There must be some kind of rule by which we can override crediting the author, and go directly to the illustrator. Please, let that be so before Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee write again.
Look, the illustrations of Please, Puppy, Please are extraordinary. Several times it looks like the puppy is coming out of the page at the reader. I love, love the picture where the puppy is rolling in the mud in super-close-up from the reader’s perspective. I love the cute kids. I love that the book features African-American children, but their ethnicity isn’t the focus of the story. Kadir Nelson really knows his way around a picture, and if he was listed as the book’s author, I would have no problem with the slight text. This book is really about the illustrations anyway.
But the text is so simple, it shouldn’t be credited to anyone, much less two people. I counted fifty words in the whole book that weren’t “please” or “puppy.” A sample? Oh, if you insist:
Away from the gate, puppy puppy, please, puppy.
Oh wait puppy, wait, please, please, please, please.
Oh, and there was a page turn in between those lines of poetry.
I get the celebrity author bit. Sells books, blah, blah, blah. But there has got to be some level of what we would consider writing. And it needs to be more than fifty words I could pick out of a first-grade spelling list.