I first came across these children’s books (“Help Me Be Good”, by John Berry) a few years ago. And do you know what; you can buy them IN A SET OF 16! So some lucky (evil) child can have a few weeks of instructive, moralistic bedtimes and have his or her problems exposed, worked through, and resolved.
“Sleep tight darling, tomorrow we’ll have ‘murderous thoughts’.”
Anyway, after the initial whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat these books got me thinking. Moralistic storytelling: it’s what we’re all about. And aren’t these books, in a very raw way, exactly what we writers peddle. And aren’t they a useful shorthand:
HORRIBLE BOSSES – “Being bossy”
SCOOBY DOO – “Snooping”
LIAR LIAR – “Telling lies”
It’s a huge weight upon our writer’s shoulders this moral upholding. We are the guardians of the nation’s standards, the instructors for a generation. What if we let the bad guy win, will people think deviousness pays? What if the good guy gets what he wants too easily, will people forget that success is hard work?
So I think, on reflection, I should buy this lovely set of books (only $99 plus shipping). They can be my writers bible. And besides, I’m intrigued by “Overdoing It.”