How nice that a fresh publishing trend has blipped onto the pop radar: books for kids in crisis. And we mean that sincerely.
It's high time children had easy-to-follow books that tackle life's more confusing issues. And it's high time there were this many, this diverse:
"Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born," about adoption; "The 10th Good Thing About Harry," about pet death; "My Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has a Disease," about alcoholism.
Hard topics; plain language.
Do we sound jealous? OK. We are.
See, adults have crises, too. Big ones. All the time. And what do we get, book-wise, to help us cope? Six hundred assorted titles with the words "chronic," "needy" or "idiot" on the cover, and two vicious tomes from radio therapist Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who would probably scold God for giving away his kid.
All we really want is what the little ones have:
Kid books, in kid language, on kid level -- but for our problems.
Why, for example, can't we girls curl up in bed and have all the answers spelled out in soothing first-grade language, in books like:
"The 10th Good Thing About Ditching Harry"
"Seth, the Cold Fish"
"Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Stood Up"
"Silent Mr. Telephone"
"Heather Has Two Cold Sores"
"Mean Michael Doesn't Call"
"Why Do I Have to Go to Cocktail Parties?"
"Fee, Fi, Fum, Foe -- Off to Family Court We Go!"
"My Nervous Breakdown: A Coloring Book"
"My Love Life, the Smoking Ruin."
And guys, instead of $90 for one therapy session, wouldn't you gladly spend it on:
"Amy Has Mood Swings"
"My Girlfriend's Family Makes Me Angry!"
"Frank Has Two Paternity Suits"
"Why Do I Have To Take a DNA Test?"
"I Love My Back Fur!"
"Carol Loves Me, Carol Has a Disease"
"Low Lights, Late Nights, Big Fights!: We Go to Bars"
And, of course, what surely would win the Caldecott and Newbery awards for excellence:
We'll be at Borders, waiting.