Adam Mansbach, illustrated by Ricardo Cortés
No matter how many lullabies you sing to them, no matter how much warm milk you pour down their throats, toddlers don't always drift off to sleep like you want. Adam Mansbach's funny, profane sendup to all those cutesy bedtime books that make it all look so easy is perfect for any frustrated parents who have had that 10- or 15-minute bedtime routine go horribly wrong and turn into an insomniac marathon. Inspired by his own experiences with his daughter, Mansbach writes nursery rhyme-style lyrics—with illustrations by Ricardo Cortes—that start out about snoring bear cubs, eagles and lions and suddenly collapse into the sarcastic, overheated plea of the title. It's definitely not a book to read to your kids. Read it with your spouse instead and share a few laughs, but don't laugh too loud—you know, you might accidentally wake up your little one.
The Hunting of the Snark
An Agony in Eight Fits
British Library/University of Chicago Press: $19.95
Lewis Carroll's epic nonsense poem was first published in 1876. With the release of this gorgeous facsimile edition, readers today can experience the poem just as Victorian readers did. This story of a chaotic quest is a delight in any format, but here, bound in a vivid red-and-gold cover, the poem isn't the only work of art, the book is too.
Franz Kafka and Coleridge Cook
Quirk Books: $12.95
"One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that he had been changed into an adorable kitten." The publisher continues its crusade, which started with "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," to digest classic novels and then regurgitate them with unexpected, often bizarre perspectives. What if the poor character at the center of Kafka's tale had found that he was a feline, not a cockroach? You'll have to decide for yourself if the execution of this conceit, in which Kafka's plot is helped by Coleridge Cook (we're told this is the pseudonym of a fantasy writer), is purrrfect.
There, I Fixed It
No, You Didn't
Andrews McMeel: $14.99
Of Course You're Still Cool, Honey