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Please click Latest News
(above left) to learn about:
Chief Sunrise, John McGraw,
and Me back in Cricket and
on the website of Lillian Gish,
the greatest minor league
African American, Civil War
Hero, and Congressman
Christmas picture books,
Mark Twain's ownership
of a baseball team,
One Minute Till Bedtime
in German, and the
Children's Writers of the
October 21, 2019
New Feature at one of NYC's
More than 4,000,000 people visit
the observation deck of the Empire
State Building each year. Now there's
an old friend waiting to greet them
King Kong is back and despite his fierce
demeanor, he's more than willing to
photobomb your selfies.
Let's hope New York gives this kinder, gentler
King Kong a warmer welcome than it did in
1933. Try not to scream like Fay Wray when
you're between those giant paws.
September 28, 2019
Meet "The Pedestrians" in the October
issue of Cricket Magazine
When Helga Estby learned that a
prominent member of the fashion
industry would pay $10,000 to a
woman who could walk across
the U. S. in seven months, she
and her teenage daughter,
Clara, took up the challenge.
Their 1896 trek was designed to
show that, with the proper attire,
women need no longer be
regarded as the weaker gender.
The "bicycle skirts" provided
by the sponsor did not restrict
leg movement the way
traditional dresses did.
Learn more about the triumph and
tragedy of these amazing women
in my latest publication.
August 30, 2019
Bat Dog Pepper Jack
Eat your heart out, Lassie. Better luck
next time, Rin Tin Tin. Only one dog
gets to retrieve bats in the
Meet Pepper Jack, the latest attraction of the
Rockland Boulders baseball team. Coached
by the trainers at Sit Means Sit, Pepper
returns each team member's bat to the
dugout when his turn at the plate is through.
July 22, 2019
What - Me Worry?
Mad Magazine's 67 Year Run Comes
to an End
As the covers show, Mad was not above faking
its own demise. Sadly, the current issue
(August 2019) marks the end of nearly seven
decades of spoofs, farces, take-offs, parodies,
and general mayhem.
Mad launched in 1952 sporting a 25 cent
cover price with the word CHEAP printed
underneath. What a bargain for 48 pages
of illustrated laughs. In June of 1965, the
cost went up to 30 cents. The word CHEAP
still appeared, but now an X ran through it -
a typical joke from the self described
"usual gang of idiots" on the staff.
Regulars like Don Martin, master of "big foot"
cartooning, and Cuban born Antonio Prohias,
whose strip Spy vs. Spy exposed the absurdity
of politically motivated violence, helped build
circulation to a peak of 2,000,000 in the 1970s.
Do not despair. Although its newsstand
presence is ending, Mad plans to reprint
much of its old material in editions
available in comic shops and by
subscription. Thank goodness
Alfred E. Neuman will not join the
ranks of the unemployed. Who
else would ever hire him?
final issue cover
"MAD expresses the teenagers' cynicism
about the world of mass media that their
elders have created ... as ... a Romanized
barbarian might have rebelled against the
decadence of Rome ..."
The New Yorker (November 29, 1958)
June 30, 2019
Special Section - New York Times
YA Short Stories
Despite its "Gray Lady" sobriquet, the NY
Times stays in touch with modern
sensibilities. Veronica Chambers and Jeff
Giles are part of the Past Tense project.
While the Times digitizes its photography
archives of 6,000,000 images, they search
for ways to use the material to create new
This time they invited ten noted, Asian-
American, YA authors to write short
stories inspired by images taken from
the archives. Don't let this fascinating
section slip into the recycling bin.
June 25, 2019
Millbrook Literary Festival Video
Thanks to videographer Lawton Meyer
(and his able assistant Schuyler) we have
a video of our 11th annual event, held
on May 18th.
Committee member Michael Cheswick
in conversation with bestselling author
If you were there, relive the fun. If not,
see what you missed and plan on
joining us in May 2020.
June 10. 2019
Chicago Brings Libraries to
The city of Chicago has found a way to bring
new branch libraries to underserved portions
of the population - incorporate them into
the construction of public housing.
Seen above is the children's room in
Chicago's Little Italy. The library
occupies a portion of the first two
floors of the construction,
providing easy access for residents
of the surrounding blocks.
May 28, 2019
Spitball - the Literary Baseball Magazine
special Black Sox issue
The "fixed" World Series of 1919 is interpreted through poetry and fiction.
My contribution centers on two rogues who connected the players to the gamblers.
Billy Maharg big league wannabe and
retired lightweight boxer
Did the Series change their luck, or
did they remain Overdue Bills? Read
issue 84 to find out. Better yet, go to
www.spitballmag.com and subscribe.
May 18, 2019 11th Annual
Millbrook Literary Festival
Hope you were part of the enthusiastic
crowd at this year's event.
Young Writers Showcase -
Teen winner Soumaya Kamada
accepts her prize.
Scott Meyer Award -
Entrants were required to write a
picture book manuscript. Noted
author/illustrator Iza Trapani
chose the winner, Laurie Treacy,
from three finalists.
(l. to rt.) Caroline Nastro, Laurie Treacy,
Iza Trapani, Linda Campbell
Maxine Paetro, co -author
with James Patterson, discusses
their #1 NY Times bestseller,
The 18th Abduction, with
One of our many children's programs.
(l. to rt.) Timothy Tocher, Jana Laiz,
Hudson Talbott, Nancy Furstinger,
and Gilbert Ford share picture book
Proud mother peregrine falcon feeding her two hatchlings. Watch them grow at
Why not toot a greeting as you drive across the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge?
April 26, 2019
Don't Put Your Bets in Jeopardy,
Read Children's Books
What is James Holzhauer's secret
for winning unheard of sums on
Jeopardy? Besides being highly
intelligent and quick on the
signaling button, he follows an
unorthodox study method.
He told the NY Times, "I have
a strategy of reading children's
books to gain knowledge."
Charts, graphs, and carefully
planned illustrations aid
readers in retaining information,
no matter their age.
James won his 16th game last
night. His winnings are second
only to Ken Jennings who took
74 games to amass $2,000,000.
Already well over one million,
James owns the 8 highest one
day totals in the history of the
April 24, 2019 Watch the Birdie
In early May, this attentive peregrine falcon's
eggs will hatch, 400 feet above the Hudson
River in a custom made apartment built into
the brand new Governor Mario M. Cuomo
Despite their penthouse location, the proud
parents will not enjoy privacy. Their new digs
come equipped with a spy cam. Watch all the
action in the weeks ahead by clicking on this
Here's hoping we get to see one or more of
these adorable (?) babies hatch, fledge, and
Need a literary connection? Why not read this
Newbery Honor book and meet Frightful, a
peregrine falcon tamed by the main character.
March 26, 2019
Celebrate Women's History Month with Ida Lewis,
the one hundred pound dynamo who saved at
least 18 lives during her tenure as lighthouse
keeper in Newport, RI.
Ida passed away in 1911, but honors are still
coming her way. In September of 2018, a
new road through Arlington National
Cemetery was dedicated. It is the first of
the 40 cemetery roads to be named for a
This exciting tale is my contribution to the
April 2019 issue of Cricket Magazine, now
in its 47th year of providing great reading
for kids ages 9 - 14.