January 31, 2006

Children's Book Snake Swallows Tail, Gags

snaketail.gifIf you think you've got it rough with all the boardbooks blurring together when you read them, just imagine if you're in the industry. When you get that whole, "Oy, haven't I read this one before? Why am I still reading boardbooks when my own kids are in college?" feeling.

And then one day you realize that, "Waitaminnit, you have read this one before, word for word! Back in '83. Holy moley! And then you'll totally bust the author of the new one, and she'll be all, "I'm sure it's just an unconscious coincidence that the descriptions of 11/12 of the animals I mention are word for word identical." And you'll be all, "yeahright."

'Snake' Bit: Publisher Turns 'Tail' on Next Literary Scandal Before It Bites [thebookstandard via gawker]

1 Comment

In fairness, it is quite possible to entirely memorize the text of one of those books without meaning to do so. I could do about three of them off the top of my head right now. If I spent my time writing such books I can easily see how I could get confused.

(Note that Paul McCartney went around in the late 60s asking fellow musicians, "What's this song? 'Scrambled eggs ... da da da scrambled eggs ...'" When no one seemed to have a clue he assumed -- correctly, so far as we know -- that he wrote it, and he changed the hook lyric to "Yesterday.")

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