Expletive-laced kids book parody is unlikely hit

Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:11am EDT
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(Warning: Use of strong language in paragraphs 1, 5, 11, 12)

By Mark Egan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Adam Mansbach has had three novels and a book of poems published but it was a brief Facebook update wishing his two-year-old daughter would "Go the F--- to Sleep" which helped him hit publishing gold.

Now a year later, the resulting parody of a children's book may be the unlikeliest hit book of the summer.

Ahead of U.S. publication on Tuesday, the expletive-laced book of rhyming verse has advance sales of over 100,000 copies and is in its fifth printing, which takes copies in print to over 400,000.

The movie rights have been bought by Fox 2000.

"After a particularly difficult time putting my two-year-old daughter Vivien to bed, I posted on Facebook ... 'Be on the lookout for my forthcoming children's book, Go the F--- to Sleep,'" Mansbach recalls of the unlikely night which changed his professional life. "It was a joke. It was not a book I had any intention of writing at the time."

Mansbach got a good response and in the coming weeks retold his joke again and again, winning positive reactions from fellow bleary-eyed parents who urged him to write the book.

Eventually he did, aiming to voice the love a parent has for a child while capturing the inner frustration of a parent who, however loving, also hears a darker inner narrative as the task of bedtime drags on and on.   Continued...