As you may have heard, my newest book – my first-ever board book and first book written in prose – just arrived in the world this past Tuesday, and I’m still celebrating!
Elliot the Heart-Shaped Frog (Rainstorm Publishing/Kidsbooks Publishing) is a Goldilocks-type tale about a little frog who, no longer needing to live underwater, decides to set out in search of a new home and finds all sorts of surprising shapes and colors.
You can imagine, then my surprise yesterday, when I was helping a friend shovel her driveway and we both realized her son, Elliot, was wearing this:
What are the odds?? My book now has an official mascot, Elliot, the Frog-Hatted Cutiepie!
By the way, if you’re interested in picking up a copy, I encourage you to order through our local independent bookstore, MainStreet BookEnds. Not only will you be helping out a small, local business, but you can request that the book (or nearly ANY of my books) be personally-signed!
Now, then, the poetry…
It’s been nearly two years ago since I shared a poem my mom had written when she was a young woman. I had been cleaning out my folks’ house in preparation for it being sold, and came across several folders containing poems, stories, and articles written in a bygone age.
With her passing on Dec. 31, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own creative skills and how my parents’ influence reflects in my own work. While neither of my folks had the training or experience in writing that I have, they were very expressive and introspective people – and I can see that without their encouragement and support (not to mention their genes!) – I would not be where I am today.
So I thought I’d share another one of Mom’s poems today. I believe it was probably written in the mid-late ’50s, as she uses the initials of her maiden name, Virginia Gertrude Agnes Johnson, which she likely would not have done once she married Dad in 1959:
Much of Mom’s poetry – and there is quite a bit – deals with longing, despondency, anxiety, and melancholy. I wish I could have learned from her what inspired her to write, and to whom she often wrote. I know some of these were directed to Dad, who was in the Army and stationed overseas in Germany at the time – but some were written well before they met. A mystery never to be solved, I fear.
But then, poems are meant to make us think and keep us guessing, aren’t they?
For the complete Poetry Friday roundup, be sure to head over to Bookseed Studio, where Jan Godown Annino has all of today’s poetry links and fun!
I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!
You can 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!
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!
Click any of the following covers to order!
Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH a note requesting the signature and to whom I should make it out to. (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!
- NY Public Library’s “100 Best Book for Kids 2017” AND “Staff Pick!”
- KIRKUS Starred review!
- Kansas NEA Reading Circle Recommended Books!
- “Best Reads of 2017,” Unleashing Readers
- Finalist, 2019 New Hampshire Literary Awards
- Positive reviews from Horn Book, School Library Connection, School Library Connection, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, and Shelf-Awareness! . .
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