Trying Not to Be Part of the Problem
Posted by: Keir Graff
I’ve been lamenting the rise of the celebrity-authored picture book often and loudly enough to have finally realized that I’m part of the problem. Even if I’m only mentioning these books only in order to criticize them, I’m still contributing in a small way–very, very small–to the media hype.
Jessmonster was the first to answer my call for non-celebrity picture books that deserve a shout-out:
You could talk up My Cat, the Silliest Cat in the World. The first subject heading is ‘elephants – juvenile fiction.’ And it’s hilarious.
I haven’t seen it, but I’ll look for it. As for my own nominee, well, Meg Rosoff isn’t exactly an unknown, but as far as I know, she’s neither spiked a ball in the end zone of Texas Stadium nor hosted a late-night chat show. And my two-year-old, my wife, and I all love Meet Wild Boars. It meets both my need for text that allows highly dramatic readings and my two-year-old’s need for the vivid depiction of bodily functions.
(Of course, these things go in phases. Right now he’s more into John Henry: An American Legend, by Ezra Jack Keats. But he’ll be back: what two-year-old can resist a book that ends with a steaming pile of wild-boar poop?)
Asking for recommendations of good picture books that weren’t written by celebrities is pretty broad, I know, but I need help balancing my karma. So help me out, already.