As we announced Thursday, mega-popular Harry Potter author JK Rowling has finally let slip news of her first novel in a post-Hogwarts world. Unfortunately, no one really knows what it's going to be about! (Well, probably she does, and maybe her agent and publisher, and, like, her boyfriend or husband or whatever...) Though legions of Potter fans will no doubt be sad to leave their favorite wizards behind, at least Rowling's keeping her writing chops sharp. Not every kids' book author can make a serious career change, as the following cases have illustrated.
-The granddaddy of kids books, Dr. Seuss found it more difficult to transition from literary to medical doctor than he'd anticipated. As it turns out, prescribing children to "hop on pop" won't actually cure Dad of bronchitis, and it actually aggravates an upset stomach. Who knew?!
-On the other hand, Magic School Bus author Joanna Cole found a lot of success driving actual school buses. No, they weren't magic per se, but you can't tell me there's not something a little enchanting about following all the traffic laws while putting up with 40 screaming brats.
-The various authors of the American Girl series never really retired at all… their work lives on every night Tom Petty plays a show.
-After book sales dwindled and publishers told Peggy Parish (Amelia Bedelia) to find another occupation, she began one of our country's most enduring protest movements. Wall Street was never the same.
-Megan Jo McDonald (Judy Moody) does NOT want to talk to us right now, guys. Her day is just, like, going terrible.
-Marc Brown, author of the popular Arthur series of books, tried to cash in on the reality TV craze by putting a real aardvark in a polo shirt and sending him off to school. No one doubted how adorable the little guy looked in a backpack, but too many of his fellow students were freaked out… to say nothing of any termites hanging around.
-E.B. White (Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little) retired to a farm and spent most of his days trying to talk to the animals he found there. This is not actually a bad way to live.
-Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson & the Olympians) set a personal goal of climbing Mount Olympus before he turned 50. He made it all the way to Greece, but got waylaid by an abundance of delicious gyros and baklava. He is, after all, only mortal.
-CS Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) actually stayed in the writing game with an attempt to craft his next epic around his new favorite pastime. Sadly, his 7-part knitting saga, The Chronicles of Yarnia, did not meet the same commercial or critical success as his previous work, although The Needle, the Stitch, and the Wardrobe of Clothes I Made was adapted into a moderately popular made-for-TV movie in the UK.
-Jeff McKinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) is doing a great job raising a kind and loving family. What did you expect?
Wondering about anyone else?