This is a joke, right? Maggie Goes on a Diet is the new self-published book (available OCtober 16) by Paul Kramer. It’s about an overweight, insecure 14-year-old girl who goes on a diet and is transformed into a confident soccer-star creature. Amazon lists the intended audience as ages 4-8 and Barnes and Noble gives a 6-12 year-old range.

Childhood obesity epidemic or not, this is ridiculous. Giving a little girl a book that tells her a strict diet and exercise regimen is the key to happiness will never be a good idea. Children’s book blog Treasury Islands says it quite well in this response to the cover art:

This smiley girl with Pippi Longstocking plaits is probably Maggie. And Maggie is, lets face it, a little on the plump side. Maggie has a pretty pink frock. Girls like pretty pink frocks. But look! The pretty pink frock will not fit her – it is too small! Here’s a suggestion for your next book Mr. Kramer: write a book called MAGGIE’S MUM BUYS A DRESS THAT ACTUALLY FITS HER AND DOESN’T DEGRADE HER DAUGHTER, and get someone else to write it.

Um, yeah. That the book is self-published also says quite a lot. While I understand the desire to promote healthy habits, encouraging children to diet is a slippery slope and best left to a doctor or other trusted health professional.

What do you think about this book? 

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