Don’t get me wrong: I’ve got nothing against Mario Lopez, or as I like to think of him, A.C. Slater. But I’m bemused by the news that the 37-year-old actor dad will be releasing a new children’s book come fall.
It’s not his first book: following in the footsteps of other celebs-turned-authors like Madonna, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Jerry Seinfeld, Lopez released Mud Tacos in 2009 and has published fitness and diet books as well. Mario and Baby Gia is just the latest in a steady stream of children’s books written by actors, singers, comedians and other famed personalities, their ranks recently including Kathie Lee Gifford, Tori Spelling and Ricky Gervais.
I can’t blame Lopez for wading into these lucrative waters, seeing how well it’s turned out for his peers. But I do have to ask other parents: does a celebrity name actually make you more likely to pick up a children’s book? And if so…why?
I’ve heard publishers and experienced children’s authors say that kid’s literature is some of the most difficult to do well. Assuming that’s the case – and I think these people know what they’re talking about – either:
- A: Hollywood has an incredibly multi-talented pool to draw from;
- B: The celebs aren’t actually doing any of the writing themselves, but using the work of a ghost-writer and talented illustrator to create elaborate vanity projects; or
- C: These books just aren’t very good.
I wouldn’t know: I’ve honestly, to my memory, never read a single one of them. Give me the tried-and-true any day; those children’s authors who’ve spent years honing their crafts and have built a career based on talent and hard work instead of celebrity and star power.
But maybe I’m just a fuddy-duddy. What do you think? Is the celeb-as-children’s-author trend a good thing? Does it have staying power? Would you personally be more likely to pick up a book for your child because it was written by Mario Lopez?
How about something for mom? 10 Most Inappropriate Books for New Parents!