Norie keeps insisting that when Evie’s born she won’t be ready to fully comprehend The Great Gatsby or “Sonny’s Blues,” and that we need to get some board books so that we can ease her into the whole reading/page turning concept. I’m not convinced, but we bought a bunch of board books anyway.
On the bright side, doing so has caused me to rethink my career trajectory. Forget the whole novel writing thing or the teaching gig. I’m going to write board books. Seriously. I can spit out hundreds of these things in an afternoon. To prove it, my reviews will take the form of what I’ve learned about how to become a successful board book writer.
For convention’s sake, here is the only book that even had artwork worth noting:
Hello Bugs: Say hello to something. Here it’s bugs. But anything can work: birds, fish, cars, plants, reptiles, farm animals, hard-core drugs, fungi. There, I just practically wrote eight books already. Grade: C+ (the art is the only reason this wasn’t lower).
A Perfect Day for Poohsticks & Pooh’s Party & Ten Juicy Radishes: Pay for the rights to an established character and have him do something. Pooh walks to a river in one book (to play Poohsticks, but we never see him play the game, the book just covers the walking) and has a party in the other. Then Peter Rabbit watches other animals eat his radishes. He could read a book, go sledding, go swimming, talk to his friends, do jumping jacks. There, that’s five more books. Grade: D
Nobunny’s Perfect: Talk about kids. In this case, it’s about how kids can be bad sometimes and good sometimes. I might go with how they’re sleepy sometimes and awake sometimes. Or angry sometimes and happy sometimes. Or constipated sometimes and regular sometimes. That’s three more books. Grade: B-
Wacky Wild Peek a Boo!: Repeat a phrase over and over. Peek a Boo’s taken, so I’ll go with “Goodnight, sleep tight,” “Dinner’s ready,” “Thank you,” and “Gotta Take a Leak.” I could come up with more, but that’s four for now. Grade: C+
Baby Bunny: So, verbs. I know lots of them – that’s another few hundred books. Grade: D+
Stripy Horse: Include tactile stuff, whether it makes sense or not. Grade: C-
I Am Busy: Hide some of the words behind tabs. Doesn’t matter what the words are. Just hide them. Grade: C
Diggedy, Duggedy Dog!: When hiding the words gets too complicated, just hide part of the picture. Any part will do. Grade: D
First Sesame Street Library: Teach basic skills. Like counting… to five. Maybe I could write a sequel that covers 6-10. Grade: C
Bats at the Beach: Though technically a board book, this is really a full length book that has been put on board pages, so it’s actually pretty good. Bats go to the beach at night and hilarity ensues. They don’t say hello to anything, thank god. Grade: B
This post took me ten minutes to write, and I already have ideas for hundreds of books, and the combined word counts of all of those hundreds of books wouldn’t be much higher than this post. Even if I only get paid $5 a book I could be making $100 an hour easy.