Better run that by Sally

Hi everyone

A few weeks ago I featured a 2-voice poem from THE MOUSE WAS OUT AT RECESS: Have It Your Own Way. I was lamenting that I don’t read the poem aloud in schools any more because too many children don’t understand the humor in these days of “casual-izing” our language. Here’s the poem again.

Have It Your Own Way
Poem for Two Voices

(Isabelle)						(Teacher)

Me and Sally are pals!
						Sally and I are pals.
I didn’t know you knew her!
						I don’t.
Then why did you say,
“Me and Sally are pals?”
						Sally and I are pals.
You said it again!
You said,
“Me and Sally are pals!”
						Sally and I are pals!
Have it your own way.
You and her are pals.
But I don’t believe it,
And Sally won’t neither!

(c) 2003 David L. Harrison

What I didn't tell you was that Sally has become a character that Sandy and I turn to quite often in our conversations. When one of us is less that convinced about a statement, situation, etc., we're inclined to say, "I don't believe it, and Sally won't neither." Variations include, "Better run that by Sally," "I don't think Sally is going to buy that," and so on. Ah, the power of poetry! I wonder if anyone else can think of a character or quote from a poem that has become part of their vernacular. 

Message worries

Hi everyone,

Hi everyone,
For reasons known only to the gremlins, messages coming in for posting here on the blog are not showing up on the blog. Sorry, Jane Yolen. Your note is the first one to get stuck somewhere in the system. Thank you for your kind words. I hope I can get this sorted out soon!

Word of the Month for February

Hi everyone,

Here we are already staring the second month of the year in the face. Let’s be brave. I’ve chosen a word, an acronym really, that you might have some fun with. Are you ready?


Thank you all the enjoyable work in January. Here’s your chance to fiddle with TV.

December evening under the stars

Hi everyone,

Last night we went with our buddy ELAINE FRY to see the Carole King based show, BEAUTIFUL, at the Juanita K. Hammons Center for the Performing Arts, and it was wonderful.

The night before that it was so warm out that SANDY and I set beside the fire pit and enjoy our drinks by the lake, under the stars, in harmony.

Three more books for the littles

Hi everyone,

My friend Deanna Schuler and her son

No one said to stop so here are three other titles that were created with the young ones. Today I’ll start with the most recent one, I WANT AN APPLE, HOW MY BODY WORKS.

A child wants an apple to eat and sets out to get one, eat it, and digest it. What is going on inside her body to make all this possible? This is science in the gentlest way and the illustrations of DAVID CATROW provide a smile on every page.

The quickest book I ever wrote was inspired by a Gary Lawson cartoon about cows in a field. While two stand in a field on third chatting on their hind legs, another stand watch by the road. When a car comes by, they all return to al fours as proper cows should, but when the car passes, they go back to what they were doing. Inspired by the idea of cows doing all sorts of things behind farmer’s back, I spent the rest of an afternoon writing WHEN COWS COME HOME. The delightful art of CHRIS DEMAREST is perfectly for the tale.

The Huffin Puff Express came out in 1974, priced at 29 cents as a Tell-a-Tale Book. It’s still available in a hard cover edition that came later. I checked to see if it still has an Amazon ranking and saw that it was 95,000 among children’s books so that seems pretty good for a 47-year-old book. Here are a few opening lines.T

The Huffin Puff Express is rolling,
Clickety, clickety-clack.
Its wheels are turning round and round,
Rumbling along the track.