Poetry Friday: Flashlights and Dinosaurs and Roundups – oh, my!

Where to begin, where to begin, where to begin…it’s such a crazy, busy week, and there’s so much to talk about!

I have big news about my debut picture book, Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press, Sept. 19, 2017) – actually, THREE different news items – plus, news about my second book, due out this spring.

But first, let me welcome you to the Poetry Friday roundup! This is the place where you can find links to all of the poetry-related posts in the blogosphere. So leave your links in the comments below, and I’ll put them together in this post throughout the day.

“Flashlight Night” News #1:  National Book Launch!

Last night, Carol Gordon Ekster, whose new picture book is You Know What? (Clavis, 2017), and I hosted a dual book launch at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Mass. What a success!

Clockwise from top: our books; Carol starting things off; some guy who vaguely looks like me having a grand time (Photo credit, Josh Funk)

Thank you to everyone who attended!

Loved the size of the crowd!
Oh, and did I mention there was food? Yes, I should have mentioned that…


“Flashlight Night” News #2:  One of the Best Picture Books of 2017!

Last Friday, the folks at The Children’s Book Review announced their list of what they feel are the best children’s books of the year…and Flashlight Night made the cut!

I’m so excited about this, not only because I wrote it, but because it was such a beautiful example of teamwork – between me, illustrator Fred Koehler (who came up with the concept of reality being in darkness and fantasy being illuminated by the flashlight), and my editor, Rebecca Davis, who steered the project from start to finish.

And just in case you missed that link, here it is again, so you can read the complete list – which includes books from friends and fellow writers like David Elliott, Josh, Funk, Patricia Toht, and many others.

“Flashlight Night” News #3:  On sale at Amazon!

I always like to books locally, whenever possible, because doing so helps support the businesses closest to us. But if you really want to pick up a copy and are having a  tough time with your finances, I am please to tell you that Amazon has it for almost five dollars less than the standard price: just $12.11!

Second book news: COVER REVEAL!

In the midst of all this Flashlight news, I learned something about Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, March 2018), the book I co-authored with author & critique partner Deb Bruss…we have a release date and a cover!

(click to enlarge)


Wait til you see what’s inside! Illustrator Louis Chin is having fun depicting 14 different dinosaur species and the utter havoc they wreak while getting ready for a birthday party.

With big, bold colors, crazy situations, and a 2-page glossary at the end detailing the unique attributes of each dinosaur, this book is completely unlike Flashlight – so I’m eager to see what people think of it! It’s already for pre-order, so CLICK HERE for details.

Local release party this weekend!

Just a reminder: if you’re in the area, please stop by MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH this Sunday for the local release party, starting at 2pm. More info can be found HERE.

So thank you for stopping by today! Leave your Poetry Friday links in the comments, and I’ll round them up…


“The verse is incantatory…a simple idea that’s engagingly executed” – School Library Journal

“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews

“[Esenwine and Koehler] don’t just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Readers will be inspired to…create their own journey” – Alyson Beecher, Kidlit Frenzy

“Imaginative…fantastical” – ALA Booklist

“An old fashioned, rip-roaring imaginary adventure” – The Horn Book

“Beautiful words and amazing illustrations” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

Flashlight Night (Boyd’s Mills Press) hits bookshelves Sept. 19, 2017! Pre-orders are available now through Barnes & NobleAmazon, or Books-a-Million, or by clicking the image of the cover to the right. Of course, if you prefer, you can always wait til Sept. 19 and purchase it at your favorite local independent bookstore.

Thank you for your support!


Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week – on Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)
Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

65 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Flashlights and Dinosaurs and Roundups – oh, my!

  1. Pingback: Poetry Friday: Whispers at the Edge of Day – Reading to the Core

    1. Thanks so much, Michelle – and yes, I’d be happy to sign a copy! I make it up to Maine once every month or so, so I’d be happy to swing by next time I’m there…or if you know of a bookstore in your area, let me know and I can contact them about hosting a signing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: [Poetry Friday]: The Extent of Our Souls – Gathering Books

  3. Nope, you’re not enjoying yourself at all! ;o) So glad the launch went well, Matt, and a best of 2017? Wow! Dinosaur looks great, too… really fun. I’ve got my wiggle on at Today’s Little Ditty, with a review of PET CRAZY, the latest Poetry Friday Power Book from Pomelo Books, and my own poem in response. I’m giving away 5 copies! https://michellehbarnes.blogspot.com/2017/09/get-your-wiggle-on-pet-crazy-giveaway.html


  4. Hooray, Matt! Your excitement over Flashlight and now Dinosaurs is infectious! I’m so happy for you and more for the words. Keep that good news coming.
    This week, I combined the challenge from TLD to write an abedecarian poem and found poetry into an Abecedarian & Found Book Review of Andrea Pinkney’s book, Rhythm Ride: A Journey Through Motown. A snippet can be found on Michelle’s TLD padlet. Thanks for hosting and Happy Poetry Friday.


  5. What an amazing week you had! Congratulations, Matt! Between Flashlight Night and Don’t Ask a Dinosaur, I’ve got my nephews’ birthdays covered for the next year. Thank you! And thank you for hosting PF today. I’m sharing a poem written under the influence of Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy. http://wp.me/p2bY8c-23M


  6. Your great news was one of the first things I read this morning, and I am so tickled to hear and see how well “Flashlight Night” has been received. Just imagine the faces of the thousands of kids and their parents, as they flip through the pages together… Being on the shortlist for 2017 is just the icing on the cake, and it will help you reach an even larger audience. Can it get any better?


    1. I don’t know if it can get any better, my friend – but the reception ‘Flashlight’ has received is already more than I had even imagined, so I’m perfectly happy at this point. (although lots of sales wouldn’t hurt!) Thanks for stopping by, and for words of support!


  7. Pingback: Pollen Puff | Friendly Fairy Tales

    1. Thank you so much, Sylvia! One of the nicest compliments I received about the book was when SLJ referred to the text of the book as a “poem”…because that’s what it was all along, until I realized it was waiting to be a picture book!


  8. Karen Edmisten

    So much fun book news! Congrats, Matt, on both books!

    I’m in this week with a poem about a nature walk that isn’t really about a nature walk. It’s here.

    Thanks for hosting!


  9. Pingback: New Kindergarten Poets #PoetryFriday – Wondering and Wandering

  10. Am late with this but I wanted to feature Flashlight Night in honor of its upcoming book birthday with student responses. Such a great book (going now to put in an order) maclibrary.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/poetry-friday-flashlight-night/


  11. Matt, what a wonderful list of fantastic news about FLASHLIGHT NIGHT! I’m so thrilled for you!! I love the cover for DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR and it sounds like a ton of fun! Congrats, congrats, congrats!
    I have a new episode on A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Landon and I are back with a poetry/art collaboration about school supplies. http://wp.me/p22d5X-1Xd


  12. Pingback: Leonora Speyer | Nix the comfort zone

  13. Thanks for the blog birthday wishes and thanks for including me in your roundup even though I didn’t have an actual poetry-related post this week. It’s been great having some of the PF peeps drop by and commiserate. 🙂 Looking forward to joining the PF gang next week with our Flashlight Night interview! BTW, congrats on being included in the Children’s Book Review best books list — also love the cool cover reveal.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.