If you’re an aspiring picture book author and you watched Celebrity Apprentice last night, you may have some [gross] misconceptions about what it takes to get a picture book published.

  • “I know my ABC’s and my 123’s” is not a “genius” rhyme worthy of victory. Send an unimaginative, unoriginal rhyme like that to an editor and you’ll receive a form rejection…if they even bother sending a rejection.
  • What the groups presented were first drafts written in a few hours. Do not send a first draft to be considered for publication.
  • If a book is conceived by Dionne Warwick and written by Star Jones, by all means, let them take the credit.
  • Donald said he’d publish the men’s book. But it will not be published without a lot of revision and editor input, because again, it’s a first draft that relies on simple, common rhymes.
  • A picture book based on LaToya and the Jackson family? Do. Not. Go. There.
  • “Just be yourself” is not too sophisticated a theme for a picture book–and both teams exhibited this theme, not just the women. (The men’s story was about standing up to bullies, a variant on the “be yourself” message.) Many successful picture books use this theme: Peggy Rathman’s RUBY THE COPYCAT, Audrey Penn’s SASSAFRAS, Kevin Henke’s CHRYSANTHEMUM, Helen Lester’s TACKY THE PENGUIN, Mo Willems’ NAKED MOLE RAT GETS DRESSED. I could go on and on…

There were many opportunities for snarky comments during the show, but here I’m going to focus on the positive:

  • Margery Cuyler looked fabulous.
  • I caught a glimpse of Pam Calvert’s PRINCESS PEEPERS!
  • In this age of pumped-up puckers, Lisa Rinna had a lip REDUCTION.