If you were looking for personalities to guide your children through the tempestuous process of growing up, enfant terribles of the YBA scene The Chapman Brothers might not be near the top of your list. But the duo have released their first children’s book – Bedtime Tales For Sleepless Nights – which as the title suggests has more in common with the darker kinds of fairytales prevalent before Victorian moral guardians decided to round off their edges.
Designed by Fuel, it’s a traditional looking tome which mixes 15 specially-produced eerie images with some troubling stanzas, such as: “Sticks and stones/Shall break thy bones/And words will/Surely hurt you/Eyeballs and teeth/Shall be wrenched by grief/As nightfall comes/To shroud you.”
The deliciously dark approach will extend to the book’s launch at Bermondsey’s White Cube tomorrow night where Jake and Dinos will dress as rabbits and sign copies of the book in a really creepy wendy house, while a special raffle gives attendees the chance to win a bedside reading of the work by the authors themselves. The whole thing’s an intriguing proposition which the Fuel team were sensible enough not to overcomplicate, producing a book which gave free rein to the brothers’ weird and wonderful minds and the traditional format of which juxtaposed neatly with the slightly unusual content.