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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Celebrity Children's Book Authors: The Good

There are so few celebrities who understand and excel at writing books for children. Very few. As discussed in the last blog, celebrities all think that writing for a child is an easy endeavor. It really isn't for so many reasons that were already discussed and won't lament on them again now. The clues that were left last time of which celebrity's books are very good were dead give aways, weren't they? The actress who came from a famous family and did quite well in films herself is none other than Jamie Lee Curtis. The actor who has done so many genres, from drama to comedy and everything in between is John Lithgow. However there is one more that many may have forgotten his works but he can be seen in a classic TV show but that will be discovered later. One of the nicest surprise when Jamie Lee Curtis' first children's book hit the shelves was that publisher found the right illustrator to make her book come alive. Laura Cornell's use of warm soft colors gently lures readers to spend time with the chubby faced characters. Curtis gets the voice of a little girl's view of the world just right. For example in When I was Little, the narrator details all the ways ways that she changed from crying all the time as a baby to not knowing she was a girl to completing big girl tasks all by herself. Curtis and Cornell did it again in, Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born is a sweet tale of adoption, based on the author's own family experience. In both books, the readers celebrates the little moments in life that are simple yet big in the eyes of a child. John Lithgow is a complete joy to watch on the screen, be it the silver one or the tube. His talents extend into writing as well. What makes his books so captivating is that the joy he has for music, words, learning and his dogs is contagious. It coms bursting through the pages. With his first book The Remarkable Farkle McBride, Lithgow introduces readers to a lovable character who knows exactly what he likes and works to make the music just right. In Mahalia Mouse Goes to College, there is a point where every reader, even one with the hardest of heart, celebrates in Mahalia's achievement. In I've Got Two Dogs, there is no other way to describe this book but a love ballad to his Fanny and Blue. At the very last page, the reader realizes they love Fanny and Blue too! When a reader steps into Lithgow's world, whether it be with Farkle, Mihalia Mouse or his two dogs they are in for a treat. One never knows where he may lead the reader, but who cares! It's so worth it! Now to unveil the TV legend who wrote a clever children's book that should really be on every child's bookshelf or at the very least in every public library's children's area. Can you recall an old TV sitcom of an unlikely family living in the neighborhood? A kind of bumbling yet lovable gigantic creature that usually only made an appearance at Halloween? The King Who Rained is a remarkable book about how some words sound the same but don't have the same meaning. Fred Gwynne, who is also known as Herman Munster of The Munsters TV series, creatively captured what children must be thinking when they hear the homophones. The quirky and silly pictures not only drive home what the true meaning of the word in a delightfully silly fashion. These authors have mastered the art of storytelling to the young. Their works are fun, fill young minds with wonderful images and dares them to continue reading. Who could resist that combination of wit and charm? Only readers with the coldest of hearts and have no clue about children. Which leads to the next step in the review of celebrity books... the bad. That is for another discussion. For now, it's best to revel in the good books For they only come once in a great while.
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