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New & Noteworthy News!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DR. SEUSS

Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated picture books that make people think and imagine, and he did most of them in rhyme. Although his first book "And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street" was rejected by 27 different publishers before being accepted by Vangard Press in 1937, today, twenty-four years after he died, schools all over America are reading one or more of his 44 published books, celebrating the amazing Theodor Geisel, who never gave up. What an inspiration to kids, and grownups, like me!

When I submitted my first book, "Marsh Music" back in 1997, about frogs making music in a pond, I was told "Most publishers don't like rhyme. Try writing it in prose and maybe it will get published." Well, it did get published in 2000, in rhyme, which is my passion, and it's how I continue to write most of my informational picture books--20 books later. (Four are in prose, but they even have lots of repetition, which young readers enjoy.)

Writing in rhyme isn't easy, and you have to be careful not to make it forced. Also the meter has to be right. Maybe because I enjoy music so much, I sometimes get a little too sing-songy, and have to watch myself. But, because I used to teach young children and read lots of books aloud as a children's librarian, I know how much they love to join in with rhythm and rhyme. When I come up with an idea, I really like saying what I have to say in this way--it's something that really works for me, and that I'm comfortable with..

Books that rhyme help children hear and learn sounds and sometimes they even figure out what is coming next with predictable text. I'll never sell millions of books, like Dr. Seuss, but I love what I do and hope that my rhymes help young children learn to READ!, And because I love writing about nature and animals, I hope they, like me, feel a sense of wonder about the world we live in!

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