Monday, May 01, 2006

Celebrities Children’s Books and that woman from “Cheers”

So over the weekend we went to the L.A. Times Festival of Books at UCLA. We haven’t been there in a few years, because we’re always forgetting. But this year was different, it turned out to be a really nice weekend and gas prices haven’t hit $4 here - yet.

An interesting thing though about this thing was noticing how many celebrities write children’s’ books, and they’re presence there was pretty obvious. While I was getting a book signed by Lauren Child (Charlie and Lola creator – great books and show on Playhouse Disney), Henry Winkler (the ‘Fonz’) was sitting right next to her. I had no idea the guy wrote a series of books. He seemed pretty personable, taking pictures with people and their kids – I even saw him do the Fonz ‘thumbs-ups’. That was pretty cool! Billy Crystal was there later in the day and John Lithgow as well (I liked that TV show he was on). Also a random celeb sighting was Rhea Pearlman (the waitress from Cheers). I flipped through some of these celeb’s children’s books and to be honest didn’t find them all that great. In fact, bordering bad.
The sad reality with Children’s books is they’re very expensive to print and a publisher wants a relative sure hit. Celebrities have that status and most great illustrators and authors don’t. I really hope this isn't the future of this medium.
So we left the children’s book section, a little disheartened. To think even Madonna and Ally Sheedy have written ones too, that’s pretty silly.
  • Post Gazette: Critics, authors chafe as more celebrities join ranks of children's authors
  • Children's Books by Celebrities
  • Forbes: Celebrity Bestsellers For Children

    MrsFortune said...

    The Henry Winkler ones are adolescent books - at least some of them are, I know, because my students really, really like them. The 8th grade girls set is sooooo into the Fonz and they don't even know who he IS. (Unless you mention "the guy who played the coach in 'Waterboy').

    And the Madonna book - something about roses? Is HORRIBLE.

    creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

    Oh yeah...I forgot the Fonz was the coach in Waterboy.
    I'll have to read one of his books. From the size of the signing line, he seemed to have lots of fans...

    Bearuh said...

    sooo very weird and sad... Your blog is depressing me I am leaving