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.