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Unleash your inner-child with this celebration of our favourite picture books for adults. Designed to be loved by the child and the child-at-heart.
1. Boys: An Illustrated Field Guide by Heather Ross
This stunning little book aims to provide the reader with an example of all the different boys they can expect to meet, and how they will impact their life and affect the person they become. Guaranteed to make you weep and featuring gorgeous, minimalist illustrations on every page this really is a stand-out bookshelf piece. A full review can be found here.
2. Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach, illustrated by Ricardo Cortés
OH SHIT, I FORGOT. I ALREADY TALKED ABOUT THIS ‘GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP’ BOOK EARLIER IN MY FEED MONTHS AGO. I POSTED THE ORIGINAL DRAWINGS MY BOY RICARDO DID OF MY DAUGHTERS FOR THE BOOK, BUT I TOTALLY SPACED ON IT TILL AFTER I ALREADY SHOT THIS IMAGE AND STARTED TO TYPE. FUNNY HOW THE BRAIN WORKS. AS I WAS WRITING ABOUT IT, MY OWN WORDS STARTED TO SOUND FAMILIAR. THAT’S WHEN IT DAWNED ON ME… “YOU ALREADY WROTE ABOUT THIS, DICK.” WELL, SORRY TO REPOST ABOUT THE SAME SHIT, BUT I GUESS SUBCONSCIOUSLY I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO A CHILDREN’S BOOK, SO WHEN I CAME ACROSS THIS COPY AGAIN ON MY KID’S BOOKSHELF EARLIER THIS WEEK, IT BROUGHT BACK FEELINGS… FEELINGS OF REGRET THAT I HAVEN’T BUSTED OUT MY VERSION OF A CHILDREN'S BOOK YET. I NEVER REALLY GAVE A FUCK ABOUT MY KIDS GOING TO SLEEP EARLY. AFTER WE PLAYED A BIT, THEY COULD STAY UP LATE, AS LONG AS THEY HUNG IN THEIR ROOM AND GAVE DADDY SOME TIME TO WIND-DOWN AND DO MY OWN THING. MAYBE I’M BETTER OFF WRITING A BOOK FOR ADULTS ON HOW TO STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THEIR KIDS NOT GOING TO SLEEP OR EATING OR SOME SHIT LIKE THAT. I CAN CALL IT, ‘STOP FUCKEN CRYING AND HAVE A DRINK.’ @RMCORTES #GOTHEFUCKTOSLEEP #BOOKS
Award-winning author, Adam Mansbach’s, verses perfectly capture the all-too-familiar rituals of putting your little one down for the night. He opens up honest conversations about parenting and invites its grown-up readers to realise they are not alone in laughing at the absurdities and weeping over the never-ending stress of this daily parenting nightmare.
3. All My Friends are Dead by Avery Monsen, illustrated by Jory John
From the sock whose only friend has gone missing to the houseplants whose friends are being slowly killed by their irresponsible plant owners (like you). This is a hilariously dark book about every conceivable object and animal and all its missing friends.
4. The Book of Bunny Suicides by Andy Riley
Follow over one hundred bunnies as they find ever increasingly more outlandish ways to do themselves in. Including lightsabers, super glue, and all other manner of household objects, this is definitely one of the picture books for adults that is on the grimmer (but inventive) side.
5. Cyanide and Happiness Vol. 2: Ice Cream & Sadness by Kris Wilson
This book comes with this warning: “If you’re younger than 15 or older than 50, there is an 87% chance that something in this book will offend you.” This delivers the perfect amount of inappropriate humour with hilarious yet simple matching illustrations and text.
6. Goodnight iPad: A Parody for the Next Generation by Ann Droyd
This is one of the picture books for adults and children alike. This is a bedtime story for our contemporary times and a hilarious parody of the beloved children’s picture book, ‘Goodnight Moon‘.
7. How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman
Hint: it’s breathing! This is a perfect gift for any cat lover, and will also make any with a doggy preference feel vindicated in their choices… until they see the next title.
8. Dog Shaming by Pascale Lemire
This is a collection of the best additions to the web phenomenon www.dogshaming.com. ‘Dog Shaming’ features the most hilarious, most shameful, and never-before-seen doggie misdeeds.
9. I Hate Everything by Matthew DiBenedetti
Amateur haters, step aside. Time to learn what it really means to be miserable. This is the story of a guy who hates literally everything. Be prepared to relive all your minor gripes about life, and develop new ones! And for an extra dose of pessimism, this also comes in journal format.
10. I Had a Black Dog: His Name Was Depression by Matthew Johnstone
If you know someone or have suffered yourself with some form of mental health, then you need to read this book. It is incredibly short and has probably less than 200 words in the whole thing. And yet it perfectly encapsulates what life with depression is really like. This is poignant and hard-hitting but a necessary read. I identified with it so much and the mixture of text and illustration helps to truly visualise your own demons.
Any picture books for adults that you’d add to the list? Let us know in the comment section, down below.