Paid for in rupees

Hi everyone,

Here’s what arrived in my mail yesterday, all the way from HarperCollins in India in five days. I was impressed! I am grateful to my contacts at Collins, Romila Saha and Abhijit Dutta, for walking me through the process.

I am proud to have my poem (“My Book!”) appear in a text in India for students who are learning English. Following the poem are lists of questions and activities for the teacher to use.

Good way to end a week

BULLETIN: Happy Easter to those who celebrate this day. Happy Sunday to those who do not.

Hi everyone,

Sandy Asher poses outside her Lancaster City Home. Photo:Shahan


I heard from Sandy Asher yesterday with not one but two nice pieces of news. First, Sandy’s wonderful picture book, CHICKEN STORY TIME, has been nominated for the Kansas Reading Association’s 2018 Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award! Way to go Sandy! If you haven’t picked up a copy of her book, you need to pronto.

The second piece of good news is that SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK, the play that Sandy wrote based on poems from my collected works (at the time), is about to be performed again, this time at The Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square, PA on May 19. I’ve seen it performed more than once and love it each time. It opened with its world premier here in Springfield at the Vandevort Theatre in 2004. I don’t know how many times it has been performed. Maybe Sandy will remember. I believe it was also performed in Europe on one occasion. If I’m wrong about that, it makes a good story.

They don’t write them like this anymore

Hi everyone,

My favorite editor just sent me a book that was published in 1937. It’s called FOUR AND TWENTY FAMOUS TALES, A Silent Reader. It was written by Anna Clark Nelson and published by Hall & McCreary Company in Chicago. Following the introduction and procedure are twenty-four short fables, a spelling list, and a brief test for each tale.

I read every word and marveled at how education has changed over the last eighty years. I’ll quote an example from the procedure. “As a chart to show improvement in comprehension is an incentive to more careful reading, it is suggested that the name of each pupil be written on the blackboard in a column, after which, in vertical spaces, may be recorded the correct number of answers of each pupil each day.”

I recognize some of the tales: “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” “The Lion and the Mouse,” “The Pied Piper of Hamelin,” etc. Many others were new to me although they followed a traditional formula. I have vowed to keep this book on my desk where I can see it and smile. I’m most grateful.

Questions from children

Hi everyone,
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Here’s a quick one on the fly. Charlesbridge has posted some Q/A between some school kids and me about NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T. Here’s the link if you’re interested. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0750/0101/files/discussion-activity-guide.pdf?13872820801633084475. My thanks to Alaina Leary for putting this together.

Korean translation

Hi everyone,
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Last year my picture book, A PERFECT HOME FOR A FAMILY, went out of print at the same time it was selected by CBC (Children’s Book Council) for its 2015 Gifts Galore list. I retrieved my rights and Roberta Angaramo did the same for her charming illustrations.

I sent out a query to another publisher to bring the book back into print. I received an expression of interest for the story only, which would be re-illustrated by an artist they had in mind. Roberta and I decided we didn’t want to split up so I passed. She then tried a publisher in South Korea, Kyowon CO., LTD. Yesterday we received a contract offer for a Korean translation of our book with a first printing of 8,000 copies. I have a few questions to resolve but am hopeful that we’ll reach an agreement and sign an amended contract soon.

I’m particularly pleased because I’ve never been translated in Korean before. My books and poems have been translated by seventeen publishers into nine languages (including four times in Japanese, three times in German, and twice in Lithuanian) since THE BOY WITH A DRUM came out in Japanese in 1969, but never in Korean before. Other translations have come out in Africa, Norway, Israel, Netherlands, Italy, and France. My poetry has been published in English in India, France, and elsewhere.