Monday, May 7, 2012
Celebrities' Children's Books!
Children books have come a long way since the 1960's and 1970's. In those days there were classic tales with wonderful artwork, but they were few and far between. Imaginative writers such as Keats, Sendak, Carle, Seuss, and a whole host more filled the stacks with stories that can not be forgotten. So why is it that celebrities think that it is their duty to come into the Children's Literature genre and make it their own? Could it be that they believe that it is easy to write a "kiddie's" book? Maybe it's just a marketing ploy to get their name plastered onto books. Whatever the reason, there are somethings that all children's books must have to be considered a "classic" or need to read. Placing a famous person's name on the cover just doesn't cut it. There needs to be creative text and art, a plot that is simple yet engaging, and never ever talk down to your audience. Children never respond well when adults treat their inquisitive nature as "silliness". The young readers are quite serious about their world. The authors should be just as well. One shining example of a celebrity turned children's author is John Lithgow of 3rd Rock From The Sun. Mahalia Mouse Goes To College is an inspiring, imaginative story of a young mouse who successfully graduates from College. The art work is pleasing to the eye, but it's the text that steals the show. In his trademark of rhymes and whimsical storytelling, Lithgow grabs the readers attention and gets them to root for Mahalia. Lithgow has mastered the ability to tell a story that invites every child to be apart of his world. Frankly, he has earned the right to plaster his name on the cover of children's books. Thank goodness he didn't stop with Mahalia. Check out his other titles at the library. One example of who shouldn't write for children is Madonna. Although this is a book that could be placed on a coffee table, unlike her other attempt at that literary/photographic fiasco, the question would be why would any parent or caregiver want to give it to their children? English Roses is an attempt to demonstrate that "beautiful girls" can be outcasts too. The text is poorly written and the art is less then magical. Not to mention that the story makes he reader wonder who she is talking to or about? It would be an interesting question to ask if any child has ever known someone who was an outcast because they were beautiful. Just a guess, but the number would probably be zero. Perhaps gifted Children's authors such as De Paola, Carle, or Willems should consider forming a rock band or audition for movies. After all, it can't be that hard to do. If Madonna can do it why can't they? Perhaps, they may be as lucky as John Lithgow and realize that they can successfully branch out into other arts! It's just a thought!