Today it's my pleasure to announce that Bobbi Katz is my guest tomorrow. Bobbi and I first met years ago at a conference but I had followed her career for a long time before that. We haven't worked directly together but at one point we worked on a project at the same time.When Scholastic decided to bring the famous dog Clifford to television audiences, screen writers were hired to write the scripts. A second decision was made to transform the script plots into story books in rhyme. At that point Bobbi took four manuscripts and I took four. Over the next months we studied the scripts seeking basic story lines, then wrote the new stories in verse.
The eventual credits looked like a phone book. The script writer for each book was listed as well as the poet involved, and naturally the creator of Clifford, Norman Bridwell, was also shown. Here's the way the credit page looked on one of my four:
Clifford THE BIG RED DOG, Dogs and Cats
Adapted by David L. Harrison
Illustrated by Josie Yee
Based on the Scholastic book series "Clifford the Big Red Dog" by Norman Bridwell
From the television script "The Truth Abouot Dogs and Cats" by Bob Carrau.
Whew. But it was a fun project. Here's the bio that Bobbi sent. This will whet your appetite for her guest appearance tomorrow.
My “new” book, NOTHING BUT A DOG (Duttton last month) is really a newly illustrated version of a text published in 1972 by the Feminist Press. While it’s a picture book, reading it again after all these years, I realize that it’s actually an attenuated poem. I’ve written over 80 books for kids and teachers, many of which are poetry collections or rhyming books. I feel lucky to have grown up during a time when the radio brought great jazz right into our living room. I particularly loved Fats Waller as a little kid and I think his tunes nurtured a love of rhythm and rhyme. I still love the taste of words and the rhythms of music. Poets who write in English are lucky because we have such a rich vocabulary to use.
My degree is in history of art, but I’ve been a social worker, community organizer, editor, language teacher, and, most importantly, a mom. For the last five years I’ve been trying to learn something about astronomy. My most recent (and most fun) project was a commission to write lyrical poems about eclipses for M.I.T.’s Celebration of Science Festival. Classical composer Bruce Lazarus has set them to music. I hope I can get to Cambridge in May for the performances.
The Hudson River flowed through my childhood memories, but I only saw it when we went shopping downtown or took a ferry across it to catch a train on the opposite shore. Now I have a small apartment right on the river near Kingston, NY. The river and the sky above it are my most fascinating companions. And Manhattan is just a couple of hours away.
Port Ewen, NY 12466
"If monsters are what interest you,
the how and why of what they do,
I know the facts: what's false, what's true,
since I'm a MONSTEROLOGIST!"
Coming to a bookstore near you...