Night after night, mums and dads cuddle up with their children to read a bedtime story. Together we share sweet stories about adventurous animals and swashbuckling pirates. Well, put those ideas to one side. These 29 decidedly un-sweet children’s books for adults that are definitely NOT for that nightly ritual!
We’ve searched out adult-only versions of your kid’s favourite tales that will have you quietly snickering away to yourself when you go back to the original version!
And just to be clear, this is definitely a post for adult eyes only!
Where the Wild Mums Are by Katie Blackburn: Dad calls mum a wild thing and she stomps upstairs to her bedroom. She sails off through night and day until she comes to the place where the wild mums are!
One too many drinks
The Very Hungover Caterpillar by Josie Lloyd & Emlyn Rees: This very hungover caterpillar tries eating everything he can get his hands on to feel better after a night on the tiles. Sometimes a dark, cosy chrysalis seems like a very attractive option.
Just a kid in a crib
The Kid in the Crib by Lex Friedman: Does this sound familiar: “The kid spat up white / The kid spat up green / The the kid spat up more spit up / Than we’d ever seen”. If so, you’re not alone! This reimagining of The Cat in the Hat takes on all of the best and worst things about parenthood.
We’re Going on a Bar Hunt by Josie Lloyd & Emlyn Rees: We’re not old, we’re going on a bar hunt! Just because we’re parents doesn’t mean we have forgotten how much fun a good pub crawl can be. But we’ll always come home to the kiddos!
The Teenager Who Came to Tea by Josie Lloyd & Emlyn Rees: But the teenager didn’t take just one Pringle. He took a selfie of himself pouring a whole tube of them into his mouth, before sending it to his best mate, along with the letters LOL! Another hilarious parody of a much-loved children’s book, this time turning the spotlight not only on modern teens, but firmly on their parents too.
Are You My Wine?: A Children’s Book Parody for Adults Exploring the World of Wine by Reese Ling: Follow Penguin’s journey in this delightfully illustrated spoof that simplifies and demystifies wine while teaching you tasting notes, food pairings and other interesting facts.
Little Miss busy
Little Miss Busy Surviving Motherhood by Roger Hargreaves: Little Miss Busy hadn’t always been so busy. She used to enjoy lazy weekends and leisurely lie-ins. But then she had kids. Now her life is a constant juggle of demands and pressure to be the perfect mum. How does Little Miss Busy do it?
She ate and ate
The Very Hungry Pregnant Lady by Emilie Sandoz-Voyer: Pairing playful text with bright, colorful images, The Very Hungry Pregnant Lady is both a send-up and a celebration of this strange, ridiculous, and exciting time in the lives of all mothers-to-be.
Where the Wild Dads Went by Katie Blackburn and Sholto Walker: The night Dad had a few cheeky ones after work, forgot the milk and tripped over the rubbish, Mum called him A Wild Thing and left him to it for the rest of the evening…
101 Poo Poems by Dr. Deuce: A collection of poems—101 to be exact—of the musings of poopings, to which you’ll react, with snickering and giggling, while you are hopefully, taking a crap. And each poem here, is presented of course, with an illustration, that’ll have you smiling from ear to ear.
Where we going
Are You My Uber?: A Parody by Sarah Dooley: ARE YOU MY UBER? is a direct parody of the 1960 P.D. Eastman children’s book ARE YOU MY MOTHER? The scene is set as a young woman steps off the midnight bus at Port Authority. Her name? Unknown. Her goal? To find her Uber, an elusive Ford Taurus.
If You Give a Mommy a Glass of Wine by Renee Charytan: Being a mother is hard work, and all mothers deserve a good laugh. If You Give a Mommy a Glass of Wine is a modern mother-honoring parody of a classic children’s book.
‘Twas the Fight Before Christmas: A Parody by Josie Lloyd & Emlyn Rees: ‘Tis the season to be jolly. But as any modern family knows, ’tis also the season to be micro-managed by your in-laws, guzzle too many sherries, fight over the TV remote, and panic about your internet shopping not arriving on time.
Filling up a Zombie
The Very Hungry Zombie by Michael Teitelbaum: The zombie goes through all his favourite food: brains, clowns, rock stars – yum! This one isn’t too scary, so it could be a fun one to share with your older children.
George changes teams
Bi-Curious George by Andrew Simonian: While George has always been a straight little monkey, he is just a tiny bit curious. Which way will he swing?
For the expected
What to Expect when you’re Expected by David Javerbaum: Have you ever wondered what your baby is thinking about in utero? This book will give you all the answers to your soon-to-be-born’s most pressing concerns, like “to the nearest hundred, how many people should Mummy invite to my birth?”
What a cute little zombie
Pat the Zombie by Aaron Ximm & Kaveh Soofi: Pat the Zombie is a bloody and undead version of the bunny classic. Warning: the ‘touch and feel’ is so disturbing it may even give you nightmares!
Time to power down
Goodnight iPad by Ann Droyd: It shines like the moon so why wouldn’t you say goodnight to your iPad? A book for all those 21st century kids who would rather say goodnight to their gadgets than to the moon.
When will you just be quiet?
If you give a kid a cookie will he shit the f#@k up? by Marcy Roznick: How many times have you tried to give your kids food to just get them to shut the… well, you know! This is a cautionary tale about what happens when you give in to your child’s tantrums.
Where’s Willy by Will Ings: What mum wouldn’t want to spend an evening with a glass of wine looking for a willy?
Take, take, take!
The Taking Tree by Dan Ewen: Forget goodness and generosity, this tree just takes, takes, takes! There is not a branch of virtue or a twig of kindness to be found in this tree.
Where will you find the penis?
Little Penis: Oh, The Places You’ll Grow! by Craig Yoe: In this heart-warming tale, you can help Little Penis to get back on the, ahem, rise! No prizes for guessing where your finger goes in this puppet book.
A stern warning
Oh, the Places You’ll Eff Up! by Josh Miller & Patrick Casey: Ah, the memories! This book is a good (or perhaps not-so-good) chance to reminisce about some of those shockers in your past. Or give it to a twenty-something as a kindly warning!
Mr. Selfie by Dan Zevin: Any chance he has, Mr Selfie takes a snap. Whether at the zoo or at work he doesn’t miss an opportunity to show off. He even loves to sext the object of his desire – that is, himself!
The Runaway Mummy by Michael Rex: No bunnies will be running away in this parody book! Unlike some of the others in this list, this one is suitable for kids who don’t mind a monster or two (and it still has the sweet sentiment of the original!)
For real life advice
Turnip-Led Weaning by Harriet Beveridge: Harriet Beveridge may not be parent or professional child-carer herself, but she is not afraid to spout an opinion! Perfect for when you are sick of everyone telling you what you should(n’t) do as a parent, and need a laugh.
One day you will die
Everybody Dies by Ken Tanaka & David Vry: Just like everybody poos, everybody dies. Ken Tanaka’s games and illustrations will take you on a journey through the wide variety of ways you could die. From a surfing accident to death by vending machine, this one takes a funny look at one of life’s most serious subjects.
Dude….that’s Harry Potter
Hairy Pothead the Stoned Sorcerer by L. Henry Dowell: If Harry Potter smoked too much weed he would be Hairy Pothead. So pass me some corn chips and enjoy the read. (Note: not for the prudish!)
Fifty shades of babies
Fifty Shades of Pink and Blue by S R Cooper: When the original book gets you up the duff, turn to Fifty Shades of Pink & Blue for all your baby advice!
Go the F**k to sleep
Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach: If only singing sweet lullabies and nursery rhymes to your toddler could send them into a slumber night after night. For parents who like a little realism this book about the bedtime routine is gold.
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