In this bunny eat bunny world, we’ve seen celebrity authors come and go. Mostly come, in droves, especially after Harry Potter put a spotlight on the profit potential of the children’s book biz. Ca-ching.
Everybody’s making millions!
For many of us non-celebrity authors and illustrators, dressed in our dreary clothes, clutching our cold coffee cups, it’s hard not to be a little, urm, disgusted at times. The crappy book by the “star” that gets a ridiculous amount of undeserved attention.
But that’s life, so we deal with it, and try to keep our petty thoughts to ourselves.
However, I hasten to add: not all celebrity books suck. Jamie Lee Curtis wrote some good ones, as I recall. Fred Gwynne — Herman Munster! — made a sincere effort to create singular children’s books. By that I mean, my sense is that they actually worked on the books, actually respected the idea of a children’s book, and got into it for the “right reasons,” however we might differ in defining what those reasons are. It wasn’t just a way to cash in on something.
Anyway, this fresh, new effort by B.J. Novak is brilliant. Yes, absolutely, he came up with a clever idea. A great idea. But then he pulled it off over the course of an entire book. That’s not at all easy. And it’s beautifully published, too. Great job, all around.
Kids today, they sure do love the meta.
Enjoy this book with no pictures, folks. Go ahead, stomp on that link, surrender to the video. It makes me wish that I had a room full of kids to read this one too.
Both of my parents smoked. I grew up in a cloud of cigarette smoke. We’d go on long drives for our summer vacations in Vermont, seven children and my parents packed in a station wagon, and they’d smoke for seven hours, windows closed. Mom made dozens of sandwiches for the road, wrapped in wax paper. We chewed and gagged, swallowed and coughed. Things were different back then. Not complaining, it’s just the way it was, especially growing up in the 60s and 70s (born in 1961). So I guess I’ve always had an affection for smokers, or at least sympathy.
When I watch Mad Men on TV, I see my parents’ world re-imagined, an era that speaks to my soul.
Anyway, this is funny . . . Hat tip to the “Ellen” show.