Bad Little Children’s Books

A project by Arthur C. Gackley

Arthur C. Gackley cleverly takes books’ classic covers and turns them into unforgettable, edgy, politically incorrect parodies that speak to the bad little kid in all of us. With a catalog of children’s book titles like Peeping Tommy Goes Cougar Hunting, Cousin Milky Is Lactose Intolerant, and The Blind Child’s Picture Dictionary, the collection by Arthur C. Gackley will have readers in stitches.

Charged with racism and bigotry by many members of the kid-lit community and others on Twitter, the book pulled from publication after outrage over offensive images. Initially, American publisher Abrams Books issued a statement defending the book, but then ceased the publication after the author’s request.

“When I used the pseudonym of the fictitious ‘Arthur C. Gackley’ to write the adult satire book, Bad Little Children’s Books, published by Abrams, I did so by following a long tradition of parody. The artistic statement that I tried to make in the book is to offend and, by doing so, to shine the uncomfortable light of day on bigotry, prejudice, and hate; in effect, to refuse to let those pernicious and undermining sentiments stand. However, the book is clearly not being read by some in the way I had intended — as satire — and, more disturbingly, is being misread as the very act of hate and bigotry that the work was meant to expose, not promote. For this reason, I have asked Abrams to cease publishing the book.”

Of course, the book didn’t receive only negative criticism, so you can still find it on the market. Arthur is not the only one who has been altering vintage children’s books covers. Author and illustrator Bob Staake created his own twisted series, more or less on the same line.


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