Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Book Review of Go the F*ck to Sleep ...

A little while ago I received an email inviting me to write reviews for the Blogcritics site. I was really pleased to be asked and have written a couple of reviews so far. The following review appeared on Blogcritics today. I have to say that I really loved this book - it actually made me laugh out loud!

Article first published as Book Review: Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach on Blogcritics.

A Review of Go the F*ck to Sleep, by Adam Mansbach

As a mother of two boys now aged 11 and 13 I can only wish that this book had been written when I was struggling through sleepless nights and ghastly bedtimes with my little dears! I think that any parent with young children will recognise the tone of voice in which this book is written – recognising the frantic desperation and ever present guilt suffered by parents. I would have loved, as I cried myself to sleep, to have known that I was not alone in being “fed up”, to say the least, with being a mum!

I laughed out loud at the beautifully written lines which would give a Gruffalo a run for his money! The juxtaposition of gorgeous illustrations, courtesy of Ricardo Cortes, and the poetry that mimics many a children’s story book taps into the rebellious side of any parent. Each stanza ends with a desperate, but wickedly funny line that had me giggling with guilty understanding.
At a glance Go the F*ck to Sleep with its bright paintings of babies, kittens, moonlight and mountains  would slip into any nursery bookcase, but maybe this would not be a wise idea. It’s more a guilty pleasure – to be savoured away from young eyes.

I think that this book should definitely take its place as a compulsory gift, given about three weeks after becoming first time parents. It’s about this time you realise that having a baby is not a laugh a minute and the guilt over the thought that maybe having a baby wasn’t such a great idea after all, is just kicking in. Haggard and exhausted parents the world over would benefit from a read of this, accompanied by a glass of wine or a large bar of chocolate. Possibly both.

Adam Mansbach has taken a bold step in writing a book that totally understands an unspoken part of parenthood. I don’t imagine there are too many parents who can honestly say they don’t identify with Mansbach’s take on the art of being a mum or dad and haven’t spent time trying desperately to get a child to sleep. Part of me cringes at the use of the “F” word like this, but somehow it works. It’s funny – very funny. Placing an expletive in the title of what appears to be a children’s book is a real taboo, but obviously, this is not a children’s book and when you are drowning in a never ending stream of nursery rhymes in the sugary sweet realm of early parenthood Go the F*ck to Sleep is a refreshing shot of reality.


Inkling said...

And now I want you to video yourself reading this book to us the way preschool teachers read to their students so we can see the pictures too. The F word hasn't crossed my mind during the 2.5 years of trying to get my nightowl of a child to sleep, but this concept did make me laugh. I've often fantasized about the perfect drug that is harmless but able to knock a child out night after night instantly. Yes, I think your idea of giving this book to parents after they've had a taste of sleep deprivation is a funny one. =)

Eve said...

I've heard of this book and I'd love to get a copy! My kids are all grown, 29, 27 and 25...but they have kids and I think they'd all really appreciate this looks really super funny!