100 Scope Notes
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Come With Me (Again) Down the Picture Book Parody Rabbit Hole

It’s been a while since we last plumbed the depths of Amazon for children’s literature parody books.

Time to go back in . . .


If You Give a Man a Cookie by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Brian Ajhar.

Thanks to Chris Barton who tipped me off to this one (see his comment below). This seems like a first – an author parodying her own book. And even better, as the “If You Give A” series has been parody fodder for years.

Book Without Pictures

The Book Without Any Pictures Whatsoever: A Parody of the Book With No Pictures with Apologies to B.J. Novak by Ron John

Some parodies try to make you laugh with a clever spin on a well known classic. Others are completely self-aware of their ridiculousness. Judging by the title, this is in the latter camp. I’m actually really curious on how they parody the original.

Oh the Meetings

Oh, the Meetings You’ll Go To! by Dr. Suits

There are certain books that seem to get parodied over and over again. Oh the Places You’ll Go! is one of them. It’s an easy target for some life-ain’t-what-it’s-cracked-up-to-be ribbing. And here we have an example.

What Are We Even Doing

What Are We Even Doing With Our Lives? The Most Honest ‘Children’s’ Book of All Time by Chelsea Marshall, illustrated by Mary Dauterman

Mix Richard Scarry with modern millennial life and you get this book. I definitely laughed at the Baby DJ School on the cover.

No Green Eggs

No Green Eggs or Ham: A Vegan Parody by Flora Lee

How I imagine this story goes:

Sam-I-Am: Will you eat them in a box?

Person Sam is Talking To: No.

Sam-I-Am: Okay. Kale’s better for your digestion anyway.

Very Hungry

The Very Hungry Pregnant Lady by Emilie Sandoz-Voyer, illustrated by Gabriel McElwain

Some savvy parody skills on display here. A logical take on a classic. The pregnancy angle makes it baby shower eligible. Well played.


Thump: The First Bundred Days by Timothy Lim, Mark Pellegrini, and Brett R. Smith

The Art of the Deal reimagined as a children’s book with rhyming text. But the applause emojis come out for the “This Book Belongs To” page:

Thump 2


Hurts Like a Mother: A Cautionary Alphabet by Jennifer Weiss & Lauren Franklin, illustrated by Ken Lamug

An Edward Gorey’s Gashlycrumb Tinies for moms. Never expected to write that sentence.

Pat the Money

Pat the Money: Babybuster’s First Book by Diane Wachtell, illustrated by Tim Dowling

Imagine Pat the Bunny giving the baby boomer generation what for and you have a good sense of this book.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Have you seen this one? I saw it in a bookstore the other day, and it took me a long while to realize that this was exactly what it seemed to me: a parody of a hugely popular picture book, written the very author of that original hugely popular picture book: