Flotus and Jetsam (C)
Before I go any further let me say that I’m officially copyrighting the term “Flotus & Jetsam”; as a genre of books. Okay, so not really officially, but I want you to remember you heard it here first. It comes from the exasperation I feel for the marketing of books by celebrities, politicians (and wives of politicians) and popular adult fiction writers. FLOTUS comes from First Lady Of The United States, in case you’re not up on govspeak. Jetsam does NOT come from the space age family of cartoon fame. So, when Mrs. Bush The First came out with a kid books I groaned. Then Mrs. Bush The Second coughs up her "literary" hairball. Colin Powell’s wife wrote a book, Lynne Cheney put out a book. Well, if only the pain would stop there, but it goes on: everyone has to put out a kids book. All this is a marketing ploy to sell a book by the name only. I’m over it. And now, as if children’s authors don’t have a hard enough time getting books published, the heavyweights have to dominate the market: Dave Barry, Carl Hiaasen, and NOW Mary Higgins Clark. The pain just never stops. Just so you know, I like kids books. I read a lot of picture books, chapter books, young adult novels; theres a lot of good stuff out there.
Yes, yes, I’m bitter. Yes, yes, sour grapes. Blah blah blah. I’m not a celebrity. I can’t get anything published with my name. But seriously, doesn’t it bug you that all you have to do is get your name in print (and not always in a good way) and you can get a kids’ book published. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule, but isn’t it all about marketing? Political? A fast buck? When’s the Lewinski paperdoll book coming out? Or what about “Ways to Cook Rice” by Condi? It’s just begging to be written! We’re just bound (no pun intended) and determined to rob children of their innocence in every way possibly, first with TV, then music, now books. Sigh!
Fear not, there are still GREAT books coming out for young readers:
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (A thick novel with great illustrations to advance a good story, 1930s Paris setting.)Zoom (and the sequel Re-Zoom) by Istvan Banyai (Wordless story book that is spellbinding.) Lady Grace Mysteries by Jan Burchett (Grace Cavendish) (Handmaid to Queen Elizabeth I solves crimes in the court) The Sisters Grimm: Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley and Peter Ferguson (set in the Hudson Valley with a great sense of humor.)
Come and talk to us, there’s SO MUCH MORE to check out in the world of children’s books. We’re talking GOOD books!