THE HUFFIN PUFF EXPRESS was published 46 years ago in 1974 (five years after my first book for children came out) as one of several of my stories published by Western Publishing in Racine, Wisconsin. It’s one of the books you can hear now on TELL ME A STORY, KOLR10-TV’s podcast in Springfield, Missouri. Go to https://www.ozarksfirst.com/tell-me-a-story/ to find THE HUFFIN PUFF EXPRESS read with gusto by Jeremy Rabe as well as eight other of my books read beautifully by station talents. You’ll also find my first book, THE BOY WITH A DRUM there too.
Deanna Smith Schuler just commented that this is one of her favorites and I admit it’s one of mine too. It gives me satisfaction to see it still has a respectable ranking on Amazon and was reviewed by a reader as recently as July 2019. All the reader reviews but two have been 5 stars except for a 4 from one reader who was cranky about the price of the book and another who said it was her son’s favorite book but gave it a 4 anyway. Others have called it, ” Important healing tool for babies and toddlers,” “One of our favorites not written by Dr. Seuss,” and ” Best train book ever.”
HUFFIN PUFF EXPRESS has come a long way from its original 35 cent price to today’s $17.50. So far it has been a good ride.
As of yesterday nine of my books have been recorded and posted on KOLR10-TV’s “Tell Me a Story” program, which is being produced in partnership with Springfield-Greene County Library District and sponsored by attorney Brad Bradshaw. Titles so far are AFTER DARK, POEMS ABOUT NOCTURNAL ANIMALS; A PLACE TO START A FAMILY; NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T; THE BOY WITH A DRUM; HUFFIN PUFF EXPRESS; THE BOY WHO COUNTED STARS, A PERFECT PLACE FOR A FAMILY; BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS; and WHEN COWS COME HOME. More readings will be added soon.
The KOLR10-TV goal is to provide an online library for children at home during the pandemic and it’s being well received. Yesterday the station’s Dave Bowen told me “response has been pretty amazing. People are staying on repeatedly for stories.”
If you know any families who might be interested in this resource, here’s how to access it. Go to KOLR10-TV at https://www.ozarksfirst.com/community-2/, click on “Living Ozarks,” along the top of the page, and scroll down to “Tell Me A Story.” That takes you straight to the whole menu. Readers so far include Joy Robertson, Tom Trtan, and other talented personalities. I’m happier than I can say to be participating in this way to reach kids at home during a trying time for many.
Yesterday I received excellent help from Brett Piper at KOLR10-TV and my son Jeff Harrison. Brett took the two videos I made and placed them into the station’s Tell Me A Story program. You can now see five of my books read by station on-air Talent plus my two videos, and more book readings are to come. To see them, go to KOLR10-TV at https://www.ozarksfirst.com/community-2/, along the top of the page find “Living Ozarks,” click on it, scroll down to “Tell Me A Story,” click on that, and you’ll find the whole menu.
Thanks to Jeff, the videos are now available (until June 30) on YouTube by request from teachers and librarians. If anyone else is interested in having them the publishers ask that they go through a teacher or librarian. To get one of both videos, get in touch with me at DavidlHarrison1@att.net and provide your email address so I can share them with you.
In other news, Tim Rasinski tweeted the hand-washing ditty I wrote at his request and included the charming video made by Joan Arth reciting it with her great-nephew. Right away Mary Jo Fresch retweeted it. I did too and others have started. I hope you’ll join the fun. Tim’s tweet is at https://twitter.com/TimRasinski1/status/1244695652375896064?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet Some of you know Joanie Arth from all her years in assisting at the Children’s Literature Festival in Warrensburg, Missouri. when my 2018 book, CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS, was chosen to represent Missouri at the National Book Fair in Washington, DC, Joanie and her hubby Doug went to Washington to run the Missouri booth.
Yesterday my issue of “Literacy Today” arrived from ILA and I was delighted to see the Guilford Press full page ad, which includes two books, BEST PRACTICES OF LITERACY LEADERS 2ND EDITION and CHILDREN’S LITERATURE IN THE READING PROGRAM 5th edition. I wrote the poetry chapter in the second title, which was edited by Deborah A. Wooten and Lauren Almonette Liang.
All in all it was a great start on the new week. Today I’ll work on the second poem in a new collaboration, so bring it on.
As the nation scrambles to reach kids isolated at home during the crisis, a number of creative ideas are bubbling up. One going on in Springfield, Missouri is on CBS affiliate station KOLR10-TV in partnership with Springfield Greene-County Library District. On-air Talent from KOLR are reading a series of my books for families at home throughout the region to hear. So far they’ve recorded four titles: WHEN COWS COME HOME, THE BOY WHO COUNTED STARS, and BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS (all from Boyds Mills Press) and A PERFECT PLACE FOR A FAMILY (from Holiday House). Here’s the link. https://www.ozarksfirst.com/tell-me-a-story/
Part of the plan calls for me to go to the station for an interview and to read one of the books myself. Time will tell if that will happen soon or need to be delayed for a while. Whatever happens, I’m thrilled to have this chance to reach a lot of children who may be getting tired of staying in.