"Maggie Goes on a Diet," by Paul M. Kramer and Mari Kuwayama.
Updated: November 5, 2011 1:51PM
What’s the deal with all the attention for a not-yet-published rhyming picture book about an obese, unhappy 14-year-old named Maggie?
The title, for starters: “Maggie Goes on a Diet.”
A blurb about the book describes how the bullied girl is transformed through time, exercise and hard work into a popular, confident and average size soccer star. The cover art shows her wistfully holding up a dress as she stares at her imagined, much slimmer self in a full-length mirror. An inside page, the only one most people have seen, shows her hunched over the fridge during a two-fisted eating binge.
Adding to the controversy: Author Paul Kramer’s amateurish, self-published effort is recommended on Amazon for kids ages 4 to 8.
The online mess for Kramer began recently with outraged commenters on Amazon. There’s now a “savemaggie” hashtag on Twitter, a “Say No to Maggie Goes on a Diet” Facebook page, calls for a boycott and demands that Amazon and Barnes & Noble pull the book.
While most of the attention has been negative, Kramer said, there are supporters, like this one who responded to a book basher on Twitter: “She’s 14, not 6. Are you seriously suggesting that, with the obesity problem in this country, that a book teaching children to exercise and eat right, is somehow IMMORAL? I bet your fat.” AP