Gossip merchant Perez Hilton may not be most people's idea of a rode model. But that's not stopping the massively popular blogger (real name: Mario Lavandeira) from joining the ranks of celebrity children's book authors. Hilton is working on "The Boy with Pink Hair," which will be released by an imprint of Penguin in September. The book tells the story of a child with a "shock of fabulous hair" who yearns to fit in with his peers. According to Hilton's press release, it will appeal to "every kid that's ever had a dream, felt excluded, wanted to belong, and hoped that one day they could do what they loved and make a difference." Can a blogger known for doodling vulgar symbols over celebrities' faces really write for kids?
No, Hilton is a hypocrite: The famed blogger may be on the brink of joining the "pantheon" of celebrities who have released bad children's books, says KJ Dell'Antonia at Double X — and that's largely due to his unpleasant personality. The central problem is that the book's hoary message — that being yourself is the only thing that matters — "seem[s] a tad inconsistent" with Hilton's penchant for cruelly picking apart celebrities' looks.
"Perez Hilton, the boy with no scruples, to publish 'The Boy with Pink Hair'"
Hey, it could be a hit: Writing a funny, entertaining kid's book is "near impossible," says Heather Chaet at The Stir. But "Hilton may just have what it takes" to pull this off. His "sassy, snarky" writing is perfect — remember, "some of the best picture-book characters have spunk with a capital S." Plus, the individuality theme is "tried and true" for celebrity authors, and the cover illustration is adorable.
"Perez Hilton children's book might be his best writing yet"
Real authors should be peeved: "More than once I've heard people in publishing grumble about the glut of celebrity books, which often get large advances yet fail to enthuse readers," says Carolyn Kellogg at the Los Angeles Times. But Hilton isn't even a celebrity — he's a blogger, and that the fact that he's been handed this deal is a "little much." Not to mention that Hilton has already tried, and failed, to author a book with 2009's "Red Carpet Suicide." That esteemed volume can now be purchased for a penny in paperback.
"Perez Hilton to publish children's book. Really?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 4 simple steaks you can cook in a pan
- Save the world... by changing how you pee
- Why does Fareed Zakaria still have a job?
- 7 common estate-planning mistakes
- Does solar energy have a battery problem?
Subscribe to the Week