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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Hamilton Creator Miranda to Write Picture Book about President Trump



Every so often I use this space to pass along information from the children's publishing world.

I have been emailing back and forth with a couple of publishers about a research piece I am writing about celebrities writing picture books.  Everyone from Jamie Lee Curtis to Spike Lee, has penned a picture book in the last couple of years.  I have been trying to look at how their writing process differs from conventional authors (especially in terms of how much support the publishing company provides).  Anyway, I was talking with the editor of a small children's press out of Bakersfield,, California called Sloof Books.  They recently published a picture book by noted actor John Lithgow and have been in talks with country singer Trisha Yearwood.  When I was interviewing the Editor-in- Chief of the company she mentioned that they had recently signed the creator of the Musical Hamilton, Lin Manuel Miranda, to write a parody of a picture book to be titled Max and the Wild Trumpus.

Patterned after the classic picture book Where the Wild Things Are, Miranda's book tells the story of what happened the night after Max wore his wolf suit and traveled to the island of the beasts and had a wild rumpus.  It turns out that the following night, after making mischief of one sort or another, Max's mom sends him to the land of the Wild Trumpus.

My editor friend, April, says that Miranda got the idea when he saw this picture of former president Obama and the first lady reading Where the Wild Things Are:
Image result for Donald Trump and where the wild things are

Miranda thought how unlikely it would be that President Trump would ever read children's books out loud.  Mirada had also been reading about President Trump's intention to cut all federal funding for libraries and was wondering what he could do about it.  April says that the book was partly a way of working off his frustration, but adds that all proceeds from the book will go to help the libraries that Mirada suspects may close because of the cuts.

After much pleading, April agreed to send me a short except of the book.  She cautions that this is in a very early draft stage and so it is likely this verse will not even be in the final book.  But here it is, straight from her email:

And when Max came to the place where the wild Trumpus lived, he was a little bit scared.  The Trumpus looked angry and had scary teeth.

Image result for Trump Monster

The wild Trumpus combed his terrible hair and roared his terrible words and pushed his terrible lips together and rolled his terrible eyes and showed his tiny claws.
"You Loser!" said the Terrible Trumpus. 

"I will build a wall with haste 
to keep immigrants in their place
all friendly laws I'll soon erase
destroy libraries so there is not a trace
and force you to eat toxic waste,"

till Max said “BE STILL!”                       
and tamed the Trumpus with the magic trick of staring into his yellow eyes without blinking once  and said
"SHUT UP YOU BIG BULLY!  BE NICE TO ALL PEOPLE!"
And the wild Trumpus was frightened and called  Max the most wild thing of all.
 
Where the Wild Things Are was originally written by the late Maurice Sendak who died in 2012.  April Sloof says that she and Miranda met personally with the grandchildren of Sendak and they gave their blessing of the project.  No word yet who will illustrate.

The book is due out this May.

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