about three times as thick, and filled with 121 hilariously rejiggered children's book covers. there's plenty of filler, sure, and the framing device/explanation of these covers as found art is unnecessary and not particularly funny. publishers - FYI, this is one of those "if you build it, they will come" concepts and you don't need to fancy it up with backstory. just show us the covers, and we will giggle. ob this book is a hoot. it is designed like a traditional little golden book, but it's about three times as thick, and filled with 121 hilariously rejiggered children's book covers. there's plenty of filler, sure, and the framing device/explanation of these covers as found art is unnecessary and not particularly funny. publishers - FYI, this is one of those "if you build it, they will come" concepts and you don't need to fancy it up with backstory. just show us the covers, and we will giggle. observe: did i hear a giggle out there over in michigan, maybe? nebraska? are you snickering, filthy goodreads friends? i know i'll get a guffaw out of eh (who is an excellent driver) with this one: sadly, i recognized very few of these covers from their originals which i think means i had a lousy childhood. but there's this one: and this one: and the title of this one, if not the cover: and a handful of others that make it clear that i did have a childhood, with memories. but this one? i neither recognize the original nor do i even understand the joke of the "new" cover. is there some cultural reference i am missing? but ahhhh - this one - not only do i understand it, but i think it would be an excellent drinking game. and a difficult one. these are probably my top faves, for their sheer bizarre surrealism and the fact that i want to read them like right now: and of course i love anything that speaks to what little monsters kids can be: not that animals are any better or fathers or even artists they aren't all modified from children's books (at least i don't think this one was ever intended to be for children, but what do i know?) and they touch upon important contemporary issues like vaccination: abortion: zika: and the most controversial plague of our time: so, if you have a childish sense of humor but are not, in fact, a child, you will probably find some laughs here. and you might actually learn a thing or two, like this: which animal-nipple situation i am personally learning about right now, with poor maggie's MRI-shaved tummy revealing her icky little nubs - warning: NSFW she looks like a little gorilla! despite how many examples there are in this book, i managed to find some online that didn't make the cut, somehow: which is a shame, because i love them so. more can be found here: https://www.babble.com/kid/bad-little... and http://designtaxi.com/news/353581/Bad... enjoy having your childhood shattered! come to my blog!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    Warning: this book is racist, sexist, ageist, Islamophobic and in general regrettably tasteless and likely to offend any right-thinking person. It's also very funny. Damn. I didn't say that. A few covers that karen seems to have missed: Warning: this book is racist, sexist, ageist, Islamophobic and in general regrettably tasteless and likely to offend any right-thinking person. It's also very funny. Damn. I didn't say that. A few covers that karen seems to have missed:

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    Children's books of the 20th century were always so nauseatingly innocent so as to appear deliberately insidious, hiding the uglier truths of life with cute little lessons to guide kids on their way to becoming well-behaved programmed adults. Bad Little Children's Books aims to destroy that glossy veneer with hilarious editing and revamping; mind you, this is not a book intended for children themselves, nor does it suggest that picture books are a bad thing at all - but for adult readers, it's a Children's books of the 20th century were always so nauseatingly innocent so as to appear deliberately insidious, hiding the uglier truths of life with cute little lessons to guide kids on their way to becoming well-behaved programmed adults. Bad Little Children's Books aims to destroy that glossy veneer with hilarious editing and revamping; mind you, this is not a book intended for children themselves, nor does it suggest that picture books are a bad thing at all - but for adult readers, it's a wake-up call for them to reconsider what exactly their kids are learning and reading, as well as a comedic look at parodies of some of the golden age of Little Golden Books. While some were a bit repetitive the further I got through the book, Bad Little Children's Books does feature plenty of funny content, and there's a lot of talent involved in making these fake covers appear genuine and helping the wacky edited titles to blend in. It reminded me a lot of the works of Edward Gorey as well as The Addams Family to a much lesser extent, and it was funny without pushing the envelope to the point of being just weird or over-the-top. This is definitely a book I would recommend to older readers, especially those who like art and comedy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Hey, everyone -- remember the Little Golden Books? Possibly hearing the series name will release a warm and gentle feeling of nostalgia while recalling such titles as The Poky Little Puppy, Scuffy the Tugboat, The Little Red Caboose, or The Jolly Barnyard from many years ago. Ah, the memories! Now be prepared to have said memories lovingly trashed (if only for the quick twenty minutes it takes to read it) with the politically incorrect to the max Bad Little Children's Books. Absolutely nothing is Hey, everyone -- remember the Little Golden Books? Possibly hearing the series name will release a warm and gentle feeling of nostalgia while recalling such titles as The Poky Little Puppy, Scuffy the Tugboat, The Little Red Caboose, or The Jolly Barnyard from many years ago. Ah, the memories! Now be prepared to have said memories lovingly trashed (if only for the quick twenty minutes it takes to read it) with the politically incorrect to the max Bad Little Children's Books. Absolutely nothing is safe or held sacred in this comical collection of fake but plausible-looking covers, all illustrated to practically resemble the classic LGB editions from the 50's and 60's. Everything and everyone is targeted here -- Soapbox Derby Badass on Wheels: The Stephen Hawking Story, The Final Performance of Depresso the Clown, The Little Engine That Couldn't Get it Up Without Viagra and "Mommy, What's a MILF?" Yes, much of it is in questionable taste (or just simply tasteless), and I imagine some readers could be easily offended by what they see. However, if you were a fan of MAD or National Lampoon's magazines as a teenager you will find the humor to be similar in nature.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kaye

    I reject the idea that I have to laugh at stereotypes that add to the oppression and bigotry aimed toward me and people like me. I reject the idea that I need to accept my pain so you can feel comfortable with what you deem art - which by the way is nothing but pulp and paper with no heart and soul in it. Art is meant to free. It is meant to educate. It is meant to have a proper sense of who it reaches out to, and is meant to bring together rather than isolate. If you, as a fellow children's autho I reject the idea that I have to laugh at stereotypes that add to the oppression and bigotry aimed toward me and people like me. I reject the idea that I need to accept my pain so you can feel comfortable with what you deem art - which by the way is nothing but pulp and paper with no heart and soul in it. Art is meant to free. It is meant to educate. It is meant to have a proper sense of who it reaches out to, and is meant to bring together rather than isolate. If you, as a fellow children's author was brave enough to tell me yesterday, would rather embrace this "social commentary" over an actual Muslim woman's experiences and struggles every single day in her own country, go ahead. But don't expect us not to deem your art lacking, tasteless and heartless. Do not expect us to hold out our own hearts for you to wound them. Abrams Books, congratulations on embracing hatred as your primary readership.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joséphine (Word Revel)

    How anyone thought this was a good idea is beyond me. Sure, the title of the book warns the reader that the imagined book covers will be offensive but that doesn't excuse insensitivity towards other cultures. There are two examples from the book that Kelly Jensen posted on Book Riot which are downright racist (http://bookriot.com/2016/12/02/its-not-funny-its-racist). That the editorial team and publisher went ahead and released this is incredibly irresponsible. How anyone thought this was a good idea is beyond me. Sure, the title of the book warns the reader that the imagined book covers will be offensive but that doesn't excuse insensitivity towards other cultures. There are two examples from the book that Kelly Jensen posted on Book Riot which are downright racist (http://bookriot.com/2016/12/02/its-not-funny-its-racist). That the editorial team and publisher went ahead and released this is incredibly irresponsible.

  7. 4 out of 5

    M

    I understand satire. But satire is about spreading TRUTH, not promoting hate. This book is completely racist and not funny. It promotes Islamaphobia, xenophobia, and more. It should be immediately pulled from the shelves. Here is one of the "jokes": photo via: http://bookriot.com/2016/12/02/its-no... I understand satire. But satire is about spreading TRUTH, not promoting hate. This book is completely racist and not funny. It promotes Islamaphobia, xenophobia, and more. It should be immediately pulled from the shelves. Here is one of the "jokes": photo via: http://bookriot.com/2016/12/02/its-no...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nuzaifa - Word Contessa

    Flagging this racist, phobic "book". See details on my Twitter thread here: https://twitter.com/wordcontessa/stat... and on the Book Riot blog post here: http://bookriot.com/2016/12/02/its-no... Flagging this racist, phobic "book". See details on my Twitter thread here: https://twitter.com/wordcontessa/stat... and on the Book Riot blog post here: http://bookriot.com/2016/12/02/its-no...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Hannah

    Here's a thing that is not difficult to understand if you have a brain: saying the exact same thing as a bigot says about the exact same people the bigot says it about is not parody. It's not satire. It's not commentary. When you say it in exactly the same form and about the exact same people, it's just the same bigotry. If you can't understand the difference between allegorical stories that parody or make you question real systems of oppression and re-inscribing actual stereotypes that are harm Here's a thing that is not difficult to understand if you have a brain: saying the exact same thing as a bigot says about the exact same people the bigot says it about is not parody. It's not satire. It's not commentary. When you say it in exactly the same form and about the exact same people, it's just the same bigotry. If you can't understand the difference between allegorical stories that parody or make you question real systems of oppression and re-inscribing actual stereotypes that are harmful, you're trash. Like, if you like this book overall and can't recognize the deeply offensive parts (maybe there are a couple pages that are actual humor, like Walmartland, but not guffaw-level funny. I'm not funny at all, and I could come up with most of these, like "even girls fart," in about five minutes), you are probably a literal pile of trash in clothing. There is nothing "PC police" about this. There is just something intellectual: making statements identical to bigoted ones are the definition of being a bigot. Fuck this book, fuck Abrams, and fuck Bob Staake, and YES, I have actually seen the inside of the book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This book is going to be considered humorous to others but it was another I did not find funny. My husband says it is my lack of a sense of humor since he loves this book and found it laugh out loud funny.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lissa

    I've had this book on my Amazon wishlist for a while, but after the PC police got their knickers in a twist and managed to get the book pulled from the shelf, I just HAD to buy it. I mean, come on - banned books are kind of like a forbidden fruit to me, and I collect them as I can, just to see what, exactly, pissed people off so badly that they couldn't BEAR to exist in a world where this book was available for sale. Leading the charge was Book Riot, which is kind of hilariously hypocritical, bec I've had this book on my Amazon wishlist for a while, but after the PC police got their knickers in a twist and managed to get the book pulled from the shelf, I just HAD to buy it. I mean, come on - banned books are kind of like a forbidden fruit to me, and I collect them as I can, just to see what, exactly, pissed people off so badly that they couldn't BEAR to exist in a world where this book was available for sale. Leading the charge was Book Riot, which is kind of hilariously hypocritical, because they sell shit in their stores that are totally against banned books (socks, tote bags, etc), and yet one of their contributors was the one who whipped everyone in such a tizzy to get this book yanked from sale. Interesting... So, apparently, the title "Bad Little Children's Books: KidLit Parodies, Shameless Spoofs, and Offensively Tweaked Covers" [emphasis mine] doesn't give away the fact that, oh, I don't know, some people might find the book's contents OFFENSIVE. And there was definitely something in this book to offend almost everyone - for example, a bunch of little kids with Hitler mustaches (apparently Book Riot didn't find that offensive enough to mention - they were too busy slobbering over Islamophobia to care, I suppose). Look, I bitch and moan in my reviews all of the time. If I find something to be sexist, or racist, or whatever, I'll often call it out - but I stop when it comes to censorship. I find books like "Mein Kampf" and "The Turner Diaries" and a load of other shit as ridiculous and not really offering anything good to the world - BUT I HAVE NEVER CALLED FOR THEM TO BE BANNED. Because I don't like people, or groups, or the government, or anyone or anything telling me what I should and should not read. I do not like people telling me that I am incapable of processing something and seeing it for what it truly is. And I would never feel comfortable being in the role of telling others what should and should not be published or allowed in our society, either. And yes, I am quite aware that the PC police got whipped into such a frenzy that they managed to get the author of this book to call for its removal - but considering s/he didn't see anything wrong with it until the PC police got involved, I'm not impressed. And you know what? Some of the book covers were pretty funny. Some were super messed up, but I was kind of expecting that because - gasp! - I read the entire title of the book. It's amazing how informative reading the title can be; more people should try it! I'd definitely recommend this book - stick it to censorship! And not in a fake, "oh my god, I HATE censorship except when I'm calling for it" way (I AM LOOKING RIGHT AT YOU, BOOK RIOT), but in a "fuck censorship and anyone who tries to tell me what to read - YEAH, A BIG FUCK YOU RIGHT IN THE FACE" way. :P

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Farley

    I received this book as part of a giveaway, and because of that I looked at every page. This book is meant to sit on a coffee table and provide entertainment. Unfortunately, it would only do that job for about 30 seconds. Usually books of this type usually rely on creativity to be amusing. For me, 1 out of 10 covers were humorous. I feel that, if given blank covers, I could have come up with at least the same if not better titles. An improvement would have been if a small amount story had came a I received this book as part of a giveaway, and because of that I looked at every page. This book is meant to sit on a coffee table and provide entertainment. Unfortunately, it would only do that job for about 30 seconds. Usually books of this type usually rely on creativity to be amusing. For me, 1 out of 10 covers were humorous. I feel that, if given blank covers, I could have come up with at least the same if not better titles. An improvement would have been if a small amount story had came along with each cover. The only redeeming quality of this book was the art, 90% of which were original covers. The other 10% seemed to be inserted dildos or other props. In conclusion, this was a good idea in theory, but I feel the execution was poor. 2 stars for the idea.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tiffeny

    Completely politically incorrect, but very funny.

  14. 4 out of 5

    tony dillard jr

    Garbage Pail Kids... I remember how these irreverent parodies of Cabbage Patch Kids drove teachers and parents crazy. My mother oddly enough wasn't one of them. She didn't want me to become a Satanist by watching MTV or some 'drugged out hippie' and forbid me from listening to the Grateful Dead, but she actually bought me Garbage Pail Kids and loved them herself. Now jump ahead 20 years and there's a new version of Garbage Pail Kids. But it's not a series of trading cards and stickers. No, this Garbage Pail Kids... I remember how these irreverent parodies of Cabbage Patch Kids drove teachers and parents crazy. My mother oddly enough wasn't one of them. She didn't want me to become a Satanist by watching MTV or some 'drugged out hippie' and forbid me from listening to the Grateful Dead, but she actually bought me Garbage Pail Kids and loved them herself. Now jump ahead 20 years and there's a new version of Garbage Pail Kids. But it's not a series of trading cards and stickers. No, this generation's GPK is a little book called Bad Children's Books. The book itself looks like a Little Golden Book and inside is over 100 pages of very familar looking 'kid-lit parodies... shameless spoofs... and offensively tweaked covers.' That's not my words- that's actually what's on the cover. On the book's Amazon page are several reviews from what are considered some very liberal publications. From their blurbs, you can tell that they on in on the joke. From a majority of the customer reviews, you can tell that some readers were in on the joke. (In fact, the one negative review that this book got wasn't about content but that the print wasn't easy to read!) But in mid-December of last year, a social media flurry of complaints moved author and illustrator Arthur C. Gackley (Not his real name, it's a pseudonym) to request that publisher Harry N. Abrams to not only cancel a second print scheduled for later this year, but to pull all copies from shelves as well. The main complaints were that the book targeted people of different races, religions, and orientations. (Yes, the book makes fun of a lot of things, including what I just mentioned but it doesn't target anyone.) As a result, the book has instead of going the way dinosaur has in fact become a cult classic. It's sold out on Amazon and you can only get the book from independent sellers who now price the book anywhere from $30 (on Amazon) to $2000+ on eBay. Even my favorite charity, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has come to the Bad Little Children's Book aid and is in talks to helping publish a second edition despite cries for the book's demise. Bad Little Children's Books has become a bit of a cult classic in this Madman's family as well. In late November, I was at Barnes and Noble with my wife, mother-in-law, and wife's sister. I saw the book on display, flipped it a few times and then showed it to my wife. In turn, my wife showed it to her mom and sister and for the next hour, they all 3 sat at a table in the store, taking pictures of pages and telling everyone they knew about this crazy book. They didn't buy the book that day, but when we found out that the book was being discontinued, my wife and I ended up buying several copies for family members. Needless to say, the book has become a legend and source of much needed non-PC laughs. Should this book be required reading in schools or colleges? No, it's not appropriate for that. Should parents use discretion with the book around children? Yes, Yes YES! But there's more to it than just a few hurt feelings. When the call to censor this book hit Twitter people on social media weren't just asking the publisher to stop the second print. No, some folks on social media as went so far as to call for all existing copies to be seized (from homes and stores) and destroyed! Even though a book (that clearly marks itself as parody) maybe be offensive to some, it in no way should be banned or worse, burned! But we seem to go through this every couple of weeks with some social justice warrior believing that they have to save the world from what they deem to be in poor taste. I have a very dark sense of humor. It's who I am. After a day filled with social anxiety, I need some absurdity and craziness in my life to help take the edge off. That's why I find a book like this funny. It's also why I shared it with my bride as her job as a social worker requires her to let off a little steam with a healthy helping of the bizarre. Bad taste can often be what helps those in tough situations or places of employment get through another day. Besides, anything that can help brighten my wife or her family's day with a giggle or two is alright with me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    So I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. But the copy I received got trashed before I could read it because the postal worker delivered it to the seldom-used back door of our house, where it got rained on for four or five days. My own fault for not checking, I suppose, but you'd think they'd seal it in plastic or something before shipping. So I bought my own copy, because, darn it, I really wanted to read this book. The title really says it all. The story in the introduction is that Gackley cr So I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. But the copy I received got trashed before I could read it because the postal worker delivered it to the seldom-used back door of our house, where it got rained on for four or five days. My own fault for not checking, I suppose, but you'd think they'd seal it in plastic or something before shipping. So I bought my own copy, because, darn it, I really wanted to read this book. The title really says it all. The story in the introduction is that Gackley created these covers more or less contemporary with the books they parody. I'm dubious. Whenever they were created, they are certainly artfully done, with loving attention to detail (check, for instance, the detail in the little strip of gold near the spine on the front and back covers. Dead on parody of the Little Golden Books.) Humor topics tend to revolve around sex, violence, drugs, bodily functions, etc. Not a book for the little ones, obviously, but quite fun for the right audience. The book is a bit on the short side, but would probably be wearying at greater length. If your sense of humor runs to PG-13 and R, this will probably get at least a chuckle or two out of you. I'm not sure if a sequel will be equally good, but I'll be keeping an eye out nonetheless.

  16. 5 out of 5

    James Craig

    Very Amusing I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of parody children's book covers. My personal favorite is "Guess what, I got an iPhone!", though just about all of the images are terribly funny. Highly recommend for anyone with a functioning sense of humor who is not thin-skinned and overly sensitive.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    I was curious about this, I enjoy children's book parodies. I can handle offensive, if it's equal opportunity. And this was fairly equal. It just wasn't funny. Only reason I didn't give it one star is because the illustrations were good.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    This book tried way too hard to be funny.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    Hit or miss, as most of these types of books are, but the hits are laugh-out-loud funny. My family enjoyed passing it around at Christmas, because we have sick senses of humor. Thanks to my brother for the gift!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is one of those books that I absolutely adore. SO bad, SO inappropriate, SO good, and SO funny! If you are in ANY way humor impaired, don't even consider looking at the book. I did...and I laughed all the way through.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Darlene Vendegna

    Incredibly tasteless and borderline offensive to just about every possible group, from LGBT to Aryans to Jews to transplant patients and differently abled people, but also hysterically funny. Book covers fashioned and titled to look like Little Golden Books for Children.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Marsden

    This book is not "funny" or "edgy." It's hate speech. http://linkis.com/bookriot.com/2016/1... This book is not "funny" or "edgy." It's hate speech. http://linkis.com/bookriot.com/2016/1...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This book is hilarious if you like twisted dark humor. Alas, the book has been pulled from publication at the author's request.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heather Gibson

    Grossly funny in the most inappropriate way. Perfect for my taste.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    If you want a good laugh!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sean Kottke

    So wrong, in so many ways, but it provided the laughs I needed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    This provided a good, solid couple of minutes of entertainment and I appreciate the attention to detail in the artwork. Overall it's okay, but this is not nearly as good as Paperback Paradise on Twitter.

  28. 5 out of 5

    William Bevill

    Outstandingly sick. I have long loved seeing "memes" that take old children's books and pervert and distort them. This one is a laugh out loud book with some very not-for-children covers. If you like some really wrong humor, you're in for good times.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Terry Collins

    My sense of sophomoric humor kept me in stitches throughout the reading of this collection ... sure, some covers are funnier than others, but the winning volleys past the net soar with ample snark. Humor is subjective, but I found this entire book "a hoot." Big ass laffs!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    It's a funny little break from politically correct world. My husband laughed out loud at it.

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