Go the F**k to Sleep

Image of Go the Fuck to Sleep (Go the F to Sleep)
Release Date: 
June 14, 2011
Akashic Books
Reviewed by: 

“OMG! I think I just peed my pants!”

By far the most funny, spot-on, gut-splitting picture book ever written (and that’s not hyperbole), Go the Fuck to Sleep made me laugh so hard I cried—from more than one orifice.

Intrigued by my hilarity, my three children crept over to share in the fun and were quickly admonished to kindly stay away for “this is not appropriate for children”—and it’s true. This is a picture book for grownups only. Ha! No sharing.

Husband was beckoned. He leaned over me and I reread the story with him, watching him nearly double over in mirth—the kind of mirth that is tinged with that sickening despair of recognizing the truth coming out of someone else’s mouth. I laughed just as hard the second time. “OMG!” I said to him, “I think I just peed my pants.”

“Gross,” he said. (He’s a man of few but poignant words.)

Author Adam Mansbach is a genius. Why? Because he tells the truth and does it in such a sneaky creep-up-and-bite-you way. What you notice first on each spread is an oh-so-lovely, calming nighty-night picture by illustrator Ricardo Cortes, each illustration featuring a different, sweet (presumably obedient) child. These lovely images appear to have been created with—of all things—magic markers, which is so appropriate—a perfect reflection of the many layers of irony in this book.

Then there are the lyrical, bumpy attempts at rhyme, two couplets per spread. The first couplet just REEKS of the usual picture book perfection of a bedtime book’s slow descent into dreamland—a place where the wishful thinking of adults reigns supreme.


The following couplet is where reality smashes it all up, replacing wishful thinking by the impatient thoughts of we poor grownups who are simply, finally DONE for the day and wish our fucking children would fucking disappear peacefully under their fucking covers and let us have a few precious fucking moments to ourselves, PLEASE?!?

Really. Is it too much to ask? All we parents want is a little PEACE and QUIET.

OMG. I sound like my mother.

Fuck! Gotta go sleep it off. Nighty-night.