Offensive Children’s Book Should Be Withdrawn

Family First NZ is calling on bookstores to ban the sale of an offensive book entitled “Go the F*** to Sleep” by Adam Mansbach.

“The book features a father trying to get his young child to sleep – a common experience of parents. It is littered with offensive language, but most disturbingly, looks and sounds just like a children’s book,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

Lines include:
“I know you’re not thirsty. That’s bullsh*t. Stop lying. Lie the f**k down, my darling, and sleep…”
“How is it you can do all this other great sh*t. But you can’t lie the f**k down and sleep”…”
“I’ve got two words for you, kid: f**king sleep…”
“My life is a failure, I’m a shi**y-a** parent. Stop f**king with me, please, and sleep…”

“While in an adult context, the book may be harmless and even amusing, we have grave concerns about its effect on aggressive and dysfunctional parents, and also on children who are attracted to the book,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“Because the book looks like a children’s story, it could easily be mistaken by children as being for them. Some parents may even foolishly read it to their children. As well as that, the offensive language and the tone of the conversation is also concerning. Verbal abuse is a huge concern and can be very damaging to both children and adults.”

“At a time when we are tackling family violence and emotional abuse, this book seems to send a dangerous message, and is trivialising the whole issue,” says Mr McCoskrie. “We’d rather parents spent their hard earned money on a book on quality parenting, or a book that they can enjoy reading to their child.”

Family First has written to the Booksellers Association and Paper Plus in NZ asking them not to distribute the book to retailers but has received no response.

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