I can’t recall reading too many pop up books as a youngster. Maybe I wasn’t interested. Maybe I was too busy sleeping all the time. Or maybe there’s no specific explanation at all for my lack of pop up book reading.
But I can tell you that they’ve become great works of art. I’ve seen several extremely detailed pop up books in my time at HPB. I’ve even been asked by one guy specifically for pop up books because he claimed to collect them. I can’t adequately describe the feeling upon opening up one of these books because I’m an adult and I feel my opinion is mostly indifferent at this point. But I have been surprised by their complexity a few times, which leads me to believe that kids would be over the moon.
Do you or a kid in your life have any experience with pop up books?
Scholastic recently released A Birthday Cake for George Washington. Even before I tell you about it I imagine you can guess what’s happened after a few guesses.
The book is about Washington’s enslaved chef, Hercules. He’s baking a cake for Washington without sugar. His daughter is happy to assist him.
Therein lies the major issue people have had with the book. It depicts slaves as quite happy in their situation because the author labels these two as nearly free. Now Scholastic has stopped distributing the book. Which I think is the correct path forward.
They wrote the truth about slaves and the time period in an editor’s and author’s note. Which tells me they knew they’d done the book poorly. And they sought to clarify things outside its text without rewriting and illustrating everything all over again. Or they’re just clueless. Could be either one or both.
I don’t think kid’s books are inherently easier to write than other genres, but this definitely isn’t the right way to do it. Not even close.
What do you think of this book depicting slaves in such a positive light?
I’m not talking about easy chapter books. I’m talking about books for younger readers.
The other day I told a co worker of mine that we need to collaborate on a kid’s book series. He immediately started brainstorming potential book titles. The first is my favorite. The Piggy who Didn’t Want to be Bacon. 😂 Okay, I haven’t looked it up to see if someone has already written it, but I thought it was hilarious. He then proceeded to come up with several more titles mostly around animals.
Am I really going to start work on this? Probably not. But have you seen what some of those hardcover kid’s books retail for? It’s kind of ridiculous when you see how many pages there are and how few words are written. But hey, people will pay what they’ll pay.
I think I’ve already found an illustrator for my potential new blockbuster series. What do you think?