Books

03.01.14

‘Henri Potter and Le Sorcerer’s Bone’ and More Kids Books France Hates

Recent Gallic gall over young-adult literature proves that even Paris can get pissy over progressive pulp fiction.

France’s main center-right party, the UMP, has recently waged a cultural war over several picture books suggested on a government website as a way for teachers to counter gender stereotypes among their students. Offending titles include, but aren’t limited to, Daddy Wears a DressJean Has Two Mummies, and Everybody Naked!—the last of which expresses both disdain for clothing AND the word “is.” 

While it’s great to see that Kermit isn’t the only frog concerned about family values, The Daily Beast has uncovered several other questionable tomes that have escaped the eyes of our croissant consuming allies. ¡Viva la outrage! 

Henri Potter and Le Sorcerer’s Bone, Robert Galbraith

A French wizard discovers his newfound sexuality vis-à-vis a magic wand that happens to be attached to him.

Critique: We’re assuming that JK Rowling’s inevitable cease-and-desist order will prevent us from obtaining a review copy—although damn if the perverted plagiarist’s name doesn’t sound familiar… 

Non Means Oui, Gérard Depardieu

The actor clarifies his 2001 Time magazine quote—“I don’t understand why rape is seen as bad in this country. I’ve raped several women”—within this controversial guide to preteen dating.

Critique: Gerard gets bonus points for having played a live-action version of the beloved cartoon character Obélix in not one, but four, cinematic outings. Negative points for also portraying Dominique Strauss-Kahn in the upcoming Welcome to New York. (Coincidentally, DSK, himself, loves this book.) Bottom line? More like Depar-DON’T. 

Babar Meets The Smurfs, Jean de Brunhoff & Peyo

The King of Elephants is introduced to everybody’s favorite hypothermia-suffering little people for the first time, and all manner of français-flavored hilarity ensues.
Critique: The chapter where Smurfette submits to something called “trunk-play” was as graphic as it was unnecessary. 

Pat Le Bunny, Woody Allen

In the Gallic version of the tactile American classic,  a court-appointed therapist asks an adolescent to point to places, on a stuffed rabbit named Pat, where his uncle touched him.

Critique: While the anti-molestation theme is commendable, the shocking ending—whereupon Pat is killed and cooked into a delicious Lapin a La Cocotte—is not.

France Has Two Mummies, Francois Holland

The president introduces his mistress, actress Julie Gayet, to the country’s children, in terms they can understand. A sampling: “Monogamy is a bourgeois concept. I spit on zee tired moralizations of zee religious right and zere tyranny over all our—how you say?—-private parts. [sighs whilst extinguishing cigarette]”

Critique: Upon further review, these are NOT terms the country’s children can understand. 

Let Them Eat Cake, Bernadette Chirac

In a nod to Michelle Obama’s anti-childhood-obesity campaign, the former first lady of France gives her thoughts on healthy eating when it comes to the county’s O-shaped enfants.

Critique: The most despicable chapter? “Wine, cheese…and you!”

¡Les Miserable!, Victor Hugo

It’s basically the exact same version as the famed 19th-century author’s original effort… but with more pictures. Oh, and the bread Jean Valjean steals to feed his family magically comes alive, acts as the hero’s conscience, and sleeps with several of Fantine’s whore friends.

Critique: Utter merde.