Picture This: A-Rod an Author

Publishers Weekly reports that HarperCollins Children’s Books will publish a picture book by clutch-slipping Yankees third-baseman Alex Rodriguez. Called It’s Not Nice to Boo Underperforming Superstars, it will provide young baseball fans with an important lesson in exercising tolerance and good manners, especially when visiting Yankee Stadium.

Just kidding. Actually, it will be called Out of the Ballpark and will be based on Rodriguez’ childhood experiences.

My first thought is that this deal, while a nice paycheck for the impoverished author and his struggling agent, and a nice bit of PR for the publisher, surely means there’s a little less money for more deserving picture-book authors and illustrators.

My second thought is that, while a lot of little sports fans are going to get this book for their birthdays from their sports-loving dads, if it’s any good, it will be the equivalent of A-Rod hitting two grand slams in the same inning. After all, if the funny Jerry Seinfeld, the arguably funny Billy Crystal, and the allegedly funny Jay Leno can’t write good children’s books, how’s A-Rod going to do it?

Of course, now that I say that, he’ll probably win the Caldecott and have an MVP year. Let’s just hope he does the latter for the Cubs.

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About the Author:

Keir Graff is the editor of Booklist Online and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix.

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