From Sam Seder on Twitter:
The book is shipping now, a bit ahead of schedule — you can order it from Amazon here. I would encourage parents to leave reviews regarding their kids’ reactions — one thing that worries me is that the baggage I carry as a political cartoonist will keep people from judging this book on its own merits. It’s not a book for grownups pretending to be a book for children, which I think is what some people expect from someone like me — it is a book that was genuinely written for children (though hopefully entertaining enough that adults’ heads will not explode reading it for the hundredth time).
… and the first customer review on Amazon:
At first I thought this was just another retelling of the Emperor’s New Clothes story. Then I realized there was a political message about the role of the media and their failure to point out that the Emperor has no clothes. Then I read it to my 5-year-old and found that there was a message about speaking up against peer pressure, and also that peer pressure might not be pushing the way you think: it’s more about what you perceive than what others impose.
When a short children’s book can do all of the above, plus some fun illustrations, and a few really funny moments … that’s a definite success for me. I hope I can be reading this one at bedtimes for a while!
It would be a Very Silly Reader who expected Tom Tomorrow to write a children’s book that didn’t have a point to make. But it might surprise some readers to discover that point isn’t some heavy political lesson, but is actually the type of common-sense moral that has been the basis for children’s stories all the way back to Aesop.
The story and its messsage are, basically, an update on the timeless classic “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. In TVSM, Sparky the penguin, Tom Tomorrow’s longtime voice of reason in his “This Modern World” comics, discovers that the Mayor of his medium-sized town has begun acting on some ideas that are – surprise! – Very Silly, indeed. (As a resident of a medium-sized city that has had its share of Very Silly Mayors, I sympathize.) Everyone else in town seems very happy with these ideas, but Sparky discovers that they may not be as happy as they say they are.
The book is filled with highly entertaining and colorful artwork. Fans of TMW will recognize Tomorrow’s style, as well as some of his stock faces (Blinky the dog is also on hand). And if Sparky is his usual self in that he is unafraid to say what he thinks, he does so in a polite and respectful tone that is appropriate in a tale for all ages.
As a book that adults and children can all enjoy, “The Very Silly Mayor” will be quite comfortable next to my copies of such classics as “Go Dog Go” and “The Cat in the Hat”.