Pharyngula

Inappropriate children’s book covers

Where it doesn’t descend into bad poop jokes (the good poop jokes are funny), this collection of photoshopped book covers has its moments.

I like this one: it’s the book Brockman told Dawkins that he’d never get published, because it’s too controversial — although, of course, it would probably provoke exactly the same cries of outrage his last book did, for exactly the same reasons.

i-1e805cbb658f21724e325200f1ef258d-claus_delusion.jpg

This book, on the other hand…what’s inappropriate about that? I want to own this!

i-4eaf755bd3bdf5d1214ccaf1d2d4411f-fish_clade.jpg

Comments

  1. #1 Ted D
    February 28, 2008

    The second one is probably the single greatest thing I will see all week. As the youth of today would have it: lol. lol indeed.

  2. #2 October Mermaid
    February 28, 2008

    My favorite’s “The Invisible Child-Eating Crocodiles THAT LIVE ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE.”

  3. #3 Ted D
    February 28, 2008

    I’m definitely telling my niece and nephew about the crocodiles next time I see them…

  4. #4 BlueIndependent
    February 28, 2008

    You know you are an absolute geekwad when you laugh literally OUT LOUD at the Dr. Seuss one. That juxtaposition of the cute Seussian fish with the language of scholarly research was too much for me!

    The Claus Delusion will be on my reading list come Thanksgiving.

  5. #5 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 28, 2008

    But… “fish”? On the cover of a cladistics textbook?

  6. #6 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 28, 2008

    But… “fish”? On the cover of a cladistics textbook?

  7. #7 Fastlane
    February 28, 2008

    You can get “Cat in the Hat” and a few other Dr. Suess books in Latin now, ya know. =)

  8. #8 thalarctos
    February 28, 2008

    But… “fish”? On the cover of a cladistics textbook?

    David, if “red fish, blue fish” isn’t a phenetic approach, I don’t know what is–we’ll just have to spot them the term “cladistics”.

    I still laughed my ass off at it.

  9. #9 Slyer
    February 28, 2008

    “You can get “Cat in the Hat” and a few other Dr. Suess books in Latin now, ya know. =)”
    Awesome! I’m teaching myself Latin.

  10. #10 wÒÓ†
    February 28, 2008
  11. #11 Jeff
    February 28, 2008

    Yes, the title of the Seuss one should be “One Actinopterygii, Two Actinopterygii, Red Actinopterygii, Blue Actinopterygii”.

  12. #12 Carlie
    February 28, 2008

    I suggest that we commission Cuttlefish to come up with text for the Seuss book. I daresay he would do a fine job of it.

  13. #13 Marco
    February 28, 2008

    Anybody here happens to know the title of the original black and white sheep book? The design was copied here in Switzerland by a far right and racist party and I wouldn’t mind raising that fact… Thanks

  14. #14 Eamon Knight
    February 28, 2008

    My favorite’s “The Invisible Child-Eating Crocodiles THAT LIVE ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE.”

    That one’s good, but my pick is the Hobbit-cover spoof. (And of course, the Seuss take-offs. Nothing like juxtaposing one’s early childhood nostalgia with a bit of grown-up humour).

  15. #15 Rey Fox
    February 28, 2008

    But… “fish”? On the cover of a cladistics textbook?

    Quiet, you.

  16. #16 Kseniya
    February 28, 2008

    Whatever happened to Daddy Drinks Because You Cry. Is that out of print?

  17. #17 Joe Felsenstein
    February 28, 2008

    What’s unusual about the second one? The servers at the Molecular Evolution Workshop at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, where some of us lecture every summer on constructing phylogenies using computers, have in the past been called “redfish”, “bluefish” and “newfish” — I think “bluefish” is still active and the director of the course has his email address on it.

  18. #18 Brownian, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Whatever happened to Daddy Drinks Because You Cry. Is that out of print?

    Pop never got around to writing it. He explains why in his tell-all autobiography I Couldn’t Come to Your Birthday Party Because That Goddamn Liberal Feminist Judge Took Away My License and There’s No Goddamn Way I’m Gonna Spend All Goddamn Day On a Goddamn Bus Fulla Losers With This Hangover and Why Don’t You Stop Picking Daddy’s Ass and Go Ask Your Mother If She’s Still A Whore?

  19. #19 Phoenix Woman
    February 28, 2008

    So cladistics is to Linnaean taxonomy as online catalog/Library of Congress systems are to the Dewey Decimal System?

  20. #20 Julie Stahlhut
    February 28, 2008

    I’m kind of fond of “Nuclear Launch Protocol and Command Codes for Single-Person Authorization via Non-Secure Civilian Communication Systems.” Wish I’d had that one as a kid!

    Then again, our advanced weaponry has already been in the hands of poorly socialized kindergartners for a long, long, time.

  21. #21 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Pop never got around to writing it. He explains why in his tell-all autobiography I Couldn’t Come to Your Birthday Party Because That Goddamn Liberal Feminist Judge Took Away My License and There’s No Goddamn Way I’m Gonna Spend All Goddamn Day On a Goddamn Bus Fulla Losers With This Hangover and Why Don’t You Stop Picking Daddy’s Ass and Go Ask Your Mother If She’s Still A Whore?

    But he still loves me, right?

  22. #22 misterbowen
    February 28, 2008

    @20 “But he still loves me, right?”

    Only when Daddy hits honey. Only when he hits.

  23. #23 jmd
    February 28, 2008

    “But… “fish”? On the cover of a cladistics textbook?”

    That’s what makes it so inappropriate!

  24. #24 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Only when Daddy hits honey. Only when he hits.

    Patriarchy: Fun for the whole family!

  25. #25 Abbie
    February 28, 2008

    Speaking of books by Dawkins, his new one just sold for 3.5 million!

    Just a Theory?

  26. #26 The Science Pundit
    February 28, 2008

    My favorite’s “The Invisible Child-Eating Crocodiles THAT LIVE ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE.”

    That one’s good, but my pick is the Hobbit-cover spoof. (And of course, the Seuss take-offs. Nothing like juxtaposing one’s early childhood nostalgia with a bit of grown-up humour).

    My favorite one was also the invisible crocodiles, until the Ayn Rand primer. Yes, that was definitely my favorite.

  27. #27 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2008

    Wow, Joe Felsenstein (#16)! It’s like, cladistics celebrities right here with us grotty plebe commenters!

    So, ignoring Marjanovi?’s complaint (which is, presumably, that “fish” isn’t a clade unless it includes us tetrapods)(which, presuming to speak for us tetrapods, I have no problem with) a slight improvement on that title might be One fish, two fishes, red fish, blue fish.

  28. #28 thalarctos
    February 28, 2008

    Only when Daddy hits honey. Only when he hits.

    This is going to hurt me worse than it hurts you.

  29. #29 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Only when Daddy hits honey. Only when he hits.
    This is going to hurt me worse than it hurts you.

    And of course, the title of the book is, “Just wait ’til your father gets home!”

  30. #30 Muffin
    February 28, 2008

    “Sharing is for losers – An Ayn Rand primer”. You gotta love that one.

  31. #31 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    February 28, 2008

    One fish,
    Two fish,
    Red fish,
    Blue fish,

    I’m no scientific hack, sir!
    I know all about sister taxa,
    Phylum, class and family
    All part of a cladistic tree,

    Two forks,
    Three forks,
    Red storks,
    Green storks,

    What evolutionary potential!
    My cladogram is exponential!

  32. #32 Cuttlefish, OM
    February 28, 2008

    @11–

    To me, cladistics are much easier and Seussical when we adopt the nomenclature of “kinds”, as that ancient, accurate science text “the bible” does in Noah’s tale:

    One fish
    Two fish
    Red fish
    Blue fish

    Shellfish
    Starfish
    Jeebus car-fish

    This one looks a little odd
    This one’s salmon; this one’s cod
    And all these fish were made by God

    Yes, some are red and some are blue
    All lived when the earth was new
    Some are finned
    Some are twinned
    And some went blind because man sinned.

    Why are they
    Such varied creatures?
    I do not know
    Go ask your preachers.

    Some are round
    Some thin as sticks
    The thin one has
    A crucifix

    From there to here
    From here to there
    Funny kinds are everywhere

    Here are some
    Who like to pray
    They pray, for play,
    All night and day.

    Oh me! Oh my!
    Oh me! Oh mh!
    What a lot
    Of funny kinds go by.

  33. #33 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Why are they
    Such varied creatures?
    I do not know
    Go ask your preachers.

    Um, to eat.

  34. #34 aiabx
    February 28, 2008

    Dr. Seuss? You’re .. alive?

  35. #35 Monado, FCD
    February 28, 2008

    “One teleost, two teleosts”?

  36. #36 Grand Moff Texan
    February 28, 2008

    And who could forget _The Grinch’s Ten Inches_?
    .

  37. #37 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    And who could forget _The Grinch’s Ten Inches_?

    *fans self*

  38. #38 mona
    February 28, 2008

    “Sharing is for losers – An Ayn Rand primer”. You gotta love that one.


    Oh, definiteley. My favorite, along with “Nuclear Launch Protocol and Command Codes for Single-Person Authorization via Non-Secure Civilian Communication Systems.” Now that I think about it, they might be the only two books that George Bush read as a child. Great, now I’m feeling suspicious.

  39. #39 Jim Harrison
    February 28, 2008

    How about: Survival of the Fiddies: a Child’s Guide to the Evolution of Marine Animals.

  40. #40 Check This Out
    February 28, 2008

    Have you all seen this or discussed this?

    Richard Dawkins was right – this is (mental) child abuse. Videos included.

    BBC: Baby Bible Bashers

  41. #41 Crudely Wrott
    February 28, 2008

    Look at me
    Look at me
    Look at me now
    It’s fun to have fun
    But you have to know how

    Best Seuss rhyme ever.

  42. #42 Interrobang
    February 28, 2008

    And Lee Brimmicombe-Wood wins the thread, even if “hack, sir” does not in any sense rhyme with “taxa” (it’s not even a good eye-rhyme), it still made me whoop. Well done.

    (Next, Lee Brimmicombe-Wood is going to tell me they speak a dialect that isn’t fully rhotic. Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls!)

  43. #43 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    February 28, 2008

    Funk you, motherfunker!

  44. #44 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Funk you, motherfunker!

    One need only look to Minnesota’s purple midget overlord of funk to know the meaning of life: Dance, Music, Sex, Romance.

  45. #45 Crudely Wrott
    February 28, 2008

    And all enjoy a welcomed chuckle.

    Thanks Interrobang and Lee Brimmincombe-Wood!

    At your small expense we enjoy
    A modicum of mirth.
    Such as you can teach every boy
    To love his time on Earth!

    The company here is always fun, if not educational, if not confounding, if not rasping, if not . . . Hey, what’s that you got?

  46. #46 Brownian, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Next, Lee Brimmicombe-Wood is going to tell me they speak a dialect that isn’t fully rhotic. Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls!

    One need only look to Minnesota’s purple midget overlord of funk to know the meaning of life: Dance, Music, Sex, Romance.

    Nerd-porn and Prince references.

    I just came.

  47. #47 PZ Myers
    February 28, 2008

    Oh, man. You know I’m the janitor around here, and I have to clean these messes up. I go through like a gallon of bleach every day.

  48. #48 Brownian, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Blame MAJeff and his pee fetish.

  49. #49 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    I cannot be held responsible for the power of my words. My frame-fu is strong….and thexthy.

  50. #50 stavros
    February 28, 2008

    PZ, you should know better not to use the word “photoshopped” or you might get sued by Adobe!

  51. #51 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    February 28, 2008

    “One need only look to Minnesota’s purple midget overlord of funk to know the meaning of life: Dance, Music, Sex, Romance.”

    Does this mean PZ is the Professor formerly known as ‘Squiggle’?

  52. #52 October Mermaid
    February 28, 2008

    #39

    That is horrifying.

  53. #53 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    One of my few “six degrees” type things (well actually two of them) relate back to Prince. When I was working in the domestic violence service sector, one of the women I worked with had been a teacher of his in elementary school (and he happened to go to school at what is now the Sabathani Center, where OutFront Minnesota, the primary LGBT organization, with whom I’ve done a lot of work, is located)…and the wife of one of my friend’s co-workers used to be one of his dancers. Or something like that.

    That little guy can play, and he can lay down the funk like very few other people working today.

    And it was awesome while playing pool at the bar the other day to hear “Jungle Love” by Morris Day and the Time (“Ice Cream Castles”-get it!) come on the jukebox. Representing for Minnehopeless in Beantown!

  54. #54 shane
    February 28, 2008

    I’d forgotten that for the last 7 years GW and his cronies have had the nuclear football in their gosh darned hands. I wonder why they’ve never punted?

  55. #55 shane
    February 28, 2008
  56. #56 Russell Blackford
    February 29, 2008

    I love the photo of Daniel Dennett on the cover of the Dawkins book. I wonder how much he was paid for that.

  57. #57 maxi
    February 29, 2008

    “The Invisible Child-Eating Crocodiles THAT LIVE ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE.”

    Love it!

  58. #58 maxi
    February 29, 2008

    Also:

    “WHERE’S MY FUCKING HEAD?! A Children’s Guide to the Islamic Justice System”

    Classic.

  59. #59 wildcardjack
    February 29, 2008

    Whatever happened to Daddy Drinks Because You Cry. Is that out of print?

    I don’t have that, but I do have “Daddy Needs a Drink” in stock.

    Some of the gag titles in here would make best sellers if you bunch of jokers could get around to writing them.

  60. #60 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 29, 2008

    So cladistics is to Linnaean taxonomy as online catalog/Library of Congress systems are to the Dewey Decimal System?

    No, cladistics is a method of phylogenetics (how to reconstruct a phylogenetic tree), not of classification. The Wikipedia article is trash.

  61. #61 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 29, 2008

    So cladistics is to Linnaean taxonomy as online catalog/Library of Congress systems are to the Dewey Decimal System?

    No, cladistics is a method of phylogenetics (how to reconstruct a phylogenetic tree), not of classification. The Wikipedia article is trash.

  62. #62 MAJeff, OM
    February 29, 2008

    The Wikipedia article is trash.

    That just can’t be so….impossible.

  63. #63 Brownian, OM
    February 29, 2008

    The Wikipedia article is trash.

    Well then fix it, dear David, dear David, dear David/
    Then fix it dear David, Dear David, fix it.

    (I write partially in jest. It’s a large article, and you probably don’t have the time to give it the overhaul that it needs. Someone should fix it, and I can’t.)

  64. #64 thalarctos
    February 29, 2008

    I like how the books are ordered from least to most disturbing, and cladistics Seuss is toward the end. That means they found cladistics more disturbing than, among other things, child cannibalism, racial slurs, animal cruelty, and funny tapeworm stories.

    The list must have been compiled by a strict pheneticist.

  65. #65 Dear Liza (aka ????????)
    February 29, 2008

    Brownian, you might explain that cultural reference to dear Mr. David. :-D

  66. #66 Dear Liza (aka ????????)
    February 29, 2008

    Brownian, you might explain that cultural reference to dear Mr. David. :-D

  67. #67 LARA
    February 29, 2008

    How about:

    “The Cat in the Hat” and “The Cat in the Hat comes Back,” a two book series in Quantum Mechanics.

  68. #68 Brownian, OM
    February 29, 2008

    Brownian, you might explain that cultural reference to dear Mr. David. :-D

    You mean not everyone has been exposed to the exact same cultural and historical references as me? This is what happens when you take God out of the schools.

    Very well. The version sung by Harry Belafonte and Odetta is wonderful (then again, Mr. B could sing the ingredients off the back of a Pert Plus bottle and it would be wonderful.)

  69. #69 Sven DiMilo
    February 29, 2008

    not bad, LARA, but shouldn’t it be more like:
    The Cat in the Box
    The Dead Cat in the Box
    The Cat in the Box Comes Back…or Does It?

  70. #70 BlueIndependent
    February 29, 2008

    Minnesota’s purple midget overlord of funk

    From now on I will think this every time I see his face. =)

  71. #71 Rebecca Haden
    February 29, 2008

    I love the Seuss variant — just in time for his birthday, Read Across America Day!

  72. #72 Sven DiMilo
    February 29, 2008

    (then again, Mr. B could sing the ingredients off the back of a Pert Plus bottle and it would be wonderful.)

    Pan-tene-a
    Pro-V-a
    Pantene-a, she take me money and run Venezuela
    (Women over for-ty!)

  73. #73 Kseniya
    February 29, 2008

    LMAO!

  74. #74 Brownian, OM
    February 29, 2008

    Not bad, but this has been my favourite ever since I heard him sing it on the Muppet Show:

    Disodium EDTA, glycol distearate,
    1-octadecanol, lather, rinse, repeat!

    Ammonium laureth sulfate, dimethicone 350,
    DMDM hydantoin, lather, rinse, repeat!

    Sodium dihydrogen citrate, sodium orthophosphate,
    methylchloroisothiazolinone, lather, rinse, repeat!

    O-oh, use Pert Plus,
    A-ha, for fine hair!
    O-oh, use Pert Plus,
    A-ha, for fine hair!

  75. #75 mothra
    February 29, 2008

    I am e-mailing for permission to use the Seuss cover when teaching Systematic Entomology next fall. Yeah, its ‘fish’ but this is too good to pass by.

    David is (of course) quite correct. The Linnaean system, because it is typological (think postage stamp collecting) confounded a number of ideas that we now recognizes as separate concepts: classification, identification, and nomenclature. Also, as David alludes to, because his system was by just over 100 years, pre-Darwinian (speaking Zoology here- his botanical works go back another decade or so), phyletic concepts are nowhere to be seen. The idea of relatedness between species had not been developed.

  76. #76 Sven DiMIlo
    February 29, 2008

    yeah!
    Where are my damn maracas?

  77. #77 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 29, 2008

    (I write partially in jest. It’s a large article, and you probably don’t have the time to give it the overhaul that it needs. Someone should fix it, and I can’t.)

    I agree that it is morally questionable to complain about Wikipedia. I left a comment maybe half a year ago on another talk page (probably that on phylogenetic nomenclature, which I created… and where I sorely need to bring the reference list into some kind of shape…) that I would one day rewrite the article. But as you write, it’s a large article… and I’m already supposed to do between 5 and 10 other things, as opposed to reading Pharyngula… So all I can do at the moment is warn people to ignore it.

    You mean not everyone has been exposed to the exact same cultural and historical references as me?

    Actually I know that one. The tune, anyway. I have no idea what the original text is or what language it is in (I didn’t follow the link in comment 65). On the other hand, Dr Seuss has never been on TV or on paper over here :-)

  78. #78 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 29, 2008

    (I write partially in jest. It’s a large article, and you probably don’t have the time to give it the overhaul that it needs. Someone should fix it, and I can’t.)

    I agree that it is morally questionable to complain about Wikipedia. I left a comment maybe half a year ago on another talk page (probably that on phylogenetic nomenclature, which I created… and where I sorely need to bring the reference list into some kind of shape…) that I would one day rewrite the article. But as you write, it’s a large article… and I’m already supposed to do between 5 and 10 other things, as opposed to reading Pharyngula… So all I can do at the moment is warn people to ignore it.

    You mean not everyone has been exposed to the exact same cultural and historical references as me?

    Actually I know that one. The tune, anyway. I have no idea what the original text is or what language it is in (I didn’t follow the link in comment 65). On the other hand, Dr Seuss has never been on TV or on paper over here :-)

  79. #79 Seamyst
    March 1, 2008

    #13 – I’ve looked at the covers three times now, and I can’t figure out which one is supposed to be the Hobbit-spoof. Which one is it? Am I being exceedingly dense, or is it subtle?

  80. #80 Smilodon
    March 2, 2008

    I missed The Hobbit spoof too. The two covers displayed here are hoots, especially the Suess cladistics primer. The Ayn Rand and missle system ones also made me laugh out loud, not the thing to do at 7 am when your partner is still sleeping! Thanks for making my morning, Pharyngula!

  81. #81 MartinM
    March 2, 2008

    Am I being exceedingly dense, or is it subtle?

    Well, that rather depends. How subtle would you consider a dragon lying atop a huge mound of gold next to an urn with suspiciously Tolkein-esque runic inscriptions, on a scale from 1 to 10?

  82. #82 Smilodon
    March 2, 2008

    Ah, now I see which one is The Hobbit spoof. When I stumbled across it earlier (too early!) this morning I did think Tolkein.

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