For older children…

Hi Everyone,

I was 49 when I decided to see if I could write poetry, 56 when my first collection, SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK, was published. Kirkus gave it a starred review. Some of the poems, such as “Monday,” “Bobby Gene McQuig” (who gets his finger stuck up his nose), and “My Book,” went on to develop lives of their own. “My Book” was chosen by the wife of the (then) governor of Arizona to be sandblasted into the sidewalk of The Children’s Garden at the Burton Barr Main Library in Phoenix and the library in Pueblo, Colorado had it painted around the outside of a bookmobile that serves children in out-of-the-way areas. The book, published 28 years ago by Boyds Mills Press/Wordsong, has long been out of print, but I still like it and recommend it for kids in grades 1-4. To smile over Betsy Lewin’s inimitable artwork alone is worth the trouble of finding a copy.

Between SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK and my most recent book of poems, THE DIRT BOOK, twenty other collections have been published by Boyds Mills, Charlesbridge, and Holiday House. Here are a few of them. These titles have all won something and/or been on various state and national reading lists.

A Place to Start a Family: about the kinds of structures animals build in which to live, lay their eggs, or give birth to their young.

NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T: about animals that use their natural camouflage to hide or to hunt.

bugs, poems about creeping things: short, mostly humorous poems about insects and other small creatures. Example: A TICK'S FRIENDS. A tick/has/no friends./Therefore/my story/ends.

The gift of Rob Shepperson

Hi everyone,

I’ve been blessed with the chance to work with a number of wonderful artists over the years such as Dan Burr, Betsy Lewin, Rob Shepperson, Kate Cosgrove, Julie Bayless, and numerous others. Rob Shepperson was my partner on two books: BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS and VACATION, WE’RE GOING TO THE OCEAN.
One reason it’s fun to work with Rob is that his sense of humor comes through in one drawing after another, each time taking my words and adding something more, something for the reader to smile or giggle over.

BUGS even made it onto the stage of a youth concert orchestra performance in Philadelphia when the evening was dedicated to bugs and poems were read from the book during the performance. In addition to his work on books, Rob’s witty art has appeared in major publications for years. I hope very much to work on another project with Rob one of these days.

But there’s still more to Shepperson’s work than his humorous drawings. He’s an artist with great range and from time to time he makes some of his paintings available on his website. He’s currently offering some discounts on selected pieces of his work, which you can find here: I can’t show you his work on my blog but you can click on his site and see for yourself. The holidays are coming up.

Cooking up old memories

Hi everyone,
When Kent Brown published my first book of poetry — SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK — in 1993, he followed up by sending me a box of note cards with Betsy Lewin’s art on the cover as well as a cooking apron also decorated with her work.somebody-catch-my-homework

I sent the last of the cards long ago but after all these twenty-three years I remain the proud owner of the apron and wear it from time to time when I’m grilling.
Over the holidays our son Jeff Harrison was cooking and needed an apron to protect his sweater.betsy_lewin_2013 Out came the treasured apron and my camera. So here we have the second generation preserving good memories made possible by an old friend and one of the best publishers I’ve had the pleasure of working with.