I is for innuendo: Kids’ book drips with double meaning

D is for double-entendre: Elissa Blount-Moorhead has penned an alphabet book with dirty double meanings, so adults can get a secret kick out of reading to innocent, oblivious kids.
Photo by Jason Speakman

Finally, a sexy way to learn your ABCs!

A Bedford-Stuyvesant writer has penned a sneakily subversive children’s book that teaches kids the alphabet with dirty double-entendres. But the author of “P is for Pussy” says that the double-meanings are totally lost on the innocent — or at least, they should be.

“If your children know all these sex and drug references, you have a bigger problem,” said Elissa Blount-Moorhead, who will celebrate the launch of her picture book at Dumbo’s Powerhouse Arena on Feb. 29.

The book pairs potentially dirty words with innocent illustrations, such as “A is for ass” — accompanied by an image of a donkey — and “C is for cock,” depicting a guy holding a rooster.

She dreamt up the idea while trying to keep her youngsters — and herself — entertained during a long road trip, and started spouting off a naughty but kid-friendly alternative alphabet to mix up the ho-hum “A is for apple.”

The former Pratt professor and mother of two, who splits her time between Brooklyn and Baltimore, decided the current kids’ book market could use more low-key adult humor to keep parents laughing while putting the little ones to bed.

C is for clueless: Four-year-old Zahara Shabazz is oblivious to the naughty double-meanings hidden behind each letter in her new alphabet book, said Blount-Moorhead — making it the perfect book for kids and grown-ups alike.
Photo by Jason Speakman

“I spent a lot of time trying to find more subversive and visually arresting books, and I was completely bored with what was being offered at the time,” she said.

The adult alphabet book can potentially be read to kids, unlike the similar work “Go the F— to Sleep,” which aped the form of a children’s book while being aimed solely at adults.

In addition to the naughty double-meanings, mature female readers may get a kick from the book’s decidedly sex-positive, feminist voice, said Blount-Moorhead. Many of the words and images, like “V is for vixen” and the more dicey “H is for hoe,” were carefully rendered to depict sexually-liberated women in full control of their bodies.

Local artist Wangechi Mutu — known for her bold, colorful collages of female figures — is currently visiting Nairobi, but will join the author at the launch via Skype to chat about feminist themes across their work.

“P is for Pussy” book launch party at Powerhouse Arena [37 Main St. at Water Street in Dumbo, (718) 666–3049, www.powerhousearena.com]. Feb. 29, 7 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at ahobbs@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8312.
Kid-proof: ‘Pussy’ is just another word for ‘cat’ — get your mind out of the gutter!
Photo by Jason Speakman

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