Eat Your Haggis and Pass the Atonement

Elizabeth Bluemle -- August 20th, 2009

Our good friend and droll bookselling colleague, Kenny Brechner, who has guest-posted once before (see Kindle at Poseidon’s Gate), cracked us up with an email to the New England Children’s Booksellers online discussion group, and we couldn’t resist posting it here (with his permission, of course).

Kenny writes:

Happy Hanukkah, Corduroy, coming this October, and the spring 2010 release of Happy Easter, Curious George, got me thinking about the issue of classic franchised children’s book characters and holidays. These titles are great, but why stick to the run-of-the-mill, usual-suspect sorts of holidays? What about holidays with literary connotations or philosophical depth? For example, with the recent Robert Burns 250th anniversary getting so much press, was an opportunity missed in not coming out with Eat Your Haggis, Curious George? I know what you’re thinking: Curious George is a monkey, and therefore almost entirely a vegetarian, and the idea of him being goaded to eat a dish comprised of minced heart, lungs, and liver of a sheep or calf mixed with suet, could be construed as not being 100% tasteful. Still, aren’t there larger issues here? If classic franchised children’s book characters don’t lead the way, who will?

Consider Yom Kippur. At first blush, the Jewish Day of Atonement might seem a forbidding topic for Curious George, but George is a curious monkey, and his curiosity has previously resulted in hospital bills, radiology bills, and the unintentional theft of property, such as balloons. Perhaps the concept of atonement would resonate with him.

So what do you think? Which untapped holidays would work here, and which is the world not quite ready for?

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