This is my NEWS page. I'll talk about NEW books coming out, all the hundreds of awards I'll be receiving, as well as my upcoming appearances. I'll also feature NEW articles on children's books or the children's book industry in My Very Own Scholarly Column. Trust me when I tell you that these are not the kinds of articles you'll find in The Horn Book. I might even include some interviews with children's book authors. I'll try to change the page around often so it will always feel NEW, but please, don't hold me to that. I'm, like, busy, you know?
Very Exciting News:
I was awarded The Prairie State Award in 2012 for my body of work...Wahoo!
My Very Own Scholarly Column
"Revenge of the Children's Book Writer"
As a picture book writer who has been toiling away on her craft for centuries, I find the recent rash of celebrity books unbearable. It seems you can't walk into any of the big chains without knocking over one of these books. Not that I would ever knock one of these literary gems off the shelves, but I've heard that some writers do.
And who can blame them? We, um, actually WORK on our craft. We spend time on it. I can't help but think that most of the celeb books out there are born in the following way:
Picture Ms. Glamourpuss Celebrity, who is pumped up with enough silicone to sink the Titanic and whose real teeth are only a distant memory, in her spacious Beverly Hills home. She is sitting there, doing her Pilates and drinking her green tea, when suddenly she is hit with a marvelous idea for a picture book. It involves a ducky, let's call him Dudley, and a bunny by the name of Boo Boo. Dudley Ducky and Boo Boo Bunny are friends who learn all about washing their hands before dinner and saying "please" and "thank you" from a kindly owl grandma named Hooter.
Well, Ms. Glamourpuss Celebrity is so excited by her new book idea that she promptly calls her masseuse, who helps calm her down with aromatherapy and gets her back on track. Five minutes later, Ms. Glamourous Celebrity finishes her weighty tome and sends it off to her agent, who sends it off to another agent, who sends it off to his agent's agent, who acquires the movie rights and retires shortly thereafter. Ms. Glamourpuss Celebrity goes on all sorts of talk shows and chats amiably with the host about her "book," which blasts to the top of the bestseller lists and makes the marketing people at her publishing house very happy.
I don't think this scenario is far off the mark. I'm sure that RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND somewhere out there another celebrity has gotten a children's book idea and is talking to her agent about it.
But fear not, children's book writers of the world, revenge is in sight! I have the perfect solution. All it takes is a bottle of self-tanner and a personal trainer. You see, the best way to get back at them is to beat them at their own game! It's really very simple. All we need to do is to get jobs as moviestars, rock stars, supermodels or morning talk show hosts. Take your pick.
Think about it. We can shimmy about for a measly 15 million dollars. We can cry on cue, laugh with that devil-may-care attitude, toss our hair and pout with the best of 'em. We can marry gorgeous moviestar men and divorce them days later. I mean come on, how hard can it be?
So let's all get involved before there's no more room left on the bookshelves for our books. Let's cap our teeth. Let's have our ribs surgically removed. Let's do lunch.
It'll be fun! Are you with me?
Have your people call my people.