Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Qualified Writers?

By Deana Nall
Baytown Sun

Published January 11, 2006

First it was Sarah Ferguson. Then Madonna. Now it’s Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Apparently, if you’re famous — no matter how you got that way — you are qualified to write children’s books.

And I’m getting little tired of it.

Take Madonna, for instance. She has several children’s books out right now. You can even buy box sets of them.

Here’s a fun parent-child activity for you and your 9-year-old. Go to and do a search for books by Madonna. You’ll find “The English Roses,” “Mr. Peabody’s Apples” and “The Adventures of Abdi.”

And right between those last two, you’ll also find “Sex.” That X-rated, black-and-white photo-laden atrocity that Madonna published when she was still trying to shock the tar out of everyone. To the left of the book’s title, where a picture of the book’s cover should be, are the words “NO IMAGE AVAILABLE.”

Hmm... I wonder why that is?

Hey, I know Madonna has found religion (she has a book about that, too) and she’s a different person than she used to be. I believe people can change.

But do you really want to snuggle up with your third-grader at night and read a book written by same person who penned these lyrics?

“Bad girl, drunk by six

Kissing someone else’s lips.

Smoked too many cigarettes today

I’m not happy when I act this way.”

Kind of a catchy rhyme, now that I think about it. Could be fun to jump rope to.

Personally, I’ve ignored Madonna’s book-writing attempts. But now here comes Sen. Ted Kennedy and his book about a dog named “Splash”. (Curious name choice, considering the circumstances of Chappaquiddick.) It’s called “My Senator and Me: A Dog’s-Eye View of Washington, D.C.”

According to Scholastic Inc., the book’s publisher, the book “not only takes readers through a full day in the Senator’s life, but also explains how a bill becomes a law.”

The bill becoming a law part doesn’t bother me. But a day in Ted Kennedy’s life? Now THAT’s scary.

Since there seem to be no restrictions on who can write for children, why stop at a controversial pop star and a politician with questionable personal choices? Here’s a list of books and their authors that I expect to see in the near future:

• “‘A’ is for #!$%: Teaching Kids the Alphabet, Four Letters at a Time” by Howard Stern

• “Your First Lemonade Stand: Business Know-How for Kids” by Ken Lay

• “How to Party Your Way Through Adulthood Without Going to College or Getting a Job” by Paris Hilton

• “The Little Marriage That Couldn’t” by Jessica Simpson

• “Food is for Losers: A Fitness Guide for Pre-Teens” co-authored by Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan

• “Ritalin Might Make You Wet the Bed: Alternative Healing for Little Scientologists” by Tom Cruise

As long as publishers keep churning out whatever celebrities write, this is what we have to look forward to.

Happy reading!


  • At Tue Jan 10, 10:23:00 PM, Blogger Karen said…

    Those are great titles! I don't know how you come up with this stuff, but I'm glad you do.

  • At Wed Jan 11, 04:45:00 AM, Blogger Jacinda said…

    Being a children's book lover, a former teachers, a mom and a wannabe children's book writer, I LOVE this post! Hilarious! I too have steered clear of Madonna's books just because it would seem weird to buy them! Also, I just wonder if the only reason they get published is because they have money and that makes me jealous, to be quite honest. Do you really think Ted Kennedy sat down and wrote that book....really?!?!

  • At Wed Jan 11, 06:40:00 AM, Blogger stuckinthe80s said…

    A day in the life of Ted Kennedy, huh...

    "Er-uh, bahtenduh get my little buddies a mahtini...and I'll have my usuals."

    Oh...and don't forget "Sleepovers Are Fun" by Michael Jackson -- that'll be a hotseller!

  • At Wed Jan 11, 07:18:00 AM, Blogger Kimela said…

    I can't wait for Wednesdays so I can read what you have written next. You crack me up. Keep up the funny stuff,
    it helps us all get through the day!

  • At Wed Jan 11, 08:00:00 AM, Blogger Angela said…

    It's rare that I laugh out loud while sitting in front of the computer, but this post had me chuckling! (I especially liked the Howard Stern title.)

    Funny...Just this week my husband, after leafing through the library books I'd brought home for our 2-year old, decided that anybody(himself included)is qualified to write children's books. Yes, there are some really great children's books out there...but good greif! there are a whole lot more that are just plain lame!

  • At Wed Jan 11, 08:26:00 AM, Blogger "Snapshot" said…

    I've tried to get a kids' book about coping with the death of a loved one pubished for years. I also wrote a couple of stories for my boys about St. Patrick's day adventures. But if you dont' have "the name" get ready for many rejection letters. I guess poor Teddy needed a bit more money. It's good that someone would help him out.
    I saw him during a DC trip one spring and I was amazed at how physically unattractive he is. Not trying to be mean, but just simply an observation. His head is twice as wide as most people's from ear to ear. Then from his nose to the back of his head is thinner than most. So his head looks like a very thin tall box. Odd. "stuckinthe80s" your Michael Jackson title is hilarious, but I wounldn't be surprised if one day we actually saw that one on the book shelves.

  • At Wed Jan 11, 09:23:00 AM, Blogger Heather said…

    Love the article! I giggled and giggled over the names.

    I regards to being an author . . .my aunt had the same hard time breaking into the business as kelley's talking about. She finally wrote 2 harlequin romances under a pen name that were too tame for the editors. They added scenes to her writing, she got published, and that was her break into book writing. Now she writes children and young adult books and has won awards for several of them.

  • At Wed Jan 11, 12:50:00 PM, Blogger Beverly said…

    Hey girl..Yes, Whitney is a sophomore and headed to Thailand this summer to do mission work!

    She was excited that I heard from you.

  • At Wed Jan 11, 04:10:00 PM, Blogger Paige Robins said…

    Hey, the business thing is already being done in schools. The Junior Achievement program is all about teaching kids to love business from an early age. Yay!!! Gotta love capitalist societies.

  • At Wed Jan 11, 06:49:00 PM, Blogger Jeff Slater said…

    Don't be s hard on Sentator (hic) Kennedy. Of course he needs the money! How else can he buy that ivory backscratcher he's had his eye on? (obscure Simpsons reference)


  • At Wed Jan 11, 07:06:00 PM, Blogger Deana Nall said…

    I should mention that proceeds from Kennedy's book are going to charity. :)

  • At Thu Jan 12, 12:39:00 PM, Blogger reJoyce said…

    Wow! Laugh Out Loud funny. My kids are looking at me like I'm nuts! Excellent post.

  • At Thu Jan 12, 05:54:00 PM, Blogger judy thomas said…

    As you may have guessed, this is really a pet peeve of mine. To think that just because one is famous or can sing, makes him/her a writer is ludicrous (I expect to see a book by them any day now).

    Great titles too!

  • At Mon Jan 16, 12:33:00 PM, Blogger MDH said…

    I love capitalist societies. One in particular. Better than socialist societies in my book.

    Ted Kennedy can probably claim as much authorship of the book as he can of his "questions" during the Alito confirmations thus far.


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