Children’s Books For Grown-ups

Go The Fuck To Sleep

The stories in my book deal with adult themes like death, growing old, and raising children. It is not a children’s book, but in many aspects it reminded me of a children’s book. So what was it? The thought crept into my mind that what I had written was a “children’s book for adults.” So I looked this up and I found books such as Adam Mansbach’s Go the **** to Sleep. This book was funny but it contained swearing, and I did not mean my book to be for adults that way. I wanted to convey that my book is family-friendly even if it is directed to adults. So I came up with the term “children’s book for grownups”. But Amazon has no such category so grudgingly I published my book under “short stories” and “contemporary fiction”.

I envision children’s books for grownups to be about helping adults see the world through the eyes of a child and learn from children. These books are inspirational and motivational without necessarily being religious. Because they deal with adult themes they are therefore anchored in reality, but they contain elements of the magical, the unexpected or the unusual commonly found in children’s books. My intended target population for these books is adults who have had or have children, although I have received very enthusiastic comments about my book from people in other age groups.

from Rolando Garcia

Is there any such thing as a children’s book for grown-ups? Many books for children achieve dual-audience, and I’d count winners of The Newbery Medal as belonging to that sub-group. But is there a distinct group of books which at first glance look as if they’re made for kids, while being completely unsuitable for them?

It’s an interesting idea.

Related: A question to a literary agent — If my book features a teenage character does it mean my book is YA? (Short answer, no.)