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If kiddie books are the new star 'must do,' are these titles next?



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Madonna. Paul McCartney. LL Cool J. Gloria Estefan.

No, it's not a list of likely nominees, presenters and performers for the 2006 Grammy Awards. It's just a mere sampling of pop music stars who've gone to press with a children's book.

McCartney's "High in the Clouds" and Estefan's "The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog" are just the latest tomes for tots from the pens of people better known for making music. Even Isaac Hayes reportedly is at work on a book for story hour. We're going to assume it's not "Baby Shaft."

The current kiddie-book craze got us thinking about the possibilities for some additional books for the grammar school set, authored by rock stars and other A-list artists. Here are a few that we'd like to see:

-- "Oh! The Places You'll Go! The People You'll Know! The Global Crises You'll Solve!" by Bono

The U2 front man a tireless opponent of global poverty and the AIDS pandemic provides children with an uplifting motivational tale about saving the world while looking ultra-cool. Includes special pop-up sections on debt restructuring and how to select the most flattering sunglasses.

-- "The Boy With the Big Head," series by Kanye West

Always the overachiever, Grammy-winning, sound bite-spewing West isn't content to write just one book. He uses events from his own outsize life to teach children the value of working really hard and having a really big ego in his heart-warming series.

Individual volumes include "The Boy With the Big Head Has a Big Dream," "The Boy With the Big Head Proves His Hatas Wrong" and "The Boy With the Big Head Sticks His Foot in His Big Mouth at a Benefit Concert Televised Live on National TV."

-- "A Is for Ashlee, B Is for Britney: A Little Girl's Alphabet to Lip-Synching Success," by The Pussycat Dolls

The Dolls champion themselves and other notorious non-vocalists, including Simpson and Spears, in this by-the-letters guide to getting on the charts without any real talent. The book was, of course, ghostwritten.

-- "The Nice Little Children Who Never Did Anything Naughty," by Coldplay. Chris Martin and bandmates expand their trademark pleasant inoffensiveness to the publishing world with this slim and light tome that follows the adventures of Kumquat, Papaya, Banana and Key Lime, as the four fruity-named children behave themselves, do good deeds and never forget to brush their teeth before bedtime.

-- "When Girls Grow Lovely Lady Lumps," by Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas

The Peas' singing, rump-swinging princess builds off the success of her pro-curve single "My Humps" with this thoughtful discussion of physical changes that girls experience during puberty.

While you may find the hit song annoying, we applaud Fergie for encouraging girls and women everywhere to learn to love the "junk in their trunks." Don't send us hate mail; "lovely lady lumps" is Fergie's own choice of words.

-- "Sometimes Daddy Forgets Where the %*#&$ He Put His #$&^#@ Medicine," by Ozzy Osbourne

Now that he's retired from performing, Osbourne has plenty of time to pen this semi-autobiographical tale of why loving dads sometimes need help with the child-proof cap. With an unintelligible forward by Keith Richards.

-- "Shut Yer Dang Eyes an' Git to Sleep Already Cuz Mommy's Got a Date with Jack," by Gretchen Wilson

The straight-talking, Jack Daniels-loving country party girl and self-described "Redneck Woman" teaches children the importance of going to bed on time to avoid a whuppin' in this tale sure to scare uh, we mean, lull your little ones into dreamland.

-- "Fitty's Guide to Making A Killing Running Your Own Lemonade Stand," by 50 Cent

The multiplatinum rapper and totally inappropriate role model, having used his own life story as material for albums, a movie and a book for grown-ups, shares tips for tykes who want to get rich or get grounded by Mom tryin'.

-- "The Very Grisly Tale of the Vexing Boy Who Dropped Off the Face of the Planet," by Marilyn Manson

Manson reportedly uses his own career trajectory as the inspiration for this harrowing tale of a strange-looking boy who attracted attention by annoying people until, bored with his antics, they turned their backs and ignored him.

E-mail Gemma Tarlach at gtarlach@journalsentinel.com.

Copyright 2005, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

(C) 2005 The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved

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