There’s a reason why we make books for children

Hi everyone,

It’s FAMILY VOICES day and I just posted a fun picture sent in by Matt Forrest. Please go enjoy it and tell others about it.
Thanks to all the lovely pictures we’re adding to the growing “Hall of Fame” of families reading to their children, more than 530 followers have added their support and connections are rising accordingly. We’re so grateful. Please do anything you can to help remind parents with small children that there are no second chances. We can’t turn back the clock and wish we had read more to our kids when it could have made all the difference in the world to that child’s success as a reader, a student, and a functioning adult in a complex world.

Take an AFTER DARK story walk in New Hampshire

REMINDER: Tune in KSMU this morning at 9:45 to hear the first segment of POETRY PALS, the new show that airs people reading poems for kids. I lead off today so I hope you’ll tune in. In Springfield you’ll find us at 91.1 FM and anywhere in the world you can follow through live-streaming on their website,

Hi everyone,

Yesterday Matt Forrest Esenwine posted about how AFTER DARK is being used at part of a library sponsored nature walk. Many of you saw it but here’s the link to that. Sorry I haven’t mastered the art of shortening these addresses. Kathy Temean gave me a lesson once but I’ve long since forgotten how it worked. Anyway, Matt had told children’s librarian Sue Matott at the Pillsbury Free Library in Warner, NH about my book, she got a copy for her library, and it wound up being put to use in one of her “Story Walk” programs. Many thanks are due, first to Matt of course!, and then to Sue.

Intrigued by the notion of having story walks, I contacted Sue and she responded.

“We have many rail trails here. They are being built and groomed, trying to connect them so bikers and walkers can go many places freely and not be bothered on roads! One such section was finished 2 years ago and it ends (begins) right next to my library. Its a beautiful section about 1/3 of a mile long that has a covered bridge on the other end. So, one of my patrons was wanting to do his eagle scout badge but was “stuck” as to what to do! I was dreaming of a story walk, and poof, the concept was brought to reality!! He (and his troop) did all the work! Alex and I came up with the design together. I am now responsible for the stories, and the rail trail group maintains the trail! I have 21 podiums, each has a page of the book, so as you take the wonderful walk along the river, you read the book. If the story is too long, I double the pages on the podiums, or if too short I usually add poems that are related to the topic of that particular story.”

Sue Matott
Children’s Librarian
Pillsbury Free Library
PO Box 299/ 18 E. Main St.
Warner NH 03278

Welcome to the Library!

Isn’t this a grand idea? With Sue’s permission I posted this today to introduce you to her program and encourage folks in other parts of the country to consider doing something similar.

A few words at a time

Hi everyone,

Thanks to everyone who has offered helpful advice about how to improve the quality of the videos I’m been struggling to make. This project has been dragging on for several weeks and the results have been disappointing. I’ll try what has been suggested and if that doesn’t work I’ll wait until I can either get a new computer or invest in some equipment that will improve my results.

My goal for this week was to tweak my interview for the fall issue of “Pennsylvania Reads,” review the manuscript of my collaboration with Laura Robb, and write the last four poems of a new collaboration with Matt Forrest Esenwine. With one day to go all I’ve managed is to get through the Laura manuscript and finish two Matt poems. Today I need to pull off to prepare my post for next Tuesday when I’m a host on the blog tour for Vikram Madan’s new book, A HATFUL OF DRAGONS. If there’s any time after that I’ll get back to the 3rd poem, which I’ve started but will probably scrap and start again.

All in all not an exciting week, but I rather like the two finished poems so I’m not complaining. Some weeks are measured by a few words arranged in a way that brings satisfaction. I’ll take it.

Blog tour stop #12 and Unbound Book Festival

Hi everyone,

Today it’s my pleasure to be hosted by friend and fellow writer Matt Forrest Esenwine on Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme at Matt has a different approach to the host post and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss more of the writing aspects of the book. So, thank you, Matt, and let’s do it!

On another issue, I have one eye on an upcoming event that will require a lot of preparation. It will be my first time to participate in the Unbound Book Festival, held on the campus of Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, April 24 and 25. Speakers come from all over the country and I’m happy to be one of them this year. Here’s a link to the festival, which includes a very good video of the event in 2018.