Obama-Mania Hits Kid Lit
We've reported here on the post-election scramble by journalists to nab publishers for their Barack Obama books. Some far-sighted writers like Jabari Asim, former deputy editor of Book World, and Gwen Ifill, of Washington Week and the NewsHour, already have books scheduled to come out on Inauguration Day: Asim's is called What Obama Means ..... for Our Culture, Our Politics, and Our Future, Ifill's is The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.
Now, children's publishers are getting in on the act. Judith Rosen reports in Publishers Weekly that Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator of the stunning We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, is producing the "crashiest of the crash books" for Simon & Schuster. Conceived at a cocktail party on Nov. 12, Change Has Come is based on lines from Obama's speeches. It went to press on Nov. 24, with a print run of 200,000, and will be published in time for Inauguration Day.
Add that to the seven other children's books about Obama scheduled to hit the stores next month, plus two about Michelle Obama, and you've got a full shelf. The question now is, will any kids want to read them?
-- Rachel Hartigan Shea
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