Katharine DeBrecht, a married mother of three, wanted to make a point about the importance of conservative values.
So, she penned a children’s book — “Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed!” — to stand up to the “liberal agenda that’s being thrown at our kids from the left.”
The book, which tells the tale of “liberal” politicians interfering with two young brothers’ lemonade stand, reflects “the conservative side — the traditional family values like self-reliance, hard work, charity and faith,” Mrs. DeBrecht said.
Two of the book’s villains, who resemble Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, and Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, tax the boys’ profits, restrict the amount of sugar they can use in their drinks and require them to serve broccoli, too.
A liberal lawyer, “Mr. Fussman,” harasses the boys for putting a picture of Jesus on their stand.
In the book’s “happy” ending, the liberals vanish as if they were a bad dream, leaving the youngsters free to pursue their American dream.
The book has been a top-seller on the Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble Web sites. Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh and conservative bloggers have raved about it.
The first 10,000 copies of the book have been sold since its mid-September release, and up to 15,000 more are being printed.
“And almost all of those are already spoken for, in one way, shape or form,” said Eric Jackson, co-founder and chairman of World Ahead Publishing in Gardena, Calif.
Liberals have lambasted the book as “brainwashing” and “Nazi propaganda.” The Democratic Underground Web site listed Mrs. DeBrecht as one of its “Top 10 Conservative Idiots” last month.
“If ever there was a book that public libraries should ban, it is this one,” one outraged reviewer wrote on Amazon.com.
Sheldon Rampton of the Center for Media and Democracy, a watchdog for corporate propaganda in Madison, Wis., voiced concern about marketing the book to children.
“If this were a parody for adult entertainment, I would see it as that. But if this is a book that is actually intended for kids to read, then I think there’s a problem with it,” Mr. Rampton said.
Children aren’t necessarily sophisticated enough to understand these kinds of policies, and “liberals under the bed” sounds like “monsters under the bed,” Mr. Rampton said. “Kids have enough real things that their parents need to teach them to stay away from.”
Mrs. DeBrecht, who is active in South Carolina Republican politics, said she is too busy working on her next books to be bothered by liberal “whining.”
“Help! Mom! Hollywood Is in My Hamper,” which takes on politicking liberal celebrities, is due in March, she said, and lawyers and judges soon will be the stars of their own “Help! Mom!” books.