May 23, 2012

I Am A Pole (And So Can You!)

Oh Stephen Colbert.  You bring me so much joy.  I'll never forget the day I discovered your show and proceeded to Youtube the entire first series in one week to catch up.  Or the day that we high-fived three times.  True story.  You mouthed for me to call you, but then a cameraman walked over and blocked my view, so I never did catch your number.  I'm sorry for not calling.

Now you've written a parody of a picture book.  It's like you want me to truly know we are meant to be together.  I love picture books and I love parodies of picture books.  It's perfect.

I Am A Pole (And So Can You!) follows a pole on its rhyming journey to figure out what to do in its life.  The pole goes through different phases of pole-dom including, of course, stripper pole, barber shop pole, and even tadpole.  It keeps trying new things and is about to give up when it finally gets its happy ending and finds a purpose.

Let me stress that this book is intentionally bad.  The reason Colbert published it (following the epic interview with Maurice Sendak) is because children's books sell, no matter how ridiculous.  Every celebrity out there (including John Travolta, Madonna, and apparently Terrell Owens) seems to think that a few silly lines and some fast drawings make a children's book, which is an easy way to add "Author" to their resume. 

There are so many elements in this book that nod to typical children's books that sell: the medal on the cover, the quote from the famous children's author ("The sad thing is, I like it!" - Maurice Sendak), and the list of sequels (aka other books to buy). Once you dive into the content of the book, you get the horrible attempts at poetry and bland illustrations that make up most celebrity writing attempts. 

But with I Am A Pole, the intentional crappiness makes it funny and coffee table worthy (for me at least).  How can you not laugh at:
I maypoled for a month,
Learning pagans aren't my type...
I didn't cut it as a totem -
Me no smoke-um the peace pipe.
So if you like Stephen Colbert or you like making fun of children's books or you just like poles, then check out I Am A Pole

HOWEVER, do NOT think that this is a children's book.  I'm actually amazed at some of the reviews I'm reading by people who say that they like Colbert and actually thought that this would be an appropriate book for kids.  NO.  Look above.  I've already mentioned a stripper and smoking.  Unless you're into sharing all that stuff, reading this with your 4 year old is probably a bad idea.  

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