Admittedly Dumb Idea (Number Three): Baby’s First Book of _____ Law

This is the third in a series (prior entries here and here) of admittedly dumb law-related ideas that I’ve had, and don’t quite have the filter to suppress.

A while ago, on my other site, I posted a simple Gashlycrumb Tinies-inspired abecedarian that drew from some notable Torts cases. The text provided as follows:

A is for Adams who a wire imperiled / B is for Byrne crushed flat by a barrel / C is for Carter who slipped on some ice / D is for Dillon who might have died twice / E is for Escola nicked by some pop / F is for Fletcher whose mine needed a mop / G is for Goodman who caught a train the wrong way / H is for Hood who said his saw didn’t say / I is for Intel whose computers were smeared / J is for Johnson whose baby flat disappeared / K is for Katko shot while he stole / L is for Levandoski who fell into a hole / M is for Murphy maimed on “The Flopper” / N is for Negri who slipped as a shopper / O is for O’Brien halting pool sales / P is for Palsgraf squashed by some scales / Q is for Quill who received quite a scare / R is for Rowland owed reasonable care / S is for Summers who can’t ID his shooter / T is for Tedla struck by a commuter / U is for Ultramares from whom a company did steal / V is for Vosburg whose leg didn’t heal / W is for Wagon Mound done in by a spark / X is for the unreasonable man who takes stairs in the dark / Y is for Ybarra who sued the whole set / Z is for Zeran defamed over the Net

Prior to posting the rhyme, I had thought a little bit about trying to find an artist who could prepare illustrations to accompany the text, combining the two, and then marketing the resulting book as something like “Baby’s First Book of Tort Law. ” I dropped this idea when other projects intervened, but still I think that someone could do well with a series of children’s books along similar lines: e.g., “Baby’s First Book of Secured Transactions,” “Baby’s First Book of Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law,” etc.

These books might not all fit within the abecedarian format. The letter X poses a huge problem here, seeing as how Black’s Law Dictionary includes only four words that begin with the letter. But that’s OK. “Baby’s First Book of Securities Regulation Law” could relate the story of a little lemonade stand that grew and grew, such that its founders ultimately had to decide whether to conduct a private stock placement and then an IPO, or alternatively, to seek funding for expansion through the JOBS Act’s crowd-sourcing option. “Baby’s First Book of Federal Jurisdiction” might discuss how, under AEDPA, a series of courts would assess an arguably untimely habeas petition filed by a plush stuffed-animal tiger that’s being detained in a cardboard-box jail in the living room. “Baby’s First Book of Law and Economics” would . . . you get the idea.

Admittedly, I suspect that very few children would purchase these books. At least the focus groups of four-year-olds that I’ve convened seem to suggest as much. But that’s not really the target market.  So if there are any interested illustrators out there, drop me a line.




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5 Responses

  1. Jumbo Hunch says:

    I think a law book for kids could be pretty useful, especially if you’re able to finger your child as a nutjob early on. Nothing like early prevention to stop psychos from going, you know, psycho:

  2. Shag from Brookline says:

    Here’s a comment I posted at another blog post on “Shortage of Lawyers”:


    Mell’s “Miss Peach” was one of my favorite comic strips. One that I photocopied and placed on a wall in my law office decades ago features a banner: “Future Lawyers of America Meet Here.” Student Ira was on a dais, addressing his fellow students, one of whom asked: “What do you hope to attain as a lawyer, Ira?” His response:

    “I hope to make my name a household word in the world of law. In other words, my ambition is to sue every man, woman and child in the United States!!”

    My caption for this posting was:

    August 1, 2008 7:18 AM


    Alas, apparently there is presently no shortage of lawyers. But such a successful class action could pay off student loans.

  3. Joan Heminway says:

    I’ll bet my kids (now 20 and 22) wouldn’t have touched books in this series–and still wouldn’t today. Anything with “law” in it is suspect. But then again, my daughter used to make up stories for any book she picked up when she was a toddler–and was known to pick up cookbooks with nice pictures to do that. So, maybe I am wrong . . . .

    I would write the “Baby’s First Book of Securities Regulation.” But I will note here that the JOBS Act provides for crowdfunding (which is, in some–but not all–circles, deemed to be a type of crowdsourcing), just in case anyone is paying attention to that part of your post . . . . :>)

  4. lak banning says:

    They do say that kids learn alot in their earlier years. I guess learning about all of this at such an early stage would be useful as long it was written in a way where really young kids could understand really basic concepts. These days small children are able to learn about computers and what computers do quite well so learning about law may not be a problem if it was done right. The subject of any law is complex so the content would have to be really simple to understand. Most young kids know a policeman when they see one so maybe this would be a starting point…….but I am no expert.