Monday, November 06, 2006

Are You a Celebrity Interested in Writing Children's Books?

Here are a few hints from a delightful article in the Australian periodical The Age for you:

Rule one: why use simple names for characters when you can invent fanciful and, frankly, ridiculous ones? The celeb authors probably think they are being Dickensian, but they just come across like Salman Rushdie on one of his flowery days. Madonna stands out in this regard. Meet the English Roses' new teacher, Miss Fluffernutter. If that doesn't convince you of the author's creative prowess, eight pages later we are introduced to Candy Darling (yes, we know, Andy Warhol's chum) and Bunny Love.

Rule two: make sure you have a moral point to make, and ram it home to your young readers. Madonna leads the pack here yet again: "The next time you start to feel jealous of someone, try to feel happy for them instead. Good things will come your way, too." And: "You can't just love your friends when they are nice to you. That's when it's easy. You have to love them when they are being complete dorks, too."

Rule three: if you can't think of a suitable moral to the story, anything eco will do. Estefan has her animal characters saving the lives of endangered baby sea turtles. Jamie Lee Curtis, whose writing otherwise shines out from the rest of the pack, also succumbs to this weakness. "Make friends and love well," she exhorts us. "Bring art to this place. And make the world better for the whole human race."

Ohhhhh, nuts. So much for that draft of "Mary Ate a Little Panda" that's been lying at the bottom of my desk, waiting patiently for my fifteen minutes of fame.

Thanks to Chicken Spaghetti for the link.

1 comment:

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