Like Frosty says, “Welcome!” Take off your coat, have a seat, and relax – we have plenty to drink, including egg nog, spiced apple cider, and a giant batch of our special Holiday Punch! (Oh, and plenty of Moxie, as well – it is the elixir of the gods, after all)
If you’re feeling a bit peckish, you’ll find numerous tables scattered throughout the rooms, featuring my award-winning homemade chili, maple-glazed scallops wrapped in bacon, homemade spanakopita, Swedish meatballs, roasted pepper-and-olive petite quiches, and freshly-made, authentic French Canadian Tourtière and gorton.
Oh, I’m sorry – you prefer sweet over savory? We have numerous treats as well, including chocolate-mint brownie cookies, Scandinavian pepparkakor, vegan cranberry-banana bread, double-dipped pretzels, German springerle, tri-chocolate roasted walnut bark, tons of sugar cookies in every shape you can imagine (including flashlights!), my famous pumpkin-rum swirl cheesecake with gingersnap crust, and a vegan chocolate cake with mocha icing you’ll absolutely love.
Once you’ve satisfied your cravings, I do hope you’ll stick around for the poetry we’ll be sharing; you see, David L. Harrison, Joy Acey, and I started up this little shindig a few years ago, and up til now it’s been held at David’s place. But as wonderful as he and Sandy have been as our hosts, we thought it might be nice to move the party around a bit – so this year, it’s here at the ol’ Triple-R.
In advance of our party, I’ve “spruced” up the place a bit (har har, gotta love holiday puns)…
…so please leave a comment to let us know you stopped by – and if you’re so inclined, please include either a couplet about your favorite holiday food or the title of a new picture book you feel needs to be under every child’s tree this year!
Although there is one particular book that is near and dear to my heart (I’m sure you can guess which one that is!), I would like to suggest a few others that are special in different ways, all written by friends of mine from here in the Northeast: Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s Read! Read! Read! (Boyds Mills Press) which was illustrated by my friend Ryan O’Rourke and came out the same day as Flashlight Night, with the same publisher and editor; Elaine Magliaro’s Things to Do (Chronicle), a collection of poetic scenes from nature written with the wonder of a child; Josh Funk’s fun The Case of the Stinky Stench (Sterling), the sequel to Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast; and Carol Gordon Ekster’s You Know What? (Clavis), which celebrated its national book launch alongside Flashlight Night when Carol & I visited Cambridge, MA in September for a kidlit author/illustrator gathering, followed by a presentation/reading/signing at Porter Square Books.
Two other books I would add – and there are some GREAT ones out this year – are Lee Bennett Hopkins’ Traveling the Blue Road (Seagrass Press), a collection of children’s poems about bravery, courage, and how the sea is a metaphor for life’s journey; and my son’s favorite, Drew Daywalt’s The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors (Balzer & Bray) which is extremely creative in its storytelling and hilarious, to boot.
Last – but certainly, definitely never least – is an upcoming book by the gentleman who started this virtual holiday party, David L. Harrison. A Place to Start a Family: Poems About Creatures That Build (Charlesbridge, 2018), David’s latest children’s poetry collection, comes out next month, features 12 poems about animals that build things – nests, tunnels, etc. – and includes back matter that provides more info on each animal and its poem. Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly already love it, so be sure to watch for it when it hits stores in January!
(And speaking of purchasing picture books, there is now an easy way for you to pick up a personalized signed copy of Flashlight Night, online! Details below…)
I look forward to reading your couplets and picture book suggestions! Just leave them in the comments for everyone to read and enjoy. I’ll be popping in throughout the day to make sure introductions are made, plates are full, and glasses are filled!
Here’s my couplet, which I came up with while baking with my daughter the other day:
I’ll bake some cookies, make a mess, and then I’ll bake some more!
It takes me twice as long these days; my sous chef’s only four.
Diane Mayr is hosting Poetry Friday today, so I encourage you to swing by her place for a little while, as well, and enjoy all the poetry links and fun at Random Noodling!
Purchasing personalized signed copies ONLINE? Yes, it’s true!
I’ve teamed up with the good folks MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH to present an option for people who would love to have a signed copy of one of my books but don’t live anywhere near me. MainStreet BookEnds has ALL but one of my books available for ordering…and the best part is, you can get them personalized!
Just log onto my website and click the cover of whichever book you want, and they will get it to me to sign and send it off to you. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’t that make you feel good?)
- NY Public Library’s “100 Best Book for Kids 2017!”
- KIRKUS Starred review!
- Amazon “Best Books of the Month,” Sept. 2017!
Thank you so much to all who have enjoyed “Flashlight Night” enough to write about it:
- “Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews (starred)
- “The verse is incantatory…a simple idea that’s engagingly executed” – School Library Journal
- An old fashioned, rip-roaring imaginary adventure” – The Horn Book
- “[Esenwine and Koehler] don’t just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play” – Publisher’s Weekly
- “Imaginative…fantastical” – Booklist
- “Favorably recalls Where the Wild Things Are” – Shelf Awareness
- “Readers, you must share ‘Flashlight Night’…as often as you can” – Margie Myers-Culver, Librarian’s Quest
- “Begs to be read over and over” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads
- “A poetic and engaging journey” – Cynthia Alaniz, Librarian In Cute Shoes
- “Illuminates the power of imagination” – Kellee Moye, Unleashing Readers
- “Readers will be inspired to…create their own journey” – Alyson Beecher, Kidlit Frenzy
- “Beautiful words and stunning illustrations” – Jason Lewis, 5th grade teacher at Tyngsboro Elementary School, Tyngsboro, MA