Ever since I became a dad I have read a lot more books. It is something I am keen for my kids to be passionate about and as a family we always try to find time to read with them. However, there are some children’s books that get me thinking. Perhaps a little too much. I’m certain that behind the bright colourful pictures and simple rhymes of these five stories, this is what they’re REALLY trying to say…
Greeneggs n ham lol 🙂
First published in 1960, Dr Seuss’ classic has gone on to sell millions of copies and dominate the best children’s books charts. Although most of you will know the story of Sam-I-am trying to get this unnamed thing to eat some green eggs and ham, you may not realise the Dr Seuss was a true visionary, predicting the depressing decline of the English language altogether. Clocking in with just 50 different words, even the most moronic of us who have been brought up on amazeballs, totes and emojis would have little trouble stretching their vocabulary to understand it.
Even more prophetic is that Sam-I-Am is clearly some ‘other’ trying to inflict his nonsensical foreign cuisine on that miserable hairy thing who wants nothing more but to sit with a copy of the Daily Mail and be offended by the fact the sun rises in the East (which makes it a terrorist). After the sheer bombardment, the miserable oaf finally gives in and realises that green eggs and ham really aren’t that bad after all and that he shouldn’t have been a close-minded bigoted twat in the first place.
Hairy ‘The Pest’ Maclary Scattercat
We’ve all been to nightclubs and spotted the desperate poor soul/pest/predator still scouring the dancefloor at the end of the night, yearning to hook up with someone, anyone, before the lights come on and its time to go home. The parallels to the slightly sinister tale of Hairy Maclary Scattercat are uncanny:
‘Hairy Maclary felt bumptious and bustly, bossy and bouncy and frisky and hustly… the MAIN thing he wanted was something to chase’.
Yes, we all know what’s going on here. It takes the toughest Tom in town Scarface Claw to send the seedy hound packing.
The Smartest Communist In Town
All are born equal, but some are born more equal than others. Like George. That’s mainly because he’s a giant. However, George has got a taste for lofty ambitions and decides he’s fed up with being a scruffy giant and wants to be BETTER. After kitting himself out with a nice smart suit he thinks he’s on the right track, but on his walk home he is reminded of his communal duties. Finding each of his neighbours in dire need, he comes to their aid by distributing parts of his suit – his tie to a giraffe with a cold neck, his sock to a fox who needs a sleeping bag, and so on. By the end he realises the error of his ways and returns to his scruffy, albeit kind, former self. Let that be a lesson to you all.
The Gangster Who Came To Tea
Sophie is having afternoon tea with her mum when a tiger knocks on the door, invites himself in and eats everything they have in the house. Of course, the tiger isn’t a real tiger – they can’t knock on doors and they’d probably prefer to eat Sophie’s mum that a plate of buns. No, the tiger is actually the local gangster who comes round to rough up the family over one of daddy’s many unpaid debts while he is at work. Sophie is so traumatised she invents the whole cuddly tiger thing as a coping mechanism. When daddy comes home he realises he’s in the shit so takes them all out to make up for it, but he’s fooling no one.
We’re Going On A Wino Hunt
The story focuses on a young family who are out searching for a bear. It’s not clear why, until now. The ‘bear’ is actually their gin-obsessed mum who has left her family to live in a cave. Admit it, we’ve all considered doing it just to get away from our screaming little urchins at some point and when you have five of the bleeding things, it became far too much to bear (pun intended).
Their travels through weather and scenery are actually a voyage through their own fluctuating nervousness and insecurity. After all, it can’t be ‘a beautiful day’ when there’s a howling snow storm can it? And when they eventually find her lurking in her cave? She is so unrecognisably savage that even the dog is scared and they run off back home. And all she wanted was a hug. Depressing.
So, these are my alternative versions to popular children stories. Have I ruined them for you? Or are there any you can think of?