You’ve dealt with it, or you’ve witnessed it. The parents, heads in hands, at the restaurant or at the Thanksgiving table, facing off with a tiny dictator who JUST. WON’T. EAT. It’s like our own version of Kübler-Ross. You’ve got denial: “No, she/he will eat this time. I just made this and she/he loved it.” Anger: “I can’t BELIEVE YOU’RE NOT GOING TO EAT! AGAIN!” Bargaining: “You can have ice cream after you eat. Come on. We’ll go to Toys R Us after you make all gone.” Depression: “The kid’s not going to eat, and I’m going to be taken away for neglect.” Acceptance: “Here. Chicken nuggets and fruit snacks. Vaya con Dios, kid.”
Finally, there is a book for us. And it’s by the same duo that gave us the glorious “Go the F*ck to Sleep“.
Combining sweet, dreamy rhyme with the harsh reality of living with a picky eater, Adam Mansbach does it again, putting our frustrations into rhyme. Illustrator Owen Brozman gives us visions of wildlife, with pastoral scenes featuring snacking bunnies and sheep, giraffes on the savannah… and the grumpy-faced kid who isn’t budging on her dinner. Children with arms folded, glaring at a forkful of asparagus, like her parent is offering her garbage on a stick. A child reaching for a discarded roll, on the floor, as her father fends off a migraine. It’s the secret nod that all picky eater parents know well. This book is our secret handshake.
Parents with a healthy, developed sense of humor are going to love this book. If you bought Go the F*ck to Sleep for anyone as a baby shower gift, it’s the perfect time to give them You Have to F***ing Eat. Buy armloads of copies, and hand them out to parents you know. Keep copies in your bag to give parents at restaurants, food courts, and family dinners. We’ll thank you. Seriously.
Enjoy the UK audiobook, narrated by Stephen Fry. Then go buy this book.
YOU HAVE TO F***ING EAT
Author: Adam Mansbach
Illustrator: Owen Brozman
Publisher: Akashic Books