Author: Adam Mansbach
Illustrator: Ricardo Cortés
Audio: Noni Hazelhurst, Samuel L. Jackson and Werner Herzog
Two years ago author Adam Mansbach jokingly announced to his Facebook friends to “Look out for my forthcoming children’s book, ‘Go the Fuck to Sleep.’ ” Because the Internet lacks sarcasm tags, people took him at his word and were disappointed to learn that Mansbach was simply venting his frustrations at trying to coax his daughter to sleep. After such an enthusiastic response, Mansbach decided to start making his first children's book.
And so a book was born. The text reads in a plaintive, dreamy tone reminiscent of It's Time to Sleep, My Love or Goodnight Moon, and as evidenced by the title contains frequent use of the word fuck. As such, it is clearly intended as a parody though the intention is very real.
Mansbach had his friend Ricardo Cortés provide the illustrations. Hip parents may recognize Ricardo Cortés' style from his work on children's books on marijuana and overcoming cultural stereotyping. For the cover illustration of Mansbach's book, Cortés drew a full moon to obscure the U and the C in the title.
The book spent several weeks on bestseller's lists. Newspapers censored the title.
PDF copies of the book were widely distributed by email prior to publication and may yet still be found online. The publishers are understandably seeking to suppress such piracy.
The company Audible.com released a recording of Samuel L. Jackson providing narration. Werner Herzog used an iPhone to record a reading of it (which is reportedly of poor quality). Australian actress Noni Hazelhurst read and recorded the book in the same style of her children's program Play School.
Mansbach bowdlerized his work with Seriously, Just Go to Sleep which was released last month. Both books are 32 pages and feature the same exact illustrations; the new book costs a dollar more. Why that is and why it took nearly a year for a version intended for children to be released is enough to keep some up all night.