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Celebrity Apprentices create picture books

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Apparently this Sunday on Celebrity Apprentice, two teams will compete to create a picture book!  Margery Cuyler will choose the winner.
#1 - March 10, 2011, 02:32 PM
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Jill C. posted some info about it here:

http://www.verlakay.com/boards/index.php?topic=54274.0;topicseen

It sounds awesome! i don't usually watch the show, but I think I'll have to make an exception for this one!
#2 - March 10, 2011, 03:15 PM
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I heard about this! So cool. Will definitely have to watch it.  :tv:
#3 - March 10, 2011, 03:34 PM
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I'm going to watch to see what advice Margery Cuyler gives them!
#4 - March 10, 2011, 03:39 PM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, BUSY BUS series, EMERGENCY KITTENS, and more!
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So what did you guys think? The funniest line was, "They don't need to understand everything. The words just go in and out." :D Definitely showed how hard it is to write a good pb.

Margery Cuyler came across just as nice and knowledgeable as she does in person (based on meeting at a conference).

Can't believe how fast the illustrations were done!
#5 - March 14, 2011, 05:01 AM
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Oh how I detest the bickering and backstabbing on that show.   :oi  But it was fun to see Margery.  Loved her advice about rhyme, which the guy totally ignored.  Dionne was so sure her concept was spectacular.  Uh...  Which guy was Adam Rex?
#6 - March 14, 2011, 05:17 AM
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Michael Rex was the illustrator. :)

Margery's rhyming advice was spot on. However, I thought the guys' book was better written than the other one. The country music guy had an advantage because he writes lyrics in rhyme so he does have some skills.

On the whole, the show was stressful to watch because of all the nastiness. But of course I had to watch because of the topic.

Poor kids looked a little confused and frightened by the confetti.
#7 - March 14, 2011, 06:15 AM
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I tried to watch it, but couldn't. Too many bad vibes.
#8 - March 14, 2011, 06:38 AM

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Duh.  I meant Michael Rex.  But was he the first illustrator?  'Cuz there seemed to be others for the second book.

I agree, Lizard.  Yucky negativity.  But I loved that they focused on the kidlit topic.
#9 - March 14, 2011, 07:03 AM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, BUSY BUS series, EMERGENCY KITTENS, and more!
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Lizardmaker - I know what you mean. I wouldn't watch it again.

Jody, l didn't notice a switch in illustrators. I probably wasn't paying attention.

Anyway, let's face it, both of these books would be getting forms in the real world (not counting illustrations). On second thought, if they had celebrity names on them, I guess they wouldn't get forms. Hmmmm.

But I guess it wasn't bad at all for a first book attempt, esp. given the time limit.

It was funny to watch the misconceptions about pb's. They said something like, "OK, the first thing we need to do is have a moral".
#10 - March 14, 2011, 07:16 AM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
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Goes to show you how well I tuned in.   :faint  And how easy creating PBs is.   :faint   :dr

#11 - March 14, 2011, 07:22 AM
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I totally missed the show -- came in for the performances, which were a bit, meh.   While I appreciate the attention the show gave to kidlit in general, did anyone else feel that the exercise just perpetuates the anyone-can-write-a-publishable-PB-in-a-day myth?
#12 - March 14, 2011, 09:37 AM

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I never watch this show, but did because of Betsy's and agent Jill's alert.
Glad I'm not the only one on the BB who finds fault with the notion that PBs can be drummed & spat-out just like that. I think this show will ADD, not subtract from the many misconceptions about this art form.
#13 - March 14, 2011, 10:01 AM
« Last Edit: March 14, 2011, 10:06 AM by 217mom »
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Do any of you remember when THE APPRENTICE: MARTHA STEWART did this same thing?  That time it was Random House that published the winning book.  I don't think it sold very well.

http://www.amazon.com/Jack-Beanstalk-Martha-Stewart-Apprentice/dp/0375837191
#14 - March 14, 2011, 10:04 AM
« Last Edit: March 14, 2011, 10:06 AM by Anne Marie »
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GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

Anne Marie, I love the review on that page which said, in part: "The fact that this book reeked an iota less than its competitor is hardly a selling point. There's plenty of stink to go around."
#15 - March 14, 2011, 10:17 AM

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Did anyone else catch the copy of Princess Peepers (by our very own Pam Calvert)  on the table with the other children's books the teams looked at for inspiration? I thought it was so cool! I was like "I know that author!!"

As for the actual competition - well, I spent the night scoffing out loud and pretending to stab myself with a long sword. I think the girls should have gone with Marlee Matlin's idea. Oh, wait. Never mind - kids that age can't appreciate diversity. (Eye roll)
#16 - March 14, 2011, 10:23 AM
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Just read this from Michael Rex's blog.

http://mikerexbooks.blogspot.com/
#17 - March 14, 2011, 10:32 AM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, BUSY BUS series, EMERGENCY KITTENS, and more!
Twitter @jodywrites4kids

I thought I would enjoy watching people try to write picture books, but very little of the process was actually shown and the constant ego clashes were nauseating. I agree that this episode probably only supported misconceptions about writing pb's--the finished books seemed a little awful. Also, I was disappointed that the teams didn't really read their books to the kids--they performed them, so really the task became more about performing a skit than writing a book. I suppose that makes for better television, but the end result was that the show had very little to do with writing a book.
#18 - March 14, 2011, 11:47 AM
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I taped it last night and am watching it now. OMG, this show is painful to watch for so many reasons. And why were they at Madison Square Garden at the beginning of the show? Not sure I want to watch the rest of the show.

edited to add: What do costumes and music have to do with writing kids books? FYI to Star Jones - you are not illustrating the book or designing it. Am surprised she just wanted the author credit and not the illustrator credit too (and she even let Dionne say she conceptualized it).
#19 - March 14, 2011, 01:11 PM
« Last Edit: March 14, 2011, 01:33 PM by Stephanie Ruble »
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I agree with everything everyone said. Hard to watch on so many levels. LOVED seeing Princess Peepers on the table!

Why did Trump's producers have them WRITE in the first place? He's all about selling and marketing, not about the arts. All for charity, so anything goes, I suppose.
#20 - March 14, 2011, 01:38 PM
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 06:40 PM by Nan »
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Why did Trump's producers have them WRITE in the first place? He's all about selling and marketing, not about the arts.

Good point. It would have been more realistic to ask them to promote a book with a children's event or something.
#21 - March 14, 2011, 02:08 PM
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Ugh. Too much backstabbing for me.

I hope that The Apprentice (celebrity or not) never does another children's book competition and that no other reality show decides to write kid's books either.

Must find happy show to watch now to counteract all the nastiness.  :P
#22 - March 14, 2011, 02:25 PM
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Oh how I detest the bickering and backstabbing on that show.   :oi  But it was fun to see Margery.  Loved her advice about rhyme, which the guy totally ignored.  Dionne was so sure her concept was spectacular. 

What I found interesting was that Margery didn't show up to meet with Trump to comment on the books. It was just the other woman. I don't know if this was for a reason, or purposeful, or whether Margery said something like "these books would never be published" and that didn't fit with the story line. Maybe nothing of the sort happened, but I thought it odd we never heard her opinion on the books.

I also had to wonder about the comment that the judges enjoyed the rhyme. When I heard the first few lines of the book, I thought, man, Margery is going to tell him he doesn't know how to rhyme, because it seemed like he thought that rhyme is all about the last words of each line.

I agree that this will probably make more people think they can write a children's book.

anita
#23 - March 14, 2011, 02:28 PM

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Why did Trump's producers have them WRITE in the first place? He's all about selling and marketing, not about the arts. All for charity, so anything goes, I suppose.
Good point. It would have been more realistic to ask them to promote a book with a children's event or something.

Well, gee, isn't writing a kid's book as easy to learn as tossing pizza dough and putting toppings on it (as has been done on the show before)?  Clearly, we sensitive authors are just overreacting.... :snork
#24 - March 14, 2011, 02:35 PM

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Did anyone else catch the copy of Princess Peepers (by our very own Pam Calvert)  on the table with the other children's books the teams looked at for inspiration? I thought it was so cool! I was like "I know that author!!"

Yes! I was so excited to see Pam's book on that table. It was the highlight of the show. The rest was equal parts LOL / Cringe! Singers have the luxury of being off with their meter, using near rhyme, etc., because they can manipulate the lyrics when they sing them.
#25 - March 14, 2011, 04:25 PM
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There were so many misconceptions that were perpetuated on that show.  Just to name two--Did you notice that one of the complaints about the women's effort was that they chose a font that was too small?  Give me a break!  No one pointed out that children don't read preschool books.  The books are read to them.  It doesn't matter how big the font is.  Also, the women had alliterative animal names for all their characters.

(Well, I guess as the author of BORIS THE BORING BOAR I shouldn't complain about that last one!)
#26 - March 14, 2011, 05:51 PM
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(Well, I guess as the author of BORIS THE BORING BOAR I shouldn't complain about that last one!)

LOL
#27 - March 14, 2011, 06:30 PM
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"Boris the Boring Boar" isn't merely alliterative though. It's a clever wordplay.

These books were written in a short amount of time by people who have never written, and in some cases, never even read a picture book. Not to mention the skit aspect and other obstacles. So of course they're not going to be of the same caliber as other "real" books out there. I think most people would be able to tell. It was done in the spirit of the challenge/game and not meant to reflect real life or teach a lesson about the industry. I did think the judges were overly complimentary, probably because they don't want to ruin the chances of the book selling.

Oh well. At least they got to briefly showcase some other picture books and give money to a worthy cause.



(Edited to correct typo in book title. Whoops!)
#28 - March 14, 2011, 08:42 PM
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 09:29 AM by DianaM »
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I totally agree with this:
These books were written in a short amount of time by people who have never written, and in some cases, never even read a picture book. Not to mention the skit aspect and other obstacles. So of course they're not going to be of the same caliber as other "real" books out there. I think most people would be able to tell. It was done in the spirit of the challenge/game and not meant to reflect real life or teach a lesson about the industry. I did think the judges were overly complimentary, probably because they don't want to ruin the chances of the book selling.

Oh well. At least they got to briefly showcase some other picture books and give money to a worthy cause.

Overall I enjoyed the episode, even though there were some cringe-worthy moments. The women's "brainstorming" session was particularly difficult to sit through for me. But I also think writing a picture book by committee would be an extremely difficult task, even if it was a committee of professional PB writers. My biggest disappointment in the show was that they didn't acknowledge or credit the illustrators (but I guess now I realize they never do that with the experts who aid a team in a task, I only noticed this time because it's an industry I'm familiar with), and that it was Holly Robinson who consulted with Donald Trump at the end without Margery Cuyler. Holly Robinson was previously on Celebrity Apprentice, and I guess has published a PB, so that's why she was there, but if they were both judges it seems like they should have both met with The Donald at the end.

I also thought it was interesting that at the very end Donald Trump said to the men's team "I am going to get your book published", but not "Marshall Cavendish will publish the book." This made me think it was either an annoying case of not giving credit where credit is due, or Marshall Cavendish isn't in fact going to publish the book. If it's the latter, then I wonder why?
#29 - March 15, 2011, 09:21 AM
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It was horrific but I had to watch. I was inspired to write a blog post about more children's books I wish the Celebrity Apprentice cast would write:

http://lynnekelly.blogspot.com/2011/03/more-childrens-books-from-celebrity.html

Such fodder for book material from that group.

And I have violent feelings toward Dionne Warwick. :bangcomputer
#30 - March 17, 2011, 10:16 PM

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