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Seriously? Just get the original. Or just buy a different children's book.
on July 14, 2012
When censoring is used to create a "safe" version of some creative work, one of two things will happen: either the end product remains enjoyable, or it pathetically fails. This book is an example of the latter.
The outcome of a censored work all depends on how vital the so-called "objectionable" parts were to the original. For example, the safe-for-TV version of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is still enjoyable, because even after you overdub the film's only two swears and shorten the violent frames, you're still left with a great adventure movie. But when they tried censoring "Scarface" for TV, the result was a hilarious failure. That's because the extremism of it all is precisely what makes Scarface, "Scarface". You simply can't censor it without butchering it. It's strictly an adult movie, not for children or prudes, period. You may as well print an all-text version of Playboy magazine.
It's the same thing with the original #1 New York Times bestseller "Go the [word that Amazon won't let me post] to Sleep", and this censored re-work of it. I spotted "Seriously, Just Go To Sleep" in the store, flipped through it, and was appalled. The magic of the "F" word is what MADE the original book WORK! That simple contrast of American English's most blunt and verboten word, with the innocence of a children's book, is precisely what made the book what it was. Sure it was one-dimensional humor, but it worked. It ultimately spoke to parents who know that frustration of getting a child to go to sleep, and it expressed what these parents really want to say some nights, but obviously can't.
So why oh why would you take that all away? If it's a children's bedtime book you're looking for, there are thousands of other choices out there. Otherwise, it's like trying to buy your family that TV version of "Scarface", or serving Dixie cups of non-alcoholic beer for your kids' birthday party -- what's the point?