More celebrities put out books for kids

Paul McCartney is the latest celebrity to announce he’s writing a children’s book. It’s tentatively titled High in the Clouds.

Here’s another article about this celebrity trend. A number of well-known comedians including Jay Leno, Billy Crystal, Ray Romano, and Rhea Perlman, are also writing/attaching their names to books for kids. The first line of the article reveals that Leno, for one, isn’t at all familiar with the state of children’s literature today:

The problem with children’s books, comic Jay Leno says, is that they just aren’t funny. “They all look like Laura Ashley illustrations with one word and a boring moral at the end,” says The Tonight Show host.

I get the sense that publishers think they can hire a ghostwriter to toss off a children’s book, attach a big name to it, and the thing will sell. Unfortunately it probably will. But in my opinion it’s just as tough to write a truly good children’s book as it is to write a good short story or novel for adults. It seems a terrible waste, and the worst kind of cynicism, to deliberately put out gimmicky crap like this for kids. (And yeah, I know it’s not at all unusual. Hello sugar-coated breakfast cereals!)

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