Introducing the H.A.C.K.S. Seal of Approval

H.A.C.K.S. approves.
H.A.C.K.S. approves.

Are you a member of H.A.C.K.S. yet? No?

Do you at least know what H.A.C.K.S. stands for? No?

Sheesh. I need some PR people.

H.A.C.K.S. stands for Humans Against Celebrity Kid Stories. I founded the organization last year as a way to ever-so-gently dissuade people from buying picture books written by celebrities.

The reason? Simple. Because most of these celebrity-written children’s books are – and this is backed up by years of careful study – stinky.

Want to learn more about H.A.C.K.S.? Wonderful! Click here for info.

Are you one of those devil-may-care types who join organizations without knowing anything about them? Wonderful! Click here and “like” the page.

Now let’s get to the subject of this post. Although it has been proven that most celebrity children’s books are stinky, some are not. Case in point: Charming actress and fiber-filled-yogurt pitchwoman Jamie Lee Curtis has written several excellent picture books.

You can get regular be eating yogurt? Who knew? SHE did.
You can get regular by eating yogurt? Who knew?
SHE did.

Yes, Ms. Curtis is a celebrity but she is also a writer. She deserves, I think, immunity from any H.A.C.K.S. initiatives.

So I propose The H.A.C.K.S. Seal of Approval, an honor to be presented to a celebrity whose book (or books) can proudly stand alongside books that were written by people who do this writing thing for a living.

With the H.A.C.K.S. membership’s permission, I would like to nominate Ms. Curtis as our very first Seal of Approval recipient. All in favor?

Please also consider this post to be a solicitation for future H.A.C.K.S. Seal of Approval nominees. Have a suggestion? Have you read a celebrity children’s book that impressed you? Moved you? Made you laugh?

If so, fellow H.A.C.K.S.ters, leave a comment! Together let us encourage great writing!

67 Replies to “Introducing the H.A.C.K.S. Seal of Approval”

  1. Agreed, agreed, agreed on Jamie Lee Curtis!

    Will I get kicked out of H.A.C.K.S. for nominating Bill Cosby? There’s something about “Little Bill” that warms the cockles of my heart. (Plus, he has an Ed.D. Big teacher *swoon* over here.)

    1. Kicked out of H.A.C.K.S.? Of course not, Ms. Foodie! Unlike many organizations out there, we H.A.C.K.S.ters listen to and respect the opinions of others.

      I haven’t read Cosby’s children’s books, but I agree that the guy has a lot of street cred in regard to children’s entertainment. While he was by no means the best thing about PBS’s The Electric Company, Cosby was the “Big Name” that got that wonderful TV show off the ground.

      1. Well, jiminy, it was two years ago when the comment was posted.

        That said, I do believe we should get Cosby’s heinous crimes straight: he is not a pedophile (unless there is a news story I missed?); he is a serial rapist.

      2. Yeah, I couldn’t help but to browse a little. When something peaks my interest (your blog) I start clicking until I find myself in the deep dark corners of the past. You should be flattered new friend lol!

      3. Not a problem. Looks like it’s wabbit hunting season!

        On a completely unrelated topic: You have a lot of great posts and an incredibly unique style of presenting them. Before I ask, just know this isn’t some half assed way of promoting my “less than perfect”, but I was wondering if you’d like to guest write something small for a section of my site, in which I feature guest writers. You probably get tons of requests, but I’d be a fool not to ask. I’m not some big name and it’s pretty humble and small, but for me to reach out like this, is a huge step out of my comfort zone. I prefer quality over quantity, and in a short time, I’ve become a fan and would love to feature something of yours to add to the soul of my site. It’s simple really: poems, stories, review, anything, and any length. Let me know what you think, even if you decline. I’m at And an explanation of the featured writers project is here:

        Again, I’d be honored to have you write a piece. And if you’re interested – in the future – I am putting together a collection of poems and stories to raise awareness for depression. Hopefully to help someone, somewhere. Thanks again! I’m looking forward to hearing your response!

      4. Thank you for the offer, my new friend. I would be happy to contribute something, but it will need to be after the holidays. I am in the process of building my new freelance business — and every fall I’m swamped promoting my Thanksgiving children’s book. Does some time early in the new year suit you?

  2. I’ve like NEVER been the first commenter on one of your posts – until now – which is like, seriously exciting. Love this – there must always be exceptions to rules, which those who use the English language know only too well. I’ll be sure to let you know if I have further nominees…for now, congratulations Ms Curtis!

    1. Well, you still aren’t the first commentator, I’m afraid. But being the second commentator is no small potatoes!

      Besides, you, my friend, are on the H.A.C.K.S. Executive Committee — and there is no larger honor than that, I think.

      1. Doh! We must’ve been writing our comments at the same time! Ah well, indeed, I mustn’t forget the blessing of being on the H.A.C.K.S EC, honours must be shared around…

  3. I agree with the Jamie Lee Curtis nomination, and as Head of Media Research and Entertainment for H.A.C.K.S. it is my responsibility (according to my job description that I wrote myself) to go and present her with it in person. I shall submit my expenses after the trip. See you in a week! 🙂

    1. Wait a sec. I don’t need PR people. YOU are my PR people!

      Where is our groundswell of UK support? Why isn’t Sarah Ferguson complaining about us in The Sun? C’mon, now, Vanessa, let’s get going!

      Oh, and before your visit to LA be sure to check with Robin, our COO, to see how much H.A.C.K.S. cash we have on hand to finance your trip. You might need to bear some or methinks, all of your expenses.

  4. I was having this conversation with a friend who’s a children’s librarian. She says that Julie Andrews and her daughter write decent books–and that they actually work hard at writing them. I haven’t read them, so I can’t give them a personal recommendation. But she says that The Very Fairy Princess series deserves serious consideration. Apparently, Ms. Andrews co-authors her books with her daughter, an arts educator. Their work includes at least one book about getting kids to read, so these two ladies cannot be dismissed as dilettantes. They also have a Little Bo series that my friend didn’t mention. Have you read any of these?

    1. I adore Julie Andrews, but do not know her children’s books too well.

      I can’t help but wonder, though… Could Andrews be only lending her very prominent name to book titles in order to give her daugher a leg up in the industry? Does a picture book really need two authors?

      Andrews is food for thought, though. I’ll sure give you that. To the bookstore!

      1. I’ve glanced at one of the fairy books, and I’ve seen one of her editors talk about The Very Fairy Princess in a presentation at the SCBWI conference I recently attended. I have to admit, though, that I wasn’t paying much attention at that point because I am not interested in writing princess books, lame as that may sound. I should have been listening for other reasons, but I think I was just on overload at that point.

        A-n-y-w-a-y, I, too, am suspicious of her motives. Couldn’t she just be happy reaping the residuals from The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Victor/Victoria et al??? But I suppose her daughter has to earn a living as well, eh?

        I do recall the editor mentioning that Andrews was very particular and involved in the process. Hmmmmm, the jury remains undecided until further evidence is presented.

        You do ask burning questions, though, that I cannot answer.

  5. JLC definitely gets my vote. She’s just too likeable and who can forget her Freaky Friday performance or the True Lies hotel room dance? Can I unofficially nominate Meg Tilly, not a children’s author but the first celebrity author I fell in love with by reading her book Gemma.

  6. I know this celebrity in the blogging world – his name is “Mike,” and despite being a celebrity, he writes amazingly well. His children’s book “Sarah Gives Thanks” is wonderful – I know, I’ve read it and recommended it to many. So let’s give blogger Mike the H.A.C.K.S. Seal of Approval!!!

  7. Hmm… I’m not sure I’d give all of Jamie Lee’s books the seal of approval, but some of them are good, and she certainly does seem to be an exception to the rule. Once I saw a book by John Lithgow, of which I have NO memory of the text so I can’t say if he deserves to join Jamie Lee, but it took place in Central Park and had great pictures which I loved because I grew up in NYC and have fond memories of Central Park. That might count for something. I think I should go find that book and see if I like it. I do like your loophole though… just in case a celebrity comes along who can write 🙂

      1. I searched Amazon and to my surprise discovered that John Lithgow has a whole bunch of picture books! None of them quite matched my memory of the book I once picked up in a B&N – the closest I came was Micawber, about a squirrel who lives in NYC. I’ll have to get hold of the actual book and look through it to see if that’s the one. But now I’m curious about all the others…!

  8. I love Jamie Lee Curtis, great that she gets immunity lol. Does your H.A.C.K.s cover books about kids films/t.v. shows with no particular author? My son always wants Lego Ninjago books.

    1. You hit a nerve, Catherine. I loathe Ninjago books. What complete and utter dreck. Madonna’s children’s book efforts look scholarly by comparison.

      Sadly, product placement books are not covered under the H.A.C.K.S. banner. Do feel free to boycott them, though!

      1. I could start with the shelves at the supermarket, they are 85% t.v. books aaargh!

      2. Let’s get thinking… E.A.T.V.B Enough already T.V. books no that’s rubbish

  9. I agree that Jamie Lee Curtis and Bill Cosby should be approved.

    I’m happy to say that the rest of the celebrity-written picture books in our house (or the ones on the top of the piles, anyway) were written by literary celebrities, and are therefore immune from the scrutiny of H.A.C.K.S. Right?

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