For parents who don’t want their kids sleeping all night, but rather staying up studying, Penguin Young Readers Group is publishing a parody of The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep early next year. That self-published picture book by Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin, a Swedish behavioral scientist, netted a seven-figure book deal from Random House after sales spiked following a wave of media attention around claims that the book would lull children to sleep. Penguin’s forthcoming title, The Rabbit Who Wants to Go to Harvard parodies Ehrlin’s book, as well as “helicopter” parents’ anxious ambitions for their children. “Zeldar the Great” is credited on the book’s jacket, “with help by” Diana Holquist and Christopher Eliopoulos. The original book is published under the Crown imprint at Random House Children’s Books, while the parody is being published under Penguin’s Dial Books for Young Readers imprint, effectively keeping the parody and source material under the Penguin Random House umbrella.
Author Holquist said in a release, “I wish that I had The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep when I had toddlers, but since I’ve got teens, I wondered what else Rabbit’s powerful, psychological techniques could achieve. Could they, for instance, help get my kids into Harvard?” Dial president and publisher Lauri Hornik, who will edit the book, called the book “Go the F**k to Sleep meets How to Raise an Adult – tremendously witty and timely, and just plain fun.” Alec Shane and Jodi Reamer of Writers House brokered the deal for world rights; the book publishes on February 9, 2016, with a first printing of 100,000 copies.