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The Literary Rants: Bill O’Reilly’s Children’s Book

December 12, 2016
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Every celebrity seems to want to write a children’s book.  I don’t get the fascination celebrities have with children’s books.  Then again, I’m not a celebrity.  But now FOX News host Bill O’Reilly (with some unknown coauthor named James Patterson) has written a children’s book called Give Please A Chance.

I don’t like it when celebrities get book deals, and it’s even worse when they write children’s books, but those are different issues, and celebrity children’s books are going to happen no matter what I say, so I don’t lose any sleep over it.

And I have nothing against Bill O’Reilly.  I watch his show about as much as I watch any other cable news show when I’m in the mood for politics.  I don’t mind how he argues with his guests, no matter who they are.  I’d rather watch a confrontational political interview than a softball interview.  But whenever I think of Bill O’Reilly (and I don’t think of him very often.  He probably doesn’t think about me much either), I think of his famous meltdown .

And he’s just published a children’s books about manners.

The title itself is rant-worthy.  Give Please a Chance is a play on words from John Lennon’s song, “Give Peace a Chance.”  As a former child in a military household, I was taught that the idea of giving peace a chance just for the sake of peace was dangerous.  Peace was what happened after you destroyed your enemies (or what happened if your enemies knew they’d be destroyed if they messed with you).

You couldn’t just wish for peace, I was taught.  For peace to work out, everybody had to want peace, and when it comes to world politics, there’s always some violent schmuck who wants to mess things up.  Pretending that the violent schmucks are just misunderstood scoundrels who deep down have good intentions almost always leads to one-sided violence (and little peace).

In other words, when it comes to the phrase “Give peace a chance,” I’m a little biased.  That’s why I don’t like the title Give Please a Chance.

I’m sure the content of the book isn’t that great either.  I don’t know this for sure because I haven’t read the book, but that won’t stop me from having an opinion about it.  I don’t like the title, and I don’t like the idea of Bill O’Reilly writing a children’s book, so everything else about it probably isn’t good either.  But I’m pretty sure (without even reading it) that Give Please a Chance is a message book.

Even when I was a kid, I didn’t like message books.  If you’re going to put a message in a children’s book, make it subtle.  And if it’s not subtle, then make it so cool that nobody will care if it’s not subtle.  Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss isn’t the most subtle of message books, but the rhymes and the pictures are so awesome that nobody cares.  That’s why Oh, the Places You’ll Go is still a best-seller.  50 years from now, we’ll see (or maybe somebody else will see) if Give Please a Chance is still selling.

I’m not sure who O’Reilly’s coauthor James Patterson is.  In all my years as a writer for Dysfunctional Literacy, I’ve never heard of James… cough… Patterson.  I’ve never written about James… cough… Patterson.  I’ve never told jokes about James Patterson.  I don’t like it when no-name coauthors get credit for writing a best seller just because they attached their names to a celebrity author.  Maybe James Patterson should write his own books.

In case you haven’t figured it out, there’s no way that I’m giving Give Please a Chance a chance.  And I’m a polite guy too.


Since I’m a polite guy, I’m probably more qualified than Bill O’Reilly to write a a book about manners and etiquette.

  1. I loathe celebs bringing out books and he really doesn’t seem an obvious choice to be a kid’s author. And teaming with JP just seems plain odd – you sure this isn’t a joke? 🙂

  2. sveta30 permalink

    Very subtle. Nicely done 👍🏼

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