Written by Adam Mansbach and illustrated by Ricardo Cortés, Go the F**k to Sleep is a progressive bedtime story book that breaks the traditional norms of reading to your child. As someone who finished some units in child development, reading bedtime stories to your child has nothing to do with the choice of book. You could be reading the newspaper for all he or she cares but what is important is the tone of voice that you keep that soothes your little one, eventually falling into deep slumber.
Above is the audiobook version read by Samuel L. Jackson which is by far the best version out there. If you’re a member of Audible, the book costs a measly USD $1.71. Before the actual reading Samuel L. Jackson does a short commentary on the book, relating his experiences as a father and reading to his daughter. “Go the F to sleep!” is already a household saying that serves as a testament to tired parents around the globe. The story itself is a narration of a parent’s frustration (in rhyme) of how he can’t seem to get his kid to bed and in the process ends up falling asleep himself.
The book is a viral and household hit that many people have recorded their own versions such as this Asian grandma reading the book for the first time to her grandchild — coming out laughing when she realizes the language of the book.
As to the progressive nature of the book’s language, you can go on a long debate about child-rearing and the “bad” culture of saying dirty words vis a vis building resilience in your child. Truthfully, I think at the end of the day, it’s all about the latter and that certain childhood memories, though strong can still just be a small triviality when put into perspective against the other factors that influence a child’s life.
So yeah, I do suggest picking up a copy. It’s selling like hotcakes on Amazon with really epic reviews. It’s in its purest form a salute to parents for sacrificing time for their kids on that last stretch before they put them to bed for the day.