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.
Last night’s freeze zapped most of the remaining geraniums. We brought two hibiscus plants inside so we still have blossoms from those as well as a few fading roses that we cut a few days ago.
Today the lake is covered by thick fog. Here’s a poem from my one and only e-book, GOOSE LAKE
Fog on the Water
This morning Goose Lake holds a cloud on her lap white and thick as a down comforter. Pity a Mallard lost on the water surrounded by Canadians — a tug boat bobbing blindly among freighters. In an hour the fog will vanish. Like a magic trick its mist will freeze on trees, flashing diamonds on every bony finger, but now Goose Lake is a mystery lady covering her secrets in a white wrap.
Yard lights on the far bank
wink like fireflies probing the fog
for safe passage.
My hackberry trees
raise leafless arms,
to an invisible foe.
Somewhere a duck without a body.
quacks to itself a lone note
that stirs no interest.
Mornings like this,
Goose Lake avoids company.
Her pulse slows.
Little moves or mutters.
I just received the recording from France of “It’s Me!” my poem about Marilyn Monroe that’s featured in the recently released NEW PASSWORD LITERATURE published by Didier.
The recording artist is a woman with a coquettish voice. This is the first time I’ve heard the poem read by anyone else and I’m delighted to hear this woman’s voice sweetly teasing the reader about which one is the “real” Marilyn. Now when I look again at the book’s cover, I can imagine that the woman pictured could be the reader of my poem. It’s a great way to begin my Monday!
Wishing everyone a good week,
One of the few things I hate about being a writer is asking people to review my books. When a new one comes out, I make myself wait a while before checking to see if anyone is reviewing it. I know about the commercial agencies, of course, because my publisher sends copies of those. In the case of the February release by Charlesbridge, NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T received a starred review from Kirkus.
“The poems are graceful and often humorous, giving good introductions to the reasons behind each animal’s protective coloration . . . The text educates young readers about useful camouflage for predators and for prey, without resorting to anything truly disturbing. Other than a “buzzy fly” becoming “fast food” for a spider and some tiny fish disappearing, predators are shown as merely threatening, and prey are shown as successfully hiding. Endnotes, cover, and layout all add to a thoughtful, well-executed book. An attractive, informative blend of science and the arts.”
The School Library Journal, said: “The verse is brief but catchy, and Harrison’s sound use of rhythm and rhyme results in offerings that are pleasant to read aloud . . . An altogether appealing volume for young poetry aficionados and animal lovers alike.”
From Booklist: “Nineteen varied poems, illustrated in cut-paper relief, describe examples of animal camouflage to young readers. Using instances from sea life, reptiles and amphibians, mammals, insects and spiders, and birds, Harrison’s succinct poems detail the techniques used by these creatures to avoid detection . . . Helping to bridge the gap between science and literature, this joins the growing number of excellent nature poetry titles, such as Joyce Sidman’s Winter Bees and other Poems of the Cold (2014) and Irene Latham’s When the Sun Shines on Antarctica and Other Poems about the Frozen Continent.”
It’s those individual reviews that I love to see and they’re the ones I hate to ask for. But they’re important and help others decide if they want to read the book for themselves or recommend it.
So far only three personal reviews have been posted on Amazon and not a one on B&N. Online book reviews and rankings are hardly the whole story of what’s going on in the life of a title, but they are the most visible. So . . . if you have seen a copy of NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T and feel moved to review it, I would appreciate it very much. Thank you!