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:
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.
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,"
and tamed the Trumpus with the magic trick of staring into his yellow eyes without blinking once and said
The book is due out this May.