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You kids get off my lawn. 

What's the Time, Little Wolf?: A Little Wolf and Smellybreff Adventure

What's the Time, Little Wolf? - Ian Whybrow When my nephew was potty-training, his folks promised him an all-out trip to Chuck E Cheese if he could make it through x number of days without pooping in his pants, or whatever. He made it through the x time, and they all went off to Chuck E Cheese. For you folk who don't have such "restaurants" in your area, Chuck E Cheese is a nightmarish habitrail of a place, that smells like socks, bleach and vomit, with animatronic singing torture creatures and limp, cardboardish pizza. It's pretty much the worst place on Earth, but some kids dig it, so off parents go with teeth-shattering smiles. Anyway, my nephew duly wound his way into the Giant Tubes of Sick, and then got stuck. My brother-in-law took of his shoes and slouched his way to his screaming son, who promptly shat himself, and continued shatting himself for some time thereafter, afraid his parents might make good on the threat of taking him to Chuck E Cheese should he potty train. Ah, parenting fun.

This book was given to my son upon graduation from kindergarten, and it's pretty much the same thing. Learn to read, kids, and we'll reward you with books! Here's one! OH GAWD HELP MY EYES I NEVER WANT TO READ AGAIN. Thankfully, my boy didn't crap himself after reading this book, but he was seriously discomforted, and so was I. It's one of those supposedly fun-transgressive stories, where everything's all topsy-turvey. I sometimes dig on stories like this, because kids spend a lot of time obeying authority, and it's cool for them to act out striking back at the Man in books. (Sadly, in this scenario, I'm the Man.) A good example of this would be the Skippyjon Jones books, which kind of make me itch, because dammit, Skippy, stay in your time-out and quit goofing off. But I can see where why kids relate to Skippy ignoring his Mama, and his relationship with her is pretty sweet anyway, so it's all good. The Skippyjon books really aren't for me, and I like being ignored as a parent sometimes.

Here, however, the parents are awful, with no love ever really expressed, just a gruff order to go find dinner, and not to come back before you have. Okkkaaaaaay. Then Little Wolf and his brother go off to kill them some other animals. Um, okay? They fail a bunch of times: the honeybees sting them, the baby birds escape in a canoe(?), the little pigs toss rotten produce at them. Then they find some bunnies and mice, in little coats and shoes, and trick them into a sack.

Here, I'm thinking there will be some fun little reversal, where all the bunnies and mice escape and replace themselves with radishes or whatever, and then everyone has a good laugh or something. Wrong. The rabbits are killed and rolled into burritos, and the wolf family eats said burritos with the tails and shoes sticking out the ends. OMFG THIS IS FREAKING DISGUSTING. This is pretty much The Tale of Peter Rabbit, only if Mr. McGregor had killed Peter and then stewed him in his jacket. Barf! BARF! BARF! My boy was all, "omfg, whut?" and I have to say I agree. Total fail.

Thank the heavens the boy still likes reading, though, and we took him out for ice cream to cool the burn. Yeesh.