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Children’s Lit Commish: ‘Don’t Look at Me’

The following is a work of fiction.

Appearing at a press conference this morning wearing dark sunglasses and an artificial “comb-over” wig covering his famously thick mane of hair, the increasingly paranoid children’s literature commissioner announced that characters on book cover illustrations and photographs are no longer allowed to look at him.

“When I walk into a book store, I am bombarded by eyes pointed my way,” began the commissioner. “It’s the burden of a high profile – I am recognized daily. While I can’t control what humans do, I can take action with the books on the shelves. Therefore, as a sign of respect, I would like the characters on book covers to abstain from looking me in the eyes. It isn’t too much to ask. Other celebrities do this sort of thing.”

After stating that the rule would be effective immediately, the commissioner asked that the lights be dimmed to show the assembled members of the media recent books that have already adopted the “no eye contact guidelines”.

[album: http://100scopenotes.com/wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/dm-albums.php?currdir=/files/dm-albums/Dont Look at Me/]

“These books have done it,” said a clearly satisfied commissioner, “and the results have been extremely nonthreatening and respectful. In the animal kingdom, eye contact can be seen as a sign of aggression. Is that the sort of message we want to send to young readers?”

Click the links below to read previous Children’s Lit Commish posts:

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘No More Fancy Covers’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘All Books Will Actually Just Be Videos By 2012′

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘No Blogging Allowed at Blog Conference’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘No More Non-Famous Authors’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘No More Adaptations’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘No More Non-Series Books’

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. But I’m offended when people turn their backs to me, espcically if I’m approaching them, wondering wether to intitiate a conversation (as one does when walking through a bookstore). I don’t want to be friends with someone’s backside

    People on books should face the reader, but with heads bowed and eyes averted. Possibly with hands held out, to show peaceful intent.