Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 The Three Little Nutsacks
My children's book got turned down by an agent a few weeks ago. I'm pretty sure that was because this particular agent doesn't deal with books that have that many words, and not due to a quality issue. It couldn't possibly be a quality issue. And I'm not saying this to protect my ego. I'm saying this because as a parent of a four-year old, I can no longer keep silent about some of what passes for children's literature these days.
Exhibit A is the book in the photo below, which we got at a used bookstore. M. Edium picked this one, because we wouldn't have, signed by the author or not (which it is). Check it out.
The title's kind of a clever, if somewhat obvious, pun: a play on "The Three Little Pigs," but with the P changed to an F. You can easily picture a classic fairy tale, reimagined to focus on three items of produce. Maybe it is a cute story. But then you look at the illustration, and how do you not see a trio of scrotums?
And don't put this on me, saying it never would have occurred to you if I'd only given this entry a different title. We showed it cold to our server at lunch on Saturday, and she was frankly shocked. "How did nobody catch that?" she wondered along with us.
We can only conclude that this was an intentional act, disguised as a witty reboot, but designed to help young children prepare to deal with a world populated by talking, pendulous, greenish-purple scroti. There's no other explanation.
Because it's not like the story is much of a draw. The villain here is a clever gopher, who is able to talk two of the three figs (whose mother literally kicked them out of the tree, a clear sign of something from a woman who already named her beloved offspring Fig Number One, Fig Number Two, and Fig Number Three). There's a brief rant about food that comes from machines (unlike figs, which are so tasty the way most of us normally enjoy them, in their natural rind of Newton), and the overall objective of the figs is simply to survive until the famer takes them to Supermarket City. And it ends with the line, "And they lived happily ever after. For the next three days." Yay?
But even if I don't know what M. Edium was supposed to learn from this story, I know what I've learned. If I'm going to break into children's publishing, I'm going to need balls. Greenish-purple ones, preferably. posted by M. Giant 9:45 PM 3 comments
Here's my pitch: the story focuses on Colin, a brave little e. coli who journeys from the shiny pink swamp up the narrow river to Miss Matilda's bladder, where he throws a wild and wonderful party. This makes Colin very popular with the other bacteria, but it makes a terrible mess.
I also think you should go ahead and write a story called "The Three Little Nutsacks." It could be for pre-teen boys. You know, educational.
As someone who works on prostate cancer I'm with Febrifuge. Educational nutsack children's book. Sounds great.