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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

team ever,

Megabrain Comics,

African American, Civil War

Hero, and Congressman

Robert Smalls,

Christmas picture books,

Mark Twain's ownership

of a baseball team,

One Minute Till Bedtime

in German, and the

Children's Writers of the

Hudson Valley

October 21, 2019

New Feature at one of NYC's

Iconic Building

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

CanAm League.

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

Maxine Paetro.

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

New Neighborhoods

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

committee member

Michael Cheswick.

One of our many children's programs.

(l. to rt.) Timothy Tocher, Jana Laiz,

Hudson Talbott, Nancy Furstinger,

and Gilbert Ford share picture book


Please visit our website:


or Facebook page to learn more.

May 3, 2019 They're Here!

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

take flight.

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.