Emmy Award-winning actor Julianna Margulies (E.R.; The Good Wife) will step into the publishing limelight in May 2016, when Random House Children’s Books publishes her debut picture book, Three Magic Balloons. Editorial director Maria Modugno acquired and edited the book, based on a story that Margulies’s father, Paul Margulies, originally wrote for his three young daughters.
THE first in a series of children’s books co-written by Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy will be on the shelves in March next year.
The Flying Fergus series follows the fortunes of an ordinary boy with an extraordinary imagination. All he wants for his ninth birthday is “The Sullivan Swift”, a top-of-the range bike that will ensure his success in the local time trials.
The books have been co-written by award-winning author Joanna Nadin, with further titles expected to appear in July, October and January 2017, published by Hot Key Books.
Pharrell Williams has a “Happy” deal for a series of children’s books.
The Grammy Award-winning performer has an agreement with Putnam Books for Young Readers for four picture books, starting with one inspired by his hit song.
Putnam announced Tuesday that the book, “Happy,” will be published Sept. 22 and will feature photographs of children from around the world “celebrating what it means to be happy.” It plans a first printing of 250,000 copies.
Relax, says Terence Blacker – media stars writing for children is no bad thing…
It is time to be a little more relaxed and grown-up when people like Walliams, Brand and Ricky Gervais barge into what was once a rather cosy and inward-looking world. They are bringing with them some real benefits. Parents who were once uncertain as to what stories to buy for their children, now feel less excluded. Children’s books are put centre stage, and are for the moment almost fashionable. Is that really so terrible?
Adele Approached By Puffin To Write Children’s Book
The 25-year-old singer – who has 10-month-old son Angelo with her boyfriend Simon Konecki – has been approached by top publishing company Puffin to pen a story for kids which will be an easy-read for beginners, feature simple images and follow a storyline based on motherhood.
An insider told the Daily Star newspaper: ”Adele loves the idea. It won’t reveal anything too personal as that’s not her style. But the book will be something she can have as a memory of her early days as a mum and also something she can dedicate to her son. Everyone is very excited.”
Adele – who won the Best Original Song Oscar earlier this year for her James Bond theme ‘Skyfall’ – will follow the likes of Madonna, Ricky Gervais and David Walliams who have also had big hits with children’s fiction.
Puffin believe Adele is capable of matching the success of J. K. Rowling, the creator of the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise.
The source added: ”The children’s book market is flourishing with celebrities and Puffin have watched Adele’s huge climb to super stardom.
”Everything Adele touches turns to gold and this would rocket the way J. K. Rowling and ‘Harry Potter’ did.”
A considered piece in The Scotsman on the topic of celbrity-authored children’s books:
Donaldson, one of the country’s bestselling authors and the third most borrowed writer from the UK’s libraries last year, is not surprised Lampard struggled. “Writing for children is not easy. In some ways children are probably harder to please than adults and there are so many excellent children’s writers out there who in terms of style, plot and characterisation are just as good as any writer for adults. Maybe if there was more serious coverage and analysis of children’s books by expert reviewers, instead of just the little round-ups you usually get in the papers which mention plots lines or just say (something such as) ‘buy this book if your son likes football,’ then it might be taken more seriously. People wouldn’t think it was so easy. That’s not to say that just because someone is famous they can’t necessarily write a good children’s book. David Walliams is a great example, but he (was already) a script-writer and not just a celebrity who’s asked to write a book,” she concludes.
Walliams’ stories certainly seem to have captured the hearts of the literati as well as those of small children across the land. “His books now sell phenomenally well, from Ratburger to Mr Stink and The Boy in the Dress, and win prizes too,” says Charlotte Williams, who reports on children’s news for The Bookseller magazine. “I think that Walliams’ success shows that titles by a celebrity can work best when they are authentic and quirky, rather than being treated as being seen to be a means to boost a celebrity’s profile.”
But Williams recognises there’s a growing demand within the industry for celebrity authors for financial reasons above all else. “There has been a real trend towards celebrity publishing over recent years, and I think publishers always keep one eye open for sports or showbiz stars that might appeal to children or their parents. If the fit is right, then the potential for sales is huge,” she says. “Also, as the retail environment has got tougher for books, publishers are looking for more ways to connect authors and readers themselves. If the author is already well known, with lots of followers on social media and a natural performer at school or festival events, then that can be a big help.”