Susan Orlean

Lazy Little Loafers

Of all my books, Lazy Little Loafers has had the most interesting backstory. I originally wrote the text as a humor piece for the New Yorker under the title "Shiftless Little Loafers" (Shouts & Murmurs, July 22, 2006). I meant it to convey the cranky, slightly churlish tone of a probably childless narrator complaining about how babies seem to get away with murder.

A few years after it appeared, a children's book editor at Harry Abrams had the (I think) brilliant notion that with a little bit of tweaking, the piece could work as a hilarious and also heartfelt sibling-rivalry rant, expressing the dismay of an older kid seeing a new baby getting doted on endlessly for doing nothing but being cute. My editor paired me up with fabulous illustrator Brian Karas, and presto! Lazy Little Loafers, the kids' book, was born. This is my first book for people in diapers, and I hope it won't be the last.


About the book

"From the New York Times bestselling author of The Orchid Thief comes a smart, hilarious take on what babies contribute -- or don't -- to the world.

"Ever experienced stroller envy? Ever wished you were applauded just for walking across a room? Ever wanted to loaf about the park on a blanket in the middle of a school day with nothing on your agenda but being relaxed and happy? Then you should be a baby. They've got it made.

"In this charming, droll story, a world-weary older sister ponders the question, why don't more babies work? Her answers, hilariously tinged with resentment, offer up a wickedly accurate picture of just how great babies have it.

"Known for her keen and witty observations of various subcultures, Susan Orlean here turns her gaze on babies. The resulting picture book is tongue-in-cheek fun for older siblings and anyone looking for a lazy, praise-filled day."



Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"One of the wittiest new-baby-in-the-family books of recent years."


"Such a real expression of a singular childhood emotion, free from any didactic hammering, is a welcome arrival that kids will enjoy again and again."