Seriously, Just Go to Sleep

Adam Mansbach, Author, Ricardo Cortes, Illustrator
Adam Mansbach, illus. by Ricardo Cortés. Akashic, $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-61775-078-6
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 32 pages - 978-1-4532-5831-6
Open Ebook - 18 pages - 978-1-299-96926-1
Ebook - 32 pages - 978-1-4532-5776-0
Ebook - 32 pages - 978-1-61775-349-7
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-62448-0
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Like Cee Lo Green, whose “F**k You!” went from obscenity-based soul to squeaky-clean pop, Mansbach and Cortés recast 2011’s Go the F**k to Sleep for wider audiences. The changes diminish the cathartic humor of the original: Go the F**k to Sleep acknowledged how a sleepless child can drive a parent to cursing, bitter tears, and self-reproach. This version (dedicated “to all the children... may your kids bring you as much joy as you’ve brought us”) speaks reasonably, if curtly, to children up late. Mansbach leaves his four-line stanzas in the same order, censoring punch lines without improving on clunky rhymes. “Hell no” becomes “No way,” and “I know you’re not thirsty. That’s bullshit. Stop lying” becomes “I know you’re not thirsty. You just had a drink./ Stop goofing around now, and sleep.” Cortés makes only minor substitutions in his surreal paintings of children, who snooze with sleepy tigers or restlessly occupy their cribs. Given infinitely better options like Dinosaur vs. Bedtime and Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! young and old ought to skip this unfunny, off-key revision. All ages. (Apr.)
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