Welcome back to the New Classics column. On this fine Friday, I wanted to give you some insight into modern children’s books, with modern values of pride, activism, and humor. And to spruce it up a little, I wrote this post as a little children’s rhyme itself! So get reading, and let your youthful side smile today 🙂

Little Marissa, she can’t fall asleep.

She’s got to much up in her mind.

So she picks up a book, runs out of her nook,

And shows her mother her find.

“Fine,” says her mom, “I’ll read you just one,

And then you must kiss me goodnight.”

And Tango Makes Three is her very first pick,

A tale of a penguin family.

Two dads and one kid in the Central Park Zoo

Greeting visitors with pride and glee.

“That wasn’t enough,” she says with a thump

As she brings her fist down to her knee.

“I’m not tired yet, I can’t rest my head

Till you read one more book to me.”

“Fine,” says her mom, “One more’s alright,

And then you must kiss me goodnight.”

Marissa grabs Elvis is King off her shelf,

A story of rock-and-roll fame.

The claymation scenes nestle into her dreams

Through the biography of this household name.

“Not quite there yet,” Marissa proclaims,

And her mother exhales a deep sigh.

“Which is it next?” she asks in suspense,

And Marissa leaps up with a smile.

When Sadness Is at Your Door, the book reads,

You welcome him just like a guest.

See what he needs, then send him to leave.

A how-to of handling sadness.  

Alas, of course, this could not be the end.

Marissa demands just one more.

“And then I will sleep, I promise, I swear,

I just need one book before.

So she picks up The Sea Book from nearby on the floor

(she’d been reading the ocean facts all day)

With animal pics and eco-friendly tips,

From deep seas to lakes to the bay.

And as soon as mom closes the cover,

Marissa is forced to admit,

“I lied before, we must read one more,”

And her mom is resigned to submit.

Next up is the favorite of Late-Night TV,

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,

Where Mike Pence’s boy bunny finds another boy bunny

Rejoicing in protest and love.

“That one was fine,” thinks her mom when they’re done,

Since she loves some good commentary.

But Marissa, again, requests one more book, please,

And her mother’s obliged to agree.

Lubna and Pebble, a friendship for the ages,

A girl and her rock on a journey.

Subtly discussing the refugee crisis

While focused on love and on safety and yearning.

Marissa’s eyelids begin to grow heavy,

And her limbs sink into her bed.

But through tired teeth, she still asks, “Again, please?

And then right off to bed like you said.”

Hair Love is the last story she hears on this night,

Of a single black father and his girl.

He helps with her kinks and coils and curls,

Giving her hairstyles that rule the whole world.

And then there is silence, a gentle snore,

The rhythm of Marissa’s deep breathing.

So her mom grabs a book, it’s not her bedtime yet,

And does some more adult children’s reading.

Go the F**k to Sleep, it says on the front,

A feeling this mother knows well.

Profane but affectionate, frustrated but kind,

And after this book, she falls asleep herself.

I’m Annie, a recent UC Berkeley grad and publicity intern here at Art + Deco Agency. I’ll be your resident blogger, chatting with and about emerging voices in the literary industry and getting you started on your summer reading list. Catch me here every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday!

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Posted by:Art + Deco Agency Blog

Art + Deco Agency is a boutique publishing agency of artists and literary trendsetters. For us, Art + Deco draws to mind a movement of artistic, social and political expression, and we strive to have that impact on literature and branding. Only the few are artistic enough to be a part of it, but we make lasting art and trademarks for the masses to enjoy for generations. Art + Deco actively seeks out and is sought out by new and established authors who are contemporary in their craft and bold in their ideas. We’re a new kind of publishing agency that combines innate understanding of publishing, manuscript editing, design, publicity and brand skills. We leave the stuffy blazers at the door and bring a fresh approach to overused, outdated publishing strategies. We’re a group of new-age masters – not just researching our fields but living inside of them every day. Our modern world needs modern voices, publishing solutions and brand identities. And that’s what Art + Deco provides!

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