Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Children's Books That Never Were, Part 3



From the editor:

Dear Mister Pfister,

How delightful to receive a submission from Switzerland. I've studied enough German to know that the title of your manuscript, Fischaugen Regenbogen, loosely translates to “Rainbow Fish-Eyes.” From what I’ve gathered through my translation of the text (thank you, English-German dictionaries everywhere!), the story has a most intriguing premise. I don’t think that anyone has ever published a story about a myriad-eyed professor fish and his attempts to teach his “school” to appreciate poetry. The part in the story where the Rainbow Fish tears out his eyes in disgust after his students mangle iambic pentameter is gut-wrenching with pathos. However, the story gets quite convoluted after that. I fail to understand what role Krake the octopus has to do with the progression of the storyline. He just sits there in his cave. Also, I’m confused by the proliferation of aluminum foil stuck to the body of the Rainbow Fish. Is the glitteriness supposed to be a novelty of some sort? Today's children's book-buying public is much too savvy for what we refer to in the biz as "toy books."

I’m afraid that Fischaugen Regenbogen is not quite right for Furrier, Stress and Gyros. I recommend a reworking of the text to something that actually makes sense. I have full confidence that you will only improve upon your creation. Whatever else you do, definitely continue with the motif of the multiple-eyes. I feel as if they’re tracking me across the room. This is a good thing. Children need to think that, no matter where they are, someone is watching everything they do.

Sincerely,
Garrulous MacKenzie
Assistant to the Lead Editor
Children’s Division
Furrier, Stress & Gyros

4 comments:

limpy99 said...

"The part in the story where the Rainbow Fish tears out his eyes in disgust after his students mangle iambic pentameter is gut-wrenching with pathos."

Sadly, this reminded me of one of my high school Latin Teachers. Of course, he didn't actually tear out his eyes at our inability to move gracefully from declension to declension, or figure out exactly what the Ablative tense was, but he pretty much metaphorically did the same thing to his career.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Limpy99: I had a similar experience, too! Only Brad the Gorilla tore out his fur, leaving some embarassing bald spots.

Kelly Fineman said...

Thank you for the Very Loud Laugh.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Kelly: You're welcome!