Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: I am a pole (and so can you) by Stephen Colbert (illustrations by Paul Hildebrand)

The Premise:
A pole goes in search of meaning.

The Good:
As far as ostensibly pole-themed children's books go, this one is probably the tent* pole of the genre. On its surface, it's a pretty straightforward story of hope and destiny. Underneath the surface is a wry homage to children's books that is surely not intended for children. I particularly liked the "Caldecott Eligible Book" seal on the cover (the Caldecott medal is awarded to the best children's books each year). And the illustrations are the perfect balance of rudimentary and humorous to drive the punchlines home. And there's a reference to a Tadpole, which always gets my vote.

The Bad:
The price point. I see this literally as a gag gift and for me** $16 seems a bit high. I get that it's priced in-line with other children's books, but those are intended to be read and re-read by parents ad infinitum. This I see as more of a one-and-done type book. Hence my gripe. Also, I don't know that "Children's books for Adults" needs to become too much of a "thing". Colbert can pull it off, but I'd be disappointed to see too many more of these things.

The Verdict:
Buy the hard copy if you have the discretionary income. 

*Surprisingly not one of the poles listed.
**I'm cheap.