I had cause yesterday to recall a favorite book of mine as a child, and wondered if you were familiar with it. I was delighted to find the entire book was available (free) online, and was actually a creation of the same person responsible for "Little Black Sambo". I wonder what chance this classic tale might have in today's marketplace? http://www.sterlingtimes.org/kettlehead2.htmI'm just one person with one opinion, so please take this as such: Not a chance in hell.
A story meant to scare children away from open fires? In which the little girl's head is burnt off. And then her head is replaced with a kettle. And then the kettle is replaced with a doll's head, through the timely intervention of Santa Claus. And then she lives happily ever after (though thereafter terrified by open fires, and probably in need of a lot of expensive therapy)?
I think that to most of today's consumers this story will seem one or more of the following:
- batshit crazy
And to remember that the stories adults are likely to think of as pointlessly wacky because the stories are so far out of our cultural norm are fascinating to children for the very same reason. Children know it when they're looking at a story that's different from others, and children are hard at work every day trying to figure out what rules and ideas the world is made of. They naturally know that the exceptions define the edges of the rules, so everything that's markedly different is a possible key to the shape of the world.
And, to return to your question, as with Little Black Sambo (which I am likewise not a fan of), if there are enough people who remember this story fondly from their childhoods, then it could perhaps be republished. Who knows?