Well, The Appeal Is Obvious

November 4th, 2004 · 4 Comments
by Booksquare

Now, we’re the first to admit we don’t know what’s cool with the kids today. But something tells us that even in the magical world of celebrity authors, there is a limit to name recognition. We believe we have found our benchmark:

The New York Times recently reported that lawyers had attempted for [John] Gotti to be released on bail by informing the judge in his case that he “now prefers writing children’s books to extortion and racketeering.”

Sure, we prefer pain and suffering to letting others do the dirty work for us, too.

If you’re writing kids’ books, there’s a little competition out there. Now, we could be snide and make jokes about writing to their level, but we don’t really have anything against famous people who satisfy their whims to write by authoring something with few words and lots of pictures (we would, however, give lots of extra credit to a celebrity who drew said pictures all by him or her self).

In the end it’s all about the kids. Remember:

“Every single time a child reads a poorly written book, that’s time lost forever to the possibility of reading a good book,” she [Linda Sue Park] says.

We hear you, sister, we hear you.

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs

4 responses so far ↓

  • Susan Gable // Nov 4, 2004 at 1:13 pm

    Ugh! I thought Madonna penning a kids’ book was the lowest, but if John Gotti is doing one… shaking head I’d like to see the marketing plan on that one.

    Still, I think it’s the parents we need to slap upside the head, for buying this trash.

    In the article it said:
    “A first-time book by a celebrity gets more attention than a comparable book by a first-time author, and that helps the book sell into stores,” Gale says. “However, if it’s not a good book, it won’t sell to the customers.”

    Excuse me while I cough. I’m wondering how many of these parents actually read the book before they buy it. And even if they do, have they compared it with the quality stuff? Call up a children’s librarian and ask for some recommendations. Good grief, ask a teacher!

    This annoys because I LOVE children’s books. Loved the good stuff as a kid (Judy Bloom, Beverly Cleary, Maruice Sendak – the Encyclopedia Brown books, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Trixie Beldon, Charlotte’s Web, The Chronicles of Narnia…) and as a teacher (add Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, add books like Love You Forever, Stone Fox…) Good books hooks kids for life.

    I wonder how many children’s books Madonna read before she decided there were “like, no books with any, like, lessons in them.” I also wonder if any of the young girls in her books wear their underwear outside their clothes. G

    The problem is the celebrity ego. They think they can do it all, and do it better, and should make more money while doing it. The best answer would be for parents to stop buying them – but they can’t resist the magnetic attraction of the STAR.

  • David Thayer // Nov 4, 2004 at 1:57 pm

    I thought John Gotti was dead. Not that death is a deterrent to a writing career. His daughter writes novels.
    His best friend was a guy named The Chin; maybe he’s dead too.

  • Susan Gable // Nov 4, 2004 at 4:48 pm

    LOL – Maybe they write better dead. Gives new meaning to the term “ghost writer.” LOL!

  • booksquare // Nov 4, 2004 at 10:10 pm

    It’s sort of embarrassing, but I have no clue from the Gotti family tree (I do have a funny story involving me and a seventy-year old man pretending he was tired because people from California can’t walk more than a block…). I think there are multiple Gotti’s in jail. Maybe a junior or two. How sad is it that I don’t know my Mafia?

    My sense is that if you’re not reading “Where The Wild Things Are”, you’re not doing the kid any favors.