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Making difference SUPER : a critical approach to the politics of celebrity-authored children's books
journal contributionposted on 01.11.2010, 00:00 authored by Paul VenzoPaul Venzo
Recent years have seen a flood of celebrity-authored children’s books enter the children’s literature marketplace. This paper tracks the evolution of this phenomenon as it pertains to contemporary celebrity culture, and responds to the question: what are the embedded messages about identity at play in such texts? The key contention here is that these works endorse celebrity as the most desirable identity category for the children of the new millennium, going so far as to position difference as a commodity to be traded in the quest for fame. Using critical theory around celebrity culture, and through a close reading of a short celebrity-authored picture book, this paper demonstrates that far from being innocuous pieces of popular culture, such books beckon children into a world that increasingly values visibility and stardom above all else.