MIDWAY : My beautiful mom

It’s called My Beautiful Mommy, and it’s a children’s book published in the United States this month. That all sounds regular and above board, you think, until I tell you why mommy is so beautiful — it’s because she has had extensive plastic surgery.

Reconstructive surgery, you might call it, after the natural disaster — sorry, precious and awe-inspiring miracle — that is having a child. And the beauty is, if you have a tummy tuck and breast implants in one hit, you get a bonanza two-for-one offer on the therapy your child might need in the future.

Please don’t try to redeem this offer, I am just being a wee bit supercilious. What do I even know of the ways in which one might screw up one’s child? Nothing at all.You can see why a book might be a good way to tackle the issue of plastic surgery with kids, since how do you do it on your own?

“I’m going to have surgery ... no, I’m not ill ... it’s because I refuse to submit to the savage march of time ... No, poppet, I’m afraid you cannot surgically remove your bedtime, that is a different sort of march of time ... Well, because I’m vain, essentially ... and I lack the backbone to satisfy my vanity with diet or exercise or something else for that

matter... I’m not trying to be a good example, I’m trying to get back into my jeans, you little git ... I’m cross because it’s your fault, you ravaged me!”

All this information would be better filleted and then delivered by a third party. Some might say the book, by Florida plastic

surgeon Dr Michael Salzhauer, and written for four to seven year olds, is a step too far.

“As I got older, my body stretched and I couldn’t fit into my clothes anymore. Dr Michael is going to help fix that and make me feel better,” says one cartoon mom.But a lot of children’s authors make a living out of delivering bad news and pretending it’s good news — A new baby! No, you won’t feel usurped, alienated and alone, it’ll be FUN.

This is a legitimate branch of the genre. I myself am currently working on Why I’m Allowed to Say That About Grandma, and Yet You’re Never Allowed to Say That About Me, Even Though Our Relationship is Directly Equivalent. Any alternative title suggestions are welcome.