Poetry Friday: Celebrating my 401st post with a Kirkus STAR!

This past Tuesday, I told you I had learned my debut picture book, Flashlight Night (Boyd’s Mills Press), was going to receive a starred review from Kirkus…well, today, I can share the entire review with you!

I had no idea when their review was going to be published – and as it turned out, it was published later the same day! I am so honored, humbled, and thrilled that Kirkus loves the “delectable language” of the text and the “ingenious metamorphoses” created by illustrator Fred Koehler.

You can read the entire review HERE!

As someone who primarily writes children’s poetry, I am especially excited about this because I wrote the manuscript as a poem first, and as a manuscript second. I used poetic devices like alliteration and internal rhyme, I specifically left out many of the details of the story in order to allow ones imagination to take over, and – as Kirkus points out – the subject of the story is not a child or animal.

It’s the flashlight!

I had more than a few critiques question if I realized the main character was an inanimate object – and I said yes, I knew. I did that deliberately, as a matter of fact. Of course, straying from the standard rules of picture book writing, I had no idea if what I wrote was going to ‘click’ with anyone; leave it to the brilliant Rebecca Davis, my extremely supportive editor at Boyd’s Mills Press, to fall in love with it in early 2015 and make an offer to purchase it.

Flashlight Night hits bookshelves Sept. 5, 2017, and pre-orders are available now through Barnes & Noble and Amazon, or by clicking the image of the cover to the right. Of course, if you prefer, you can always wait til Sept. 5 and purchase it at your favorite local independent bookstore.

Boyd’s Mills Press’ exhibit today at Book Expo America. If you look closely, you can almost see the cover of my book.

Two separate book launches are also already planned! If you happen to be in the Boston area Thur. night, Sept. 7, I hope you’ll join us for the book launch party at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA. If you are in New Hampshire, I invite you to the book launch party the following Sun., Sept. 10, at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH starting at 2pm. More details about both of these events will be forthcoming as we get closer to the date.

The Poetry Friday roundup can be found at Buffy Silverman’s Blog, so be sure to check out all of today’s poetry links. Oh, and I’m looking forward to discovering this blog’s 500th follower – we’re at 485 right now – so please tell your friends about my little home on the web! (And there might be a PRIZE involved, hint, hint!)


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28 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Celebrating my 401st post with a Kirkus STAR!

  1. lindabaie

    Well, I’m looking forward to your national tour when you come to Denver, Matt (tehe). However, until then, congratulations on the superb review. It is very exciting!


  2. Congratulations, Matt, on a wonderful review highlighting your new book. I tweeted it out so others can read it. I am thinking that this book should grace the library of my soon-to-come granddaughter (my first grandchild).


  3. Congrats on the starred review from Kirkus!! I’m sure you’ve heard that getting a nod from Kirkus is quite a coup! I’m really anxious to read the book. Oh, and congrats on 400 blog posts!


  4. Congrats, Matt. Very exciting! I will try to make your Porter Square book launch, although my kids will be starting school then… I’ll have to see if I can get away. But if I don’t make it, I will be there in spirit, cheering on you and your flashlight!


  5. Karen Eastlund

    Matt! What smashing news… a starred Kirkus review!!! I bet you were fist-bumping all day when you saw that! Huge congrats!! I am SO impressed. Can’t wait to get a copy to share with my grands.



  6. Pingback: Poetry Friday: “Downtown at Taylor Park” – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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