Latawnya the naughty horseLatawnya, the Naughty horse, learns to say “no” to drugs

Now this is funny!  Latawnya learned the hard way.  Check out these pictures of smoking and drinking horses!

Is this supposed to be a gentler way to teach children to say no to drugs?  I would probably laugh at this if I were a kid reading it.  I’m definitely laughing now!

Thank you, submitter.


horses smoking and drinking

Latawnya feels sick

  1. Maybe this book was the result of a bar bet? Or a dare? “Bet you can’t find a way to use the phrase “smoking drugs and drinking’ four times in one sentence!”

    1. That’s brilliant! HA HA Five would have been over the top for the publisher, I reckon.

  2. Somewhere on the net is the entire book – it is unbelievably hilarious. Apparently it was something printed by a vanity press that somehow ended up in a library.

  3. you left out the best part! the “about the author” page!

    “Sylvia Scott Gibson….is currently a co-inventor. She lives in Long Beach, CA with six of her eight children….The author would like to thank God. ‘Thank you God.'”

    1. Thanks for posting this! I nearly died laughing reading the story, but I found certain flaws in the plot.
      Example: Father horse talks about one of his friends who secretly smoked drugs and drank and then accidentally died of an overdose. He says he tried to get his friend not to smoke drugs or drink but how does he know his friend is doing that if it’s a secret?

    2. Did the other two grow up and leave, or run away from madam preacher?

      Can you say condescending? Yeesh!!!!

    3. What I find so funny is that Latawnya’s mother’s name is Sylvia in the book – like author – and she has eight brothers and sisters – like the author has eight children. So has Sylvia’s real-life “naughty” daughter Latawnya just been called out in print for misbehaving? THAT will surely teach her a lesson.

  4. This was a favorite of ours in library school! This is funny this should be posted today, because we were talking about terrible children’s books, and I mentioned Latawnya the Naughty Horse as an example of something you’d see on Awful Library Books. 🙂

    1. Hello Margaret:
      If my anti-drugs children book is is so terrible
      and awful why did the Internet Thieves and
      their partners steal my book and they are selling it everywhere even in other countries. Tell me
      the name of a brillant book you have written and
      what library I can find your great book.
      S. S. Gibson

  5. With copies of this book going from $65 to $125 on Amazon, sell it and make a donation to the drug free horse alliance.

  6. Gibson is also the author of Ricky the Skating worm and Rica the Mysterious Worm–both as excellent as Latawnya the Naughty Horse.

  7. Hahaha, this is the best! I remember somebody posted it over at Something Awful a couple years ago. I had that picture of the horse with the bottle in its mouth as a profile picture for a while. 🙂

    1. I loved the commentary on wiki (unintentionally hilarious):

      “Hardly a best seller at the time of its release, within the past few months of 2007, the book has earned a cult following, mainly by online bloggers who find the book so poorly written, making it unintentionally hilarious. For example, there are various contradictions with the known nature of horses that would theoretically prevent them from being able to drink/smoke, namely their lack of hands.”

      By the sounds of things you COULD sell it as suggested and donte the $$$. [Who knew?]

      1. Awfulness of the book itself, notwithstanding, what about all the children’s books that show animals doing human things? I suppose next we’ll be picking on The Trumpet Of The Swan? Or how about non-fiction books that use animals as a way to explain human things like the ones about death and divorce that “star” dinosaurs? (I think, but not entirely sure, that the titles are “When Dinosaurs Die” and “When Dinosaurs Divorce” and might be by Marc Brown.)

        Animals have been used for years as a way to bring information and/or entertainment to children.

        So you can’t really fault her on that. Because she’s not the first one to do it nor will she be the last.

      2. Hi Jamising:
        Please tell me where I can find your book that was written so perfectly. You can read Latawnya
        The Naughty Horse Two which will be released soon
        and after you read it give it your best criticisms
        thank you and keep laughing and making fun.
        S. S. Gibson

  8. …but with a little creativity and Photoshop, the pictures could have been really outstanding!

    1. Yes, but they did it well. Writing a good children’s book using animals does not equal just plunking animals where people would be, but using some of the characteristics of animals as a part of the story – sure, kids like horses, but there is nothing in this story that makes sense when you look at an actual horse (except I have seen an alcoholic donkey…).

      Read through Beverly Cleary’s book on Ralph, and you see that it would never make sense written with human characters. He has to be a little mouse in a human’s world.

      Alternatively, look at Franklin the turtle. Kids relate to Franklin because they can put themselves in his place, and don’t have to worry about whether they look like him or not, and he’s just far enough removed that it makes sense for him to have friends that are tiny enough to ride on his head, or for him to eat flies for breakfast.

      Latawnya fails for a few reasons other than the horrendous writing. For one thing, it constantly beats you over the head with the “horse” thing, without providing any reason at all for them to be horses instead of people. Heck, even the names are black/white. It continually reinforces the idea that drugs and alcohol are games, which, despite the image of the apathetic friends standing around a dead horse, translates into “not serious”. Kids are very literal – a game is entertainment.

      The illustrations do not differentiate one horse from another, which is confusing, when it would be relatively simple to add identifying marks or shading so we can tell who is who. Illustrations should reach out and grab the reader so they’re willing to listen to the words, while these just make me wonder how the horses open bottles and light those smoking drugs, or hold onto them in the first place. Are they just randomly hidden around the pasture by a malicious farmer? Is there sticky tack on the bottom of their hooves to hold things in place?

      The redundancy gets to me as well. The author established on the first page that they’re horses. The illustrations show horses. Therefore, there is no need to continually type horse in the text. Kids are not stupid. They have a memory, there is no need to continue hammering on something that is already well-established and relatively unimportant in a book as short as this one.

      That was a lot more than I meant to write…

  9. What an absurd title. Forget the content [or maybe not]. Latawnya and Latoya? Nope, nothing racial there…

    As for the drinking horse, that’s pretty much how I look when I get to the bottom of a fifth, except not only do I hold the bottle in my mouth, I also tip my head way back. When it’s all over I begin to cry and curse my life, and then go out in search of Latawnya and Latoya. Just another Saturday night where I roll…

  10. This is hysterical! It just reminded me of one of the very few times I got stoned at lunch time (or really any time in my life) in junior high and came back to my English class, to be presented with an anti-drug movie that told us smoking pot inevitably led to heroin addiction. I could only sit with my head on the desk, giggling.

  11. Maybe this will help stop the epidemic of all those horses dying from drinking and smoking too much. I do wonder how they can drink since that would be pretty hard to light up and open bottles of beer with their hooves.

  12. A friend of mine posted a link to this book on Facebook a few months ago. When I read it, it was obvious to me that it had been self-published. I’ve got to give the author credit for getting it into libraries!

    1. Librarians have a sense of humor too ya know. As a librarian I would put this on the shelves if for no other reason then to sneak back there myself for a good laugh on a bad day!

  13. My library has a Sonic Wall block against Internet access to specific categories. When I clicked on the “about the author” link above, I got a Sonic Wall block that said “access denied due to pornographic content”. Wow! “Sylvia, the Naughty Author”?

      1. Well, after hearing the audio, I’m so VERY happy to hear that Latawnya “lived in a COUNTY not far from town”. This would mean that she wasn’t here in drug-free Louisiana, where we only have Parishes.

    1. The website who is posting all of these
      statements and prices about my book has stolen my book. They stole the book and made it look like they got it legal. I have never
      received one dime from my book. The only people who has received money from my book is the thieves who stole it. is the
      number one thief, is the number two thief. This book is in the thieves hands.
      I thanked God for leting me write my book , but my book is in the devils hands. All of you
      keep laughing and making fun. One day everyone will see the real deal.
      You can laugh and make fun all you want to but I know my book has helped a avriety of people even adults. People that I do not know have knocked on my door and thanked me for
      writing Latawnya The Naughty Horse Learns To Say No TO Drugs. They told me they read
      my book and now they do not use drugs anymore. I know I am not perfect like many of you good people are. I wrote my book trying to help children, but the people who stole my
      book stole it to make money. I do not have anything to do with those high and terrible high prices the thieves have put on my book. ONE DAY I AM GOING TO WRITE THE TRUE STORY BEHIND LATAWNYA THE

      Sylvia Scott Gibson

  14. Most likely the author just smoked some killer weed. Horses, anyway, are more likely to understand drug abuse than humans…

  15. ok. I finally recovered the power of speech.

    can i ask some questions please?

    1) do you guys on the other side of the atlantic actually call your kids Latawnya?

    2) can anyone tell me what the other horse sisters are called? (cos right now i’m thinking Gregory and Daisy got off reasonably lightly)

    3) The author did the pictures right? cos the book was obviously written and illustrated by someone who had never seen a horse up close. while sober.

    1. 1) Yes. It’s mostly an African American trend to name kids things like Latawnya, La’Shawn, L’Tanga, Daquain, etc. I met a fairly ghetto white girl named Daeshawnda, though, and I knew of several others with odd names like that.

      2) Probably the names I mentioned in #1 😛

      3) I doubt it. But since there’s no illustrator credited, I’ll assume it was her.

  16. PatrickB: The author named all the characters after her own children. If the horses were named Jaden and Caden and also somehow managed to smoke an drink, we’d mock it just as mercilessly. The writing is atrocious, vanity press fodder, and this came to life when the SomethingAwful goons found it.

    Now, the mp3 of one of them reading it? That’s funny.

  17. As asinine as this book sounds, I must say that I love the portrayals of anthropomorphic animals seen in so many cartoons, paintings, computer games, etc. Indeed, the old computer program THE CARTOONERS is a favorite of mine.

  18. I knew that horses liked grass but I didn’t realize they were smoking it rather than eating it.

    Horses do like beer, though. A famous racehorse named Pebbles always had a pint of Guinness in her feed.

  19. This made my day; hilarious!! Why didn’t I come across this one at a library sale when I was a bookseller?! Then again, I would have kept it. LOL

  20. You should read the comments on They are absolutely hilarious. This one in particular:

    “A solid read right out of the gait! While most reviewers may feel as if they were mercilessly pommeled by the message of this book (adapted from the Canter-bury Tales), I found the story a great starting point for discussion. Sure to stirrup controversy, ‘Latawnya’ has her blinders removed by the harsher truths of life. Neighsayers, doubtlessly, feel it may be too ‘adult’ for youngsters, however, parents saddled with the responsibility of educating their kids may disagree. The unbridled truths revealed herein can only serve to corral the impetuous spirits of today’s youth by presenting the dangers of today’s world as they are. Stable homes are built on open relationships created thusly. Ms. Gibson doesn’t trot around the moral to be learned, and, as such the reader is not reined in by obfuscations. I can only hope that others help to make this spread like Wildfire, the more the farrier. It behooves you to buy this book!”

  21. I need to pass this on to the New York Racing Authority. They have been blaming horse owners and trainers for doping up the horses, but it looks like it’s the horses themselves.

  22. One of my relatives used to own a racehorse, and admitted to giving the horse speed in a bucket of cola. The horse would apparently drink it down and run like crazy!
    This was decades ago. Unfortunately this relative is now deceased so I can’t ask how often he actually raced in that state.
    No report of the horse getting any rum in with the Coca-Cola, or smoking anything, however.

    1. Thank you so much. I now have “Rum And Coca Cola” as sung by The Andrews Sisters stuck in my head.

  23. You laugh but I knew a horse that loved beer. so much so that if you had one in your hand he would grab it and take off, downing the whole thing before you could wrench it out of his mouth! I knew another very old horse with cancer that stopped eaing and was going to have to be put down, until some kind soul started supplimenting her with “an appitite inducing substance”. She lived for another five years and was happy and healthy!
    still this book is weird!

  24. She’s on Facebook!

    “My name is Sylvia Scott Gibson. I have been married for 39 years. I am the mother of 9 beautiful children. I am disable.
    I love to write children books to try to help children. I love all children, I have 4 children books published.”

  25. The Revolutionary
    // January 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Reply I have no problem believing that a horse would say no to drugs. However, I REFUSE to believe that a horse would be named Latawnya.

  26. Ah, nearly died laughing.

    The fact that Latawyna or whatever her name is can even hold a cigarette or dribnk from a bottle should probably earn her the title of clever horse at least.

    But yeah, learn to say neigh.

    Stop horsing about.


    Yeah, the author was definitely high on something.

  27. Just tried to find this classic on Amazon. Selling for $65 a copy, and only 5 available…dang! Are you weeding it out? I want it! I have to see how the little horses manage to hold cigarettes and booze in their tiny hooves..

  28. wow, i am RUNNING to the library right now to demand that they have all of her books on the shelves. gotta get my hands on one of these!

  29. The grammarian in me questions the title of the book and its poor usage of quotation marks. How does a horse’s “no” differ from an actual no? And if I say “no” to drugs, does that mean it’s OK if I smoke a little weed…or maybe it means you just can’t inhale?

    1. The grammarian in me wonders why people find it so hard to distinguish between grammar and punctuation.

  30. How did the horseys light their cigarettes? Matches? A giant horsey lighter? Did they drink the beer out of cans or a giant keg….too many questions left unanswered.

  31. WOW…smoking horses…and drinking horses…interesting, such a fascinating way of getting a message across to children…
    Pfffft I know I would laugh, I am too actually.

  32. Aye carumba!! And this was published?! To think that this book is (or was) taking up valuable space on shelves in libraries, book stores, and, God forbid, someone’s home.

  33. LOL….. but horses do like beer and can drink it from a bottle…..I’ve seen it….Don’t leave a glass or mug of mixed drink, wine or beer unattended around birds or squirrels either! I swear they will drink and get drunk! That’s why I don’t invite horses to my patio parties {see my critter tales} and no drinking or smoking either……lol….I have a hard enough time keeping critters from trying to eat some of the other critter or cheating while playing poker. Watching drunken horses may be fun…… just don’t stand behind them……lol…and don’t strike a match if you do…need I say more?…. :} Lila

  34. Eish! (That’s the South African for OMG.) Just after I saw this I read an article in the national Sunday newspaper about some American calling Kami from ‘Takalani Sesame’ (South African Sesame Street) “really corrupt to the point of persversion”. To give some background, the ‘Kami’ character is HIV positive and is designed to destigmatise HIV and AIDS in South Africa, which is a huge problem. Now I’m just wondering what that idiot would say about this book, probably love it. Fascist. Anyway, I’ll try and find that ‘where babies come from’ e-mail I got. It’s even more hectic than this…I’ll even translate it although the pictures may just tell the story 🙂

  35. I think its possible everyone is missing the point here, ‘Horse’ I believe was an old term for Heroin.

  36. This is so funny! Horses are proably the worst animals to use for a story about drugs. This is funny!!!

  37. it’s so bad…..I’m sure there will be many at your first HA meeting Tony Sirloin! check out YouTube for drunken animals to get a real eye opener!…….. :}

  38. Thank you for your good, bad and silly comments. You think you are laughing now.
    Wait until you see Latawnya The Naughty Horse
    Two. Keep laughing and hold on tightly to something because when you see Laytawnya Two you are going to fall down laughing.

    Sylvia Scott Gibson

  39. SS Gibson,
    In the second version, would you mind finding another illustrator? There are quite a few equine artists out there with excellent anatomy knowlage.
    Also, if you are so inclined, you can sell your books (self-published or otherwise) on ebay, and abebooks, as well as other similar sites so you can get some form of reimbursement for your work. As they say in LA, no publicity is bad publicity.

  40. Interesting how the worst spelling, grammar and punctuation on this page comes from the author of this gem…although the person who accused her of being racialist should probably think. I’d imagine the author is probably black herself.