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 â€œcomb-overâ€ wig covering his famously thick mane of hair, the increasingly paranoid childrenâ€™s literature commissioner announced that characters on book cover illustrations and photographs are no longer allowed to look at him.
â€œWhen 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 isnâ€™t too much to ask. Other celebrities do this sort of thing.â€
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”.
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“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?”
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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