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EVERYONE POOPS. EVERYONE USES MATH. And now, thanks to writer/illustrator Ken Tanaka, EVERYBODY DIES...
Mirroring the tone and tenor of Tara Gomi's groundbreaking EVERYONE POOPS, with EVERYBODY DIES... (out October 1 from Maximum Pleasant Publishing), Tanaka has crafted a slender tome that slyly assists readers in coming to grips with the grim reaper in every conceivable fashion. Columns of crudely drawn skulls greet the reader on page one, conjuring up the catacombs of paris as if sketched by a kindergartner. A catalog of "diseases that could be killing you right now" are illustrated grimly with primitive care, and in an added dash of pathos we are asked, in colorful magic marker drawings, to confront the sobering idea of losing our family, our pets and even ourselves.
Tanaka's timing could not be better. Thanks to Adam Mansback and Ricardo Cortes' runaway bestseller GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP (not to mention Samuel Jackson's riveting audio rendition of said title), it seems high season for children's books aimed at parents rather than their offspring. Tanaka's straightforward, matter-of-fact style is pitch perfect with the pre-pubertal publications it succinctly mimics. So much so, it would be no surprise to one day discover EVERYBODY DIES... accidentally shelved in the children's section of the local bookstore.
But here's the rub: it should be there.
The one regrettable attribute of EVERYBODY DIES... is that it doesn't remain resolute in its puerile convictions. By subtitling the books, "A children's book for grown ups," Tanaka concedes defeat in not purposing the book to its true intended audience: children. While adults will surely find EVERYBODY DIES... funny, there is a missed opportunity here, as kids could lean a fundamental lesson from this book: every living thing must die someday.
Is it too perverse to think that children should be made aware of death as a fundamental cornerstone of life? If EVERYONE POOPS successfully acquainted boys and girls with their bowels back in 2001, then we might as well introduce them to their own eventual demise.
Official book website HERE.
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