Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary















Home > Letters to CR

J. Caleb Mozzocco On The Children's Storybook About Daddy Going To Jail
posted June 25, 2012
 

I clicked on the "I'm pretty sure I'm going to hell for laughing when I saw this" link in today's random comics news story round-up today, and was surprised to see the sad rabbit story book "The Night Dad Went To Jail." My day job is in a library, and when that book first fell into my hands, I couldn't believe it existed. A decent portion of the nearby staff gathered around the book, and went through it page by page, laughing and saying "Awww" pretty much simultaneously at every page (I can't remember why the dad bunny went to jail -- I don't think they detail his exact rabbit crime -- but I clearly remember an illustration of him being arrested, with, like, police rabbits putting him in handcuffs while mom rabbit and the kid rabbits looked on in shock from the next room).

There's nothing about that book that isn't depressing, from the existence of an audience for it to the thought that someone decided to meet that demand with a book to the thought of some poor artist siting there drawing depressed rabbits unable to concentrate on their schoolwork because their dads are in jail to the fact that every time someone checks it out of the library it means their dad went to jail and the kid needs help coping with it (That, or everyone who buys it or checks it out does so simply to gawk at it, as I did).

It's actually part of a whole line of books, if you ever want to spend a half hour so experience a mixture of bafflement, amusement and sadness. There's one dealing with divorce, another with the death of a relative, and one more, which escapes me at the moment: It can't be the death of a pet, because that would just be weird. Maybe dealing with the trauma of being used in cosmetics tests...?