EDITOR’S NOTE: A fascinating article in today’s New York Times delves into the potential perils of publishing children’s books about Donald Trump. Booklist’s own Daniel Kraus weighed in on the issue. “Publishers are a little nervous,” he said. It’s easy to see why. The post below, which originally appeared on The Booklist Reader in November 2016, gives a sneak peak at how one publisher is handling its coverage of the divisive leader.
The first children’s book about the Trump presidency arrived in the Booklist offices today. Due in April, Lerner Publications’ Donald Trump: Outspoken Personality and President by Jill Sherman is a 48-page, illustrated presidential profile aimed at readers aged 9 through 14, and the first of the bumper crop of biographies for kids that follow every presidential election.
I’ll leave it to my more qualified colleagues in the Books for Youth department to review the book, but I will share a few highlights.
On Trump’s childhood: “Donald, along with the other Trump children, attended the private Kew-Forest School. But at school, Donald was a troublemaker. He argued and got in fights with the other students and teachers. By the time Donald reached eighth grade, Fred Trump saw something had to change . . . and sent him to New York Military Academy (NYMA) in 1959.”
On the First Lady: “In 1990, Trump’s marriage fell apart after Ivana Trump found out that Trump had been spending time with a woman named Marla Maples . . .It wasn’t long before Trump became involved with another woman, a twenty-eight-year-old model named Melania Knauss . . . She was interested in public success. Perhaps Trump had finally met a match.”
On Trump’s branding abilities: “Trump used The Apprentice and its popularity to promote his brand and his many business endeavors. In his television boardroom, he drank his own brand of bottled water, called Trump Ice.”
On The Celebrity Apprentice: “Some of the most memorable contestants included musician Bret Michaels, actor Gary Busey, and former NBA player Dennis Rodman.”
On Trump’s earlier forays into the political sphere: “In 1999 . . . Trump began a campaign for the party’s nomination as a presidential candidate. However, Trump’s political ideas were not well formed.”
In conclusion: “The world is waiting to see what President Trump will do next.”
Several other Trump-centric titles are due in 2017, but only two with cover images readily available: Donald Trump by Rebecca Felix and Donald Trump by Jill C. Wheeler, both to be published by ABDO. Capstone and Child’s World have also announced Trump biographies for middle-grade readers.