A long-awaited #BookBirthday for I AM TODAY!

It was originally scheduled for publication way back on Oct. 5, 2021…and after six, count ’em, SIX delays, my newest picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books), is officially here!

Children are always being told they are the “Future”…but what if a child doesn’t want to wait, to make a difference?

.

I AM TODAY is about a young girl who recognizes a need to take action. The story includes sea turtles, a factory, a town that rallies together, and even origami! But when you read the story, you’ll notice that NONE of that is in my text; no turtles, no pollution, no origami – not even a girl. I wrote the framework for a narrative, and illustrator Patricia Pessoa created and developed the entire plot!

(and at the end of the book, there are even directions on how to make your own origami turtle!)

Learn more about the book and read reviews at the “I Am Today” Blog Tour:

Many thanks to all the wonderful bloggers
who have shared their opinions about
I AM TODAY:
.

  • “An evocative story of a young girl standing up for what she believes in.”
    Roxanne Troup, GoodReads with Ronna
    .
  • “Flawless rhymes and stunning illustrations…A wonderful book that should be in every home, classroom and library!”
    The Momma Spot / Future Bookworms
    .
  • “An inspirational and motivational story about a young girl who is acting TODAY rather than waiting for the future to make change”
    Little Book Locker
  • “This inspiring, heartfelt picture book literally gave me goosebumps with its hopeful message.”
    Marianne Knowles, author and STEM Curriculum Coordinator at the Museum of Science, Boston
    .
  • “[The book] brings to mind that every child is unique and has a VOICE. Hopefully, it will find cozy corners in bedrooms and reading/writing stations in classrooms.”
    Carol Varsalona, literacy advocate and Wonder Lead Ambassador for Wonderopolis
    .
  • “An absolute delight…Love, love, love it!”
    Brian Gehrlein, author of THE BOOK OF RULES (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022)

.

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of I AM TODAY from my local independent bookstore today!

Read Across America Day is tomorrow, March 2, 2022, and I’m once again offering free, 20-minute visits with schools and libraries all across the country!

=====================================================

=====================================================

I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

======================================================

I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.

=====================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click any of the covers below to order!

Arriving March 1, 2022! Pre-order now!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

======================================================

Thank you to everyone for your support!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

======================================================

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!

To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post once or twice a week – usually 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 FacebookInstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

It wasn’t an asteroid, but…

Last week, I told you that unless an asteroid was to hit, my next picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) would be officially published today.

Guess what.

It wasn’t exactly an asteroid, but I just learned from my editor that Simon & Schuster apparently needed more time to process the books that arrived at their warehouse a couple of weeks ago. So now it’s NEXT Tuesday, March 1 that we’ll be seeing the book arrive.

So now, after 7 different publication dates and six delays, I have my fingers, toes, and just about every other available body part crossed that it does, indeed, arrive! Folks who have already seen it have loved it, and I hope you will, too…

.

Many thanks to all the wonderful bloggers
who have shared their opinions about
I AM TODAY:
.

  • “An evocative story of a young girl standing up for what she believes in.”
    Roxanne Troup, GoodReads with Ronna
    .
  • “Flawless rhymes and stunning illustrations…A wonderful book that should be in every home, classroom and library!”
    The Momma Spot / Future Bookworms
    .
  • “This inspiring, heartfelt picture book literally gave me goosebumps with its hopeful message.”
    Marianne Knowles, author and STEM Curriculum Coordinator at the Museum of Science, Boston
    .
  • “[The book] brings to mind that every child is unique and has a VOICE. Hopefully, it will find cozy corners in bedrooms and reading/writing stations in classrooms.”
    Carol Varsalona, literacy advocate and Wonder Lead Ambassador for Wonderopolis
    .
  • “An absolute delight…Love, love, love it!”
    Brian Gehrlein, author of THE BOOK OF RULES (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022)

The “I Am Today” Blog Tour:

.

Read Across America Day is only a week away, March 2, 2022 and I still have a few slots available!

I am once again offering free, 20-minute visits with schools and libraries all across the country, so if you’d like me to read one of my books to your class and share a few details about “the story behind the story,” send me an email and let me know!

View my complete list of books below, if you’re wondering what you might like me to read – or I can pick one. It’s up to you! But slots are filling up, so please contact me as soon as you can.

=====================================================

=====================================================

I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

======================================================

I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.

=====================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click any of the covers below to order!

Arriving March 1, 2022! Pre-order now!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

======================================================

Thank you to everyone for your support!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

======================================================

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!

To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post once or twice a week – usually 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 FacebookInstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

A #BookBirthday gets delayed…one final time!

I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is available for pre-orders everywhere books are sold – but if you order from my local indie bookstore, I can personally-sign it and have them in the mail within 12-24 hours!

Yes, it’s true. After five delays and six different publishing dates, my newest picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is scheduled to be published Feb. 22, 2022 – for real!!

Due to this shipping/supply chain crisis we’re dealing with, the books have been sitting in port for MONTHS, waiting for a truck to haul them to the Simon & Schuster warehouse. Finally, they got picked up – YAY! – but then they remained stuck in a shipping container, and there was nothing my publisher could do about it.

Well, my editor has just told me that they are now offically at the warehouse – and unless an asteroid hits, the books will be for sale exactly two weeks from now on Feb. 22.

Let’s hope and pray the asteroid belt remains intact until then, shall we?

Learn more about the book, my process, and the importance of a good illustrator at the “I Am Today” Blog Tour:

ALSO: many, many thanks again to KidLit TV for hosting the official cover reveal of my next picture book, A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human” (Beaming Books, 2022), which arrives everywhere this October!

.

By the way, Read Across America Day is coming up on March 2, 2022 and I am once again offering free, 20-minute visits with schools and libraries all across the country! If you’d be interested in having me join your class to read one of my books and share a few details about “the story behind the story,” please send me an email and let me know!

I’ll be scheduling visits on the hour and half-hour all day long, and slots usually get filled up fairly quickly, so don’t wait! You can see my complete list of books below, if you’re wondering what you might like me to read – or I can pick one. It’s up to you!

I know of one book in particular I’m VERY eager to share with the world. 😉

Very excited to be part of my new 2022 picture book marketing team!

=====================================================

=====================================================

I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

======================================================

I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.

=====================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click any of the covers below to order!

Arriving Feb. 8, 2022! Pre-order now!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

======================================================

Thank you to everyone for your support!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

======================================================

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!

To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post once or twice a week – usually 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 FacebookInstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

National #CoverReveal of “A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human” – and “I Am Today” is almost here!

Today’s the day!

Thanks to my friends at KidLitTV, we all get to see the cover of my next picture book, A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books, 2022), which arrives everywhere this October!

The official “reveal” takes place at 7am EST at KidLit.TV, so depending on when you’re reading this you might get to watch it happen in real time, or you can check it out after the fact – but either way, I hope you like it and will consider pre-ordering a copy of the book. Many thanks to illustrator André Ceolin for a bright, bold, and inclusive cover!

Click here to see the cover!

It’s interesting how some books come to be. I had sent a manuscript to Naomi Krueger, my editor for Once Upon Another Time, and although she liked it, she didn’t feel it was a right fit for Beaming Books. But she said she had an idea for a totally different book, written in a similar style – and asked if I’d be willing to have a go at writing a book based on her concept.

“Beginner’s Guide” is that book!

And the icing on the cake? The original manuscript I sent Naomi – the one she didn’t pick up – eventually DID get picked up by another publisher! (More news on THAT later this year!)

I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is available for pre-orders everywhere books are sold – but if you order from my local indie bookstore, I can personally-sign it and have them in the mail within 12-24 hours!

After five delays – yes, FIVE! – my newest picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is scheduled to be published next week on Feb. 8! Children are always being told they are “the Future”….but what if a child doesn’t want to wait, to make a difference? Find out more about the book, my process, and what other folks think of the book at any of these links:

The Blog Tour:

.

From Connecticut to Calgary…tomorrow is going to be a busy day for me!
Very excited to be part of my new 2022 picture book marketing team!

=====================================================

=====================================================

I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

======================================================

I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.

=====================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click any of the covers below to order!

Arriving Feb. 8, 2022! Pre-order now!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

======================================================

Thank you to everyone for your support!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

======================================================

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!

To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post once or twice a week – usually 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 FacebookInstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

A National Flashlight Day GIVEAWAY- and the I AM TODAY Blog Tour rolls on!

Believe it or not, National Flashlight Day is a real thing, celebrated annually on the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year, and therefore a good reason to celebrate flashlights).

And I’m sure you can understand why I love flashlights.

I’d also like to thank Kathy at Celebrate Picture Books for featuring my book Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) on her blog! She celebrates National Flashlight Day with a review of the book, and I’m extremely grateful for her support.

Tell you what…leave a comment below and/or share this blog post on Twitter (and be sure to tag me @MattForrestVW) and at 7pm on the night before Christmas Eve I’ll pick a winner of a FREE, PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of Flashlight Night!

In other news…the I Am Today blog tour continues rolling along! Yesterday my good friend Maria Marshall posted an interview she did with both me and illustrator Patricia Pessoa at her blog, the Picture Book Buzz.

untitled image
Illustrator Patricia Pessoa

It was fun being able to be part of an interview with both of us, and learning a little about each other (we both want kids to feel like thyey have a voice, we both love raspberry jam, and we’re both cat people!)

Be sure to check out Maria’s blog post HERE – and many thanks to all the bloggers who are sharing interviews, reviews, and giveaways! Later today, Debbie at Future Bookworms on IG and the Momma Spot blog will be sharing her review, so I hope you’ll follow her and learn her thoughts on the book.

The complete list:

I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is available for pre-orders everywhere books are sold – but if you order from my local indie bookstore, I can personally-sign ANY of my books and have them in the mail usually within 12-24 hours!

More details in the video:

=====================================================

=====================================================

I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

======================================================

I’d love to visit with you or your child!
Learn more by clicking the graphic!

======================================================

I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.

=====================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click any of the covers below to order!

rriving Nov. 30, 2021! Pre-order now!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

======================================================

Thank you to everyone for your support!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

======================================================

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!

To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post once or twice a week – usually 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 FacebookInstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

The “I Am Today” blog tour is officially underway! Now if only we had the book…

I have to tell you something: no matter how many books one publishes, it’s ALWAYS exciting!

That said, the official blog tour for my upcoming picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books), is underway – even though the book isn’t even out yet. In case you missed my explanation a couple of Fridays ago, the publication date has been delayed until Dec. 21 due to that nasty shipping/supply chain crisis you keep hearing about. So instead of the orginal date of Oct. 5, it got pushed out til Nov. 30…and then that publication date got pushed out!

Yet, even though the new publication date is Dec. 21 it is, unfortunately, still tenuous – because the publisher is at the mercy of the distribution network. We’re HOPING it’s out Dec. 21, and just crossing our fingers until it happens. This is why we’re trying to push pre-orders; not only to try to sell the book, naturally, but to build awareness of the book among booksellers, as well as to increase their awareness of me, as an author.

So we’re celebrating the release of a book that’s not here yet! The blog tour is fully underway because we didn’t want all the wonderful participants to have to change their schedules. Moreover, pre-orders can be very helpful for an author, and not just because it helps increase sales. (for a little more explanation on why publishers like pre-orders, check out my previous post)

Just who is part of this cavalcade of kidlit excitement?

When I first looked at this list, I felt that this was probably the longest-running blog tour ever for a picture book! At nearly a month-and-a-half, it’s like the tour that never ends…but we were fortunate that some bloggers were able to move their post dates to later in December. This way we can share the news early on for those pre-orders I was talking about, and also celebrate the actual release of the book when it happens (hopefully) later in the month.

Kelle Moye kicked things off a couple of weeks ago when she featured a guest post from Yours Truly at her blog, Unleashing Readers. I shared with her readers the unusual method I employed for coming up with the book’s title – and the entire theme of the book, by extension – and suggested ways teachers can do the same thing as writing prompts. I hope you’ll check it out!

Yesterday, the incredible team of Brenna Jeanneret and Josh Monken at the You May Contribute a Verse podcast posted an interview we had a couple of weeks ago. We cover everything from my process of writing picture books to submitting without an agent to why I chose to leave a perfectly good fulltime job to try and make a go of this whole writing thing.

And today, Brian Gehrlein places I Am Today in his Picture Book Spotlight with an in-depth interview with me about the inspiration behind the book (kids muddling through a pandemic), my unusual process of creating it (sticking non-grammatical words together to see what happens), and why I love writing picture books that don’t follow standard, traditional narratives (I call them story skeletons).

The complete list:

And even though she’s not an official part of the blog tour, I need to give a special shout-out to Little BookWorm Club for the fantastic support and kind words posted yesterday on her Instagram account!

Click here to be whisked away to a complete list of all my books!

Remember, I Am Today is available for pre-orders everywhere books are sold – but if you order from my local indie bookstore, I can personally-sign your book (or any of my books) and have them in the mail usually within 24 hours. Books always make special gifts – but a personally-signed book is something extra-special, wouldn’t you say?

I hope you check out all the blogs and websites involved in our blog post! And if you can’t afford to buy a book (whether it’s one of mine or anyone else’s), leaving a review at Amazon or Goodreads is a GREAT way to support an author or illustrator. Reviews really do matter, so even just a positive sentence or two is all it takes to help out someone whose creative work you enjoy.

Happy holidays, and fingers crossed we don’t get delayed again!

Arriving in stores Dec. 21 – we hope!

=====================================================

=====================================================

I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

======================================================

I’d love to visit with you or your child!
Learn more by clicking the graphic!

======================================================

I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.

=====================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click any of the covers below to order!

rriving Nov. 30, 2021! Pre-order now!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

======================================================

Thank you to everyone for your support!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

======================================================

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!

To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post once or twice a week – usually 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 FacebookInstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Donut Cones, Patriotism, and Girl (horse)Power: Observations from the State Fair, Part IX:

WOW…have I actually been sharing my thoughts and observations as the official PA announcer for the local state fair for NINE YEARS now? Time does, indeed, fly.

Sharing my yearly experience is something I have done every year, except for 2020 – which we don’t talk about. (the fair was cancelled due to Covid, natch) In the past, I’ve learned that I walk a minimum of 9 miles each day, that Whoppers are the most despised candy, and that sand used for sand sculptures is different from normal beach sand.

Yes, I have learned a great deal working at the Hopkinton State Fair – and as far as revelations go, this year’s fair did not disappoint!

A whole lot of guys seem to like the color pink these days. Everywhere I turned, I was seeing pink: shirts, shorts, pink, even socks. Not judging – just a bit surprised, that’s all. With my dark blue “fair official” polo shirt, I was feeling a bit left out!

No matter how old I get, a car that transforms into a robot will always be cool.

BIG BEE, The Transforming Robot Car™!

“Big Bee,” as he is known, was at the fair for the first time this year. If you’ve seen a particular movie or a particular TV show about “transforming” cars that turn into giant robot warriors, then you’ll recognize this bright yellow Chevrolet Camaro. He drew quite a crowd, I’ll tell you that.

Click the photo and you can see him in action!

The National Anthem is popular again. In past posts, I’ve bemoaned the loss of patriotism based on my observations of people wandering around during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” each day at noon, seemingly oblivious to what was happening. This year, for some reason, was different – very different. When we announced the playing the anthem and asked people to rise…they did! Nearly everyone I could see from the grandstand tower stopped, turned toward the nearest flag, and paid respect. What a difference a pandemic makes, eh?

Watching your son go nuts at a Monster Truck Show is one of the best experiences a dad can have.

Some people just don’t understand the culinary diversity of a country fair. I happened to overhear a man and woman talking as they walked past me. The guy was holding some sort of giant food item and his wife/girlfriend wore an increduous look on her face. “How can you EAT that s**t??” she exclaimed.

His reply? “Because it’s really good s**t!”

Hard to argue with a man who knows what he likes.

Cinnamon sugar and blueberries for your fried pickles? Hey, who am I to judge?
I need to go back now and try the other 5 varieties.

Donut ice cream cones are my new obsession. Speaking of food, I discovered a new innovation my first night working there. Wrap a piece of dough around a wooden cone, deep-fry it, spread the interior with Nutella, dust it with cinnamon sugar, fill it with ice cream – oh, and be sure to plug up the hole at the bottom of the cone first with a Lindt truffle.

Candy apples have been around for nearly 100 years. The first red candy apple was created in 1908 by a New Jersey candy maker who was experimenting with the red cinnamon candy he sold during the Christmas season. He dipped a few apples in the mixture, set them on his counter, and the rest, as they say, is history.

If someone had told me a year ago that I’d be ordering stir-fry at a country fair, I’d have told them they were crazy. Yet, here I was, ordering garlic chicken with pineapple fried rice…and loving it so much that I had to go back and try the sesame chicken and Pad Thai noodles. I’ve never eaten – or even seen – anything at any fair that was as restaurant-quality as what Indochine Pavilion was serving up – but I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes open for them again. (and yes, the guy was checking the internal temperature of each piece. Kudos to you, my good man)

Electricity may just be a boring old natural phenomenon that’s been around since the dawn of timebut when you put it inside little colored light bulbs, it sure is pretty.

Girls are doing a great job of competing with the boys! I’m not a huge fan of demolition derbies, but they are fun to watch; drivers smash each other’s cars to smithereens in the hopes that their own vehicle is the last standing (or crawling, as the case might be). The annual Demo Derby at the Hopkinton State Fair is always a sell-out, and this year, as something different, organizers instituted a new event: young drivers, ages 12-15, with an adult passenger.

All safety precautions were in place, and the track is so muddy the cars can’t really go as fast as one might fear – but the thing that impressed me most was the fact that, out of 10 cars participating, 5 were driven by boys and 5 were driven by girls! And when it was all said and done, the winner was a boy and the runner-up was a girl. Talk about your equal-smashing opportunities.

Y’know, my daughter might have zero interest in driving in a demo derby, but I’m glad I can tell her she can, if she wants to!

Remind me to never do this:

Finally, the best way to confront your fears is by tackling them head-on. Justin Spencer from the band Recycled Percussion is a local fellow (actually, they’re ALL local fellows!) who has struggled with panic attacks a good part of his life. Closed spaces really freak him out. So he decided to do the only logical thing that any of us would do to try to combat that fear.

He had himself buried underground.

Yep, he and his charity organization Chaos & Kindness arranged to have Justin buried inside a wooden box for 24 hours. He did this not only to kick his panic atacks in the a**, as he stated, but to help raise money for disadvantaged kids who need school supplies. So he and the group staged a huge event at the fair, he kissed his wife and daughter before heading down into the ground, and a ventilation system kept fresh air going through his living quarters until he was pulled out the next day.

And when he finally saw daylight again, he greeted his family and friends and did a quick impromptu performance with his bandmates. Panic attacks are going to have to go find someone else to bother now.

Thank you, and good night!

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I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

============================================================

Talkabook is setting out to inspire children by connecting them with authors and illustrators! Click here to view my profile and learn more!

============================================================

I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.

===========================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Boyds Mills Press, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click any of the following covers to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

============================================================

Thank you to everyone for your support!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

============================================================

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!

To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post once or twice a week – usually 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 FacebookInstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: A pretty deep poem for a 7-year-old

As I’ve mentioned here before, we homeschooled our two young kids this past year due to the Covid shutdown, and although some days were better than others, it was, overall, a success. The kids learned everything they needed to learn – and more – and didn’t seem to loathe the process of homeschooling as much as they loathed not being around their friends.

I do have to say, there were extra-special days where they surprised me, either at how well they understood a lesson or how adroitly they completed it. One such day was back in March, when my daughter was tasked with a lesson from her English Language Arts program that required her to write a poem about light. Completely unbeknownst to me, she came up with this all on her own; I never saw it until she had finished it:

I know, I know, every parent thinks their kid is a genius or a protege or whatever…but seriously, this is pretty thoughtful for a 2nd-grader. I told her I was so proud of her that I’d make sure everyone I knew read it, if that was ok with her. “Sure!” she said. And so I present it to you here – better late than never.

Molly Hogan is celebrating summer while hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup at Nix the Comfort Zone – so head on over for all of today’s poetry links and fun!

============================================================

I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

============================================================

Talkabook is setting out to inspire children by connecting them with authors and illustrators! Click here to view my profile and learn more!

============================================================

I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.

===========================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Boyds Mills Press, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click any of the following covers to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

============================================================

Thank you to everyone for your support!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

============================================================

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!

To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post once or twice a week – usually 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 FacebookInstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

NEW Picture Book Cover Reveal AND Summer Reading Lists!

If schools have not wrapped up where you are yet, they will be soon – and with summer, comes summer reading! I’m so proud that many of my books – and books with which I’m associated – are appearing on summer reading lists. I’ll share a few of them in just a minuet, but first…

Another picture book cover reveal!!

This will be the THIRD COVER REVEAL for a book of mine this year (wow, that’s never happened before!), and I am extra-excited because the reveal is taking place at agent/author Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez’ popular kidlit blog, Math Is Everywhere! Kaitlyn is a wonderful supporter of authors; she took some time to interview me about the book, titled I Am Today (POW! Kids Books), which comes out this Oct., and I’m thrilled that she gets to show it off to everyone.

(PS: there’s a giveaway that goes along with it, too – so be sure to check it out!)

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SUMMER READING LISTS

In other news, I’m very proud to see several of my books showing up on reading lists and blogs this time of year! A blog mention or review is always appreciated no matter the season, of course, but this time of year is special because more families are getting together, doing things, going places, and kids as well as adults are finding more time to read.

A few of the folks I’d like to thank:

Kansas NEA Reading Circle – Recommended Title (Flashlight Night)

Lighthouse Homeschool Solutions (Flashlight Night) *

Newton (MA) Free Library (Night Wishes)

Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School (MO) (Flashlight Night)

We Are Teachers (Flashlight Night)

Denver Public Library’s “Adventure Picture Books” (Flashlight Night)

Fairfax County (VA) Public Library “Picture Walks” (Flashlight Night)

School Library Journal “NCTE 2021 Notable Poetry Books(Construction People)

South Orange & Maplewood (NJ) elementary & public librarians (Construction People)

Advent Lutheran Church (NYC) (Once Upon Another Time)

The Spencer Library (United Seminary) (Once Upon Another Time)

Crafty Moms Share (Once Upon Another Time)

Book No Further “Recreation/Outdoor activities (Once Upon Another Time)

Book Nerd Mommy “Not-to-be-missed Picture Books” (Night Wishes)

Hello, Wild Things “Flashlight Book Basket” (Flashlight Night) (This was posted in 2020, but I just came across it today!)

* Let me just say that showing up on a list that includes Charles Dickens and E.B. White is pretty mind-blowing!

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I have to add that it’s quite an honor to see so many of my books – seven, as a matter of fact – available in the library system where I was born! Thank you, Baltimore County Public Library, for your support!

============================================================

I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!

============================================================

Talkabook is setting out to inspire children by connecting them with authors and illustrators! Click here to view my profile and learn more!

============================================================

I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.

===========================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Boyds Mills Press, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click any of the following covers to order!