The last two years to flatten the curve of freedom has been anything but funny; however, a new children’s parody book by Calgary-based writer Derek Smith cleverly sends up the dark chapter of the Trudeau government’s February invocation of the Emergencies Act.
The best-selling book How The Prime Minister Stole Freedom has been on the Amazon Top 10 list since its release in May. The self-published book, which loosely follows the style and rhyming scheme of the Dr. Seuss classic How The Grinch Stole Christmas, is part tribute and part social commentary satire on the Canadian government’s botched and over-the-top handling of the Freedom Convoy. The convoy of trucks and thousands of Canadians that peacefully protested in Ottawa in February arose in response to the trucker vaccine mandate and other society wide mandates in February.
In clever rhyme and funny cartoonish illustrations it tells the story of an irritable, stupid and quick to anger unnamed Canadian Prime Minister who hates freedom and hates truckers who love it. As Smith puts it in the book, “His brain was three sizes too small.”
PICTURE BOOK TAKES SNAPSHOT OF MOMENT IN TIME
In a recent interview with Live from The Shed, Smith revealed his sad ‘red pill’ moment that ultimately lead to him writing the book and first realizing that something was very, very wrong with the government’s response to COVID-19. The author shared that at the height of lockdowns he missed saying a final goodbye to his dying mother in hospital.
“I was outside of her palliative care room waiting for my temperature to be taken and the batteries had died in the gun. The nurse went to get a replacement and while I was waiting, I got a phone call that she passed. So I was five feet away and missed saying goodbye. And that’s where I kind of drew the line with the hypocrisy with some of the rules — that’s where I started saying — it’s not fair.”
Author Smith and illustrator Kaede Knipe knew their material and drove it home in this hilarious but surprisingly faithful depiction of the Freedom Convoy’s Ottawa protest. All the classic Trudeau stumbles, fumbles and mumbles are here. The Prime Minister can be seen drinking a “drink-box, water-bottle sorta thing.” He uses the word “peoplekind.” And of course is in blackface more times than the reader can recall. On one page, the Prime Minister, wine class in hand gazes lovingly at a framed portrait of Winnie the Pooh — an obvious stand-in for Chinese President Xi Jinping who’s leadership style Trudeau has repeatedly and publicly stated envy for.
The book has already sold more than 40,000 copies since its May Amazon.ca release. The sales are astounding for a self-published Canadian children’s humour book that only has word-of-mouth advertising and no publisher attached.
DIALOGUE THROUGH HUMOUR
Smith tells Live from the Shed it’s high time that Canadians are allowed to talk about and debate the measures taken by the government over the past two years.
“The government is free to talk about a pandemic in keeping people safe but at the same time I felt like mental health was severely ignored. There wasn’t a lot taken into context for people that needed it and my heart goes out to those people. That’s why in this book we talk about Covid and we talk about the vaccines. But it was meant to be a softer approach where people who maybe struggled could have a little bit of a laugh and maybe say ‘okay you know I can look at the hypocrisy I can look at the funny side.’ We wanted to make the pen truly mightier than the sword and I think we accomplished that in this book.”
How the Prime Minister stole Freedom is Smith’s second children’s book parody. His first, released last October, Let’s Go Brandon, follows the misadventures of a bumbling child named Brandon who may or may not represent the U.S. President Joe Biden.
IS IT FOR KIDS THOUGH?
Yes, says Smith, if they are ready for the complex discussion in a nuanced and non-partisan way.
“It’s about being open-minded and critical so just like in school the focus should be on teaching kids how to learn and how to think critically and and not just indoctrinating them. I think that people are able to read this to their children and have the luxury of having a laugh but at the same time I’m still hoping that those people are not forcing those views on to their children. We complain when you hear about the drag shows that went on or a lot of the things on the extreme Left like gender identification and Roe versus Wade and all these things. I think that no matter what side you’re on if you’re pushing children to believe a certain line of existence I feel you’re doing them a great disservice.”
The satirical book has a surprise inspirational ending involving a politician who looks like Pierre Poilievre (wink) peacefully removing the Prime Minister with the will of parliament and the people. And that’s some CanCon that we can stand!