Saturday, March 21, 2009

In Which A Book Attempting To Explain G-Tubes To Children Creeps Me The Heck Out

Connor had a good time on W, his pony today. Yes, we named his pony "W." He likes the letter, okay? Anyway, I had to share this picture with you because it was so cute. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything else I'm going to talk about, which is probably a good thing, as I don't want to post pictures of what I'm going to talk about. They might give you nightmares.

Yesterday Connor went to his nutrition appointment, where, among other things, we were given a children's book entitled Why Eat? which details the adventures of Pinky, the "Tubie" alien, who comes from a planet where all the people don't chew. It's published by Prince Productions, and I couldn't find anything to link to about it on the Internet. There's probably a reason for that-- if I was a kid getting a g-tube, this book would scare the bejeezus out of me. It, in an attempt to make g-buttons cool, refers to them as "piercings," and then apparently Pinky the alien hooks himself up through this piercing to your internal organs, sucks up liquid food, and pumps it through his hollow squishy body into yours. Does anyone else find this image extremely disturbing? I mean, I know that they're trying to put a good spin on things, but...eww.

The pictures make it even worse. They're done in clay, and have super bright colors. Pinky looks kind of like a cross between a worm and a length of intestine. There's one particularly disturbing picture on a page attempting to explain supplements in which he is swallowing a huge green apple and green liquid is dripping out his other end into a glass. I'm all for preparing Connor for surgery, but I think I'll stick to the play-acting and the more general hospital books, because I don't think my child is ready for Pinky. Heck, I'm not ready for Pinky.

This book is not actually the scariest book for children I have ever read. That dubious honor belongs to a book by Renee French called The Soap Lady. The inspiration for this book, and I am absolutely not joking about this, is a (warning: extremely disturbing picture behind that link) mummified woman displayed in the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia whose body had saponified, or turned into soap. Apparently Ms. French thought that a mummified soap corpse who comes to life and befriends a young boy would be a wonderful plot for a children's book. I won't give all the details away as you'll have to read the book yourself to see all of the playful antics the boy and his reanimated friend get up to, but the end of the book reveals him playing in the bathtub with her severed arm. That sounds like a GREAT book to read before bedtime, huh?

It wasn't scary enough, so she threw in a ventriloquist doll too. And don't even get me started on the pictures in this one. The Soap Lady looks like, well, a mummified dead woman. But to make sure the book wasn't too scary, Ms French drew hidden bunnies and sheep on every page! That makes it ALL better.

So what's the worst children's book you've ever come across?



Julia O'C said...

"The Moose with Loose Poops" comes to mind, but it's not nearly as creepy as the "The Soap Lady". How did you find that book? I think I will have to buy a copy (for myself).

I can't believe someone thought that horrible g-tube book would appeal to children. Or parents. Or anyone.

J. said...

oh my, I am bit of a kids lit fanatic but I have never seen anything quiet like that - I thnk I need to read it.

Renate said...

I think the scariest stories ever are the Grimm fairy tales. What with stepmothers leaving the kids in the woods to be found by a witch who wants to eat them, etc., etc. Like kids don't tend to have enough issues with being abondoned. The soap lady is just plain gross (who would think that's a good subject for kids) and your g-tube book gives me the willies just from your description. I sure wouldn't have read that to my granddaughter when there was a chance she would need a g-tube.

The books I really, really hate, though, are Amelia Bedlia books. Not that they are scary - they are just so obnoxious.

Laura said...

It's not just that someone wrote these books-- they were published. I really, really want to see the Soap Lady book.

Janis said...

Kinda makes you think we should do our own "Tubie" book...YIKES!!

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