Why I should write children’s books

I’ve decided that I should become a children’s book author. Not the kind who writes proper stories – that would require work – but the kind who writes board books for babies. This, apparently, is a real job that people get paid actual money for.

I recently noticed that many of the Popple’s books had authors AND illustrators. This wouldn’t normally be notable, but her books aren’t exactly text-heavy.

For example:

Hello, Bugs!

Author: Smriti Prasadam

Illustrator: Emily Bolam

Example of text:

Hello, bee! Hello, grasshopper!

Tiger Tales actually hired someone to come up with the words, “Hello, Bee!” I could totally have written this book, because I can also name some bugs. Cockroach. Weevil. Ant. Those weird carpet beetles you sometimes get in Glasgow tenements.


Author: Moira Kemp

Illustrator: Mathew Price

Example of text:

Who goes shopping with me?

(Translation: Who goes shopping with me? [Spoiler alert: It’s his stuffed puppy.])

This book is about who the baby plays with. Even though my Spanish is pretty basic, it’s not exactly hard to come up with a few questions.

Q: ¿Quién es en mi boca? (Who is in my mouth?)

A: Sophie. (Because I don’t know any babies who don’t have at least one overpriced rubber giraffe to chew on.)

Q: ¿Quién tiene la mejor cola? (Who has the best tail?)

A: El gato. (The cat. Because nothing is more tempting to a baby than a cat tail.)

That’s not my lion…

Author: Fiona Watts

Illustrator: Rachel Wells

Example of text:

That's not my lion. Its ears are too soft

Most of the “That’s not my…” books follow the same formula: “That’s not my [name of animal], its [body part] is too [adjective].” Like, “That’s not my cat, its butt is too clean.” This is an example from real life. My cat makes the most disgusting poos in the world, like he farted on some rotten meat. Then he leaves it for us on top of the sand in his litter tray, because he doesn’t bury his poo like a normal cat, because he is an a**hole.

33 Replies to “Why I should write children’s books”

  1. This is hilarious and really cheered me up this morning! Thank you. I would love to write children’s books but actually find it really hard to write so simply!! I am rather to flowery it turns out. You are much better. I highly recommend you send the cat’s butt idea to an agent 😉 let me know how you get on x

    1. I feel like this cat butt thing could be a winner.

  2. This made me laugh out loud and wake the baby – totally worth it though to read about your a-hole cat!! I have often wondered how you get to be an author of baby books, because that’s something I can totally do! #fartglitter

    1. I really can’t believe that people make money by writing baby books. I can see that it takes a certain skill to write books for older kids, but babies? Not so much.

  3. Haha this is hilarious, you’re definitely on to something with the cat’s butt, that’s got children’s book written all over it! #FartGlitter

    1. Thanks! I don’t think the cat butt thing has been done yet, as far as I know.

  4. twotinyhands says: Reply

    You could totally write childrens books. Let’s face it though, a baby board book is destined for the mouth of the baby. I don’t know if that is enough to put you off. #livethedream #triballove (sorry I’m hashtagging!)

    1. True – they spend more time eating them than reading them!

  5. Your a-hole cat sounds like he definitely could command his own “That’s not my” book. Fantastic – really made me laugh! 🙂
    Thanks for linking up with #FartGlitter x

    1. Oh, he could. “That’s not my cat. It’s mouth is too quiet.” (Because my cat loves to meow – especially between the hours of 4-6am.)

  6. Oh this is so funny – I would LOVE to read one of your books – far more from an adult’s perspective – seriously look in to doing it – perfect little comedy presents for adults! #passthesauce

  7. That’s not my cat…… should definitely DEFINITELY get written.

    We have a Julia Donaldson baby book, I mean we know she can write after the genius of the Gruffalo but this book is Toddle Waddle, other words include flip flop, puff puff, hurry scurry, ting a ling…..

  8. Hope you don’t get 2 comments from me! This is so funny. You could definitely write a book about your cat but maybe it could be an adult version like ‘Go the f**k to sleep’ haha. We have one which just says ‘peekaboo’ and animal’s names. Hardly literary genius!! #BloggerClubUK

  9. Hahahaha, this would be great for chucklemums too! Thanks for linking up with #puddinglove

  10. Chuckling over the “that’s not my cat…” comment. Brilliant. That’s definitely a book waiting to be written! 🙂 #puddinglove

  11. Haha this really made me laugh, kids books are quite basic aren’t they? I’ve just written my first childrens book, aimed at slightly older children!! #puddinglove

  12. Ha ha this is so true. Mother and Father always read me the most random stories…like one tonight where it felt like it was going somewhere and it ended abruptly with them having a cup of tea. That’s Not My…books must be the most genius invention ever. Someone somewhere has done very well out of them 😉 #puddinglove

  13. You should just do it! 😉 x

  14. Brilliant 🙂 You should definitely write a board book about your cat and get paid big $$$ for it!


  15. haha love it! you could easily give it a go! xx


  16. randommusings29 says: Reply

    Haha, this is hilarious! It’s also true, crazy that people are getting paid to write genius sentence like “Hello Bee”
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂

  17. agentspitback says: Reply

    Hahahaha….okay, I will now wait for your first book! Thanks for sharing with #PasstheSauce

  18. I’ve often thought I should write a childrens book as my attention span is about the right length. However, when I’ve tried it, it is amazing how hard it is to even think of 10 sentences that actually tell a sort of story. I end up writing too much and then it loses track and I give up. If you do attempt it, send me a link! #PuddingLove

  19. Ha ha ha awesome. FYI I think you’d make a great children’s book author and hey I work for a publisher so if you wanna pitch….
    #passthesauce #triballove

  20. HaHa totally agree – how can anyone call themselves the author when there are like 18 words in the whole book, and most of those are utter rubbish! Very funny post had me sniggering at the end – man cats are arrogant… Thanks for linking chick #PuddingLove x

  21. We banned the ‘That’s not my’…. books from our house as they were sooooo monotonous I couldn’t cope with them anymore. We mainly sang nursery rhymes instead, though my poor kids have grown up thinking that everything has a generic tune as I have no idea how the tunes to a lot of the old ones go…

  22. I’ve totally noticed this! WTF eh? I wonder how much cash they actually get for coming up with ten words of text. If you find an in, let me know and I’ll jump aboard that gravy train.

  23. They have defo come into some easy money there! Although have you read the “that’s not my Santa……. his sack is too rough” hilarious every time! Oh and as a fellow asshole cat owner that but really made me laugh
    S xx

  24. I think a whole children’s book about why cats are arseholes would be a bestseller. My contribution would be – that’s not my cat because he hasn’t vomited on my pillow in the middle of the night. Again.” #chucklemums

  25. They’ve over egged it with those That’s not my……blah blah, get in there with your alternative. I’ve got one- that’s not my next door neighbour’s cat – it hasn’t pooed in our back garden!! #chucklemums

  26. Who ever came up with the that’s not my…. series is a genius. They have created a formula that is going to make them stinking rich! #chucklemums

  27. I can only assume that they only get paid around 50p per book…? #chucklemums

  28. PS Naughty wordpress is stealing your credentials when you share with a tweet – it’s saying via @wordpress instead of via @squirmypopple! xx

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