The NYTs profiled author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a prolific children’s writer. The article is interesting and jealousy inducing because it notes her admirable success (and that of a few others) and hints at why she’s ben so successful without giving away any secrets. Some people just seem to know how to crack that kids lit code and many of us wish we were just those people. Check this:
Is there something about children’s books that attracts the prolific, or at least the nonprocrastinating? By some measures, Rosenthal is an absolute slacker. The estimable Dan Gutman (“Jackie & Me,” “The Homework Machine”) has knocked out more than 50 books since 2000, while the equally estimable Andrew Clements (“Frindle,” “Lunch Money”) has at least 40 to his credit over the same period, with three more due this year. Neither author, judging from my haphazard readings of their work, has issues with quality control. Maybe writing for children unleashes the energy and uncomplicated eagerness of youth. Maybe it dispels grown-up emotions like despair, self-loathing and Amazon-sales-rank-envy that can stunt the output of writers for mature audiences.
Or maybe Amy Krouse Rosenthal is particularly good at what she does? The people I know who write children’s literature certainly feel those grown-up emotions.