This is the latest (but not the last) of my Dinosty (get it? Dino dynasty!) books, which are all about different behaviors of naughty but nice dinos that began over twenty years ago with How Does A Dinosaur Say Goodnight?
This is the fourth Tachyon collection of themed fantasy stories with backmatter and poems to go with each story. This one is all love stories that are full of magic and mystery and—of course—love. The stories had been published in other collections of mine, anthologies other people put together, and literary and sf magazines, but this is the first time they are all together by theme.
Poems about animals that suck. No really. The ones that sip and slurp, and otherwise suck their food or use sucking for locomotion and other things. My daughter Heidi and I did a lot of research on such animals around the world, then each chose which creatures we individually wanted to write about.
This midrash was a delight for a wife and mother of bird watchers to write. It is a kind of poem, which you will notice if you read it out loud. The pictures are just stunning. Midrash is what the rabbis do by taking a story from the Hebrew Bible and finding new ways to interpret them.
I call this my sequel to OWL MOON, only forty years later! Probably I am the only one who sees the connection. I think the pictures are stunning in their own way. I hope John Schoneherr, who won the Caldecott for OWL MOON, is looking down from heaven with approval.
This book has only 22 words in the text, and more than half of them are made up! (There is a backmatter which accounts for many more words.) My husband is the one who counted the words and told me!! And I adore the paintings that look like old circus posters. It took the editor and art director more than a year to find exactly the right illustrator.
After the success (and an honor book award from the Jewish Publishers) for my first picture book midrash—MIRIAM AT THE RIVER—the publisher was eager for more. I wrote Deborah’s Tree and Mrs. Noah’s Doves at more or less than same time and what fun they were to write.
I had been writing poems for a science fiction magazine in Scotland. (I have a house in Scotland that I spend a lot of the summer at, so it’s not as big a stretch as you think.) Because they had already published a lot of my sf poems, they asked if I would like to do a small paperback book of sf poems and I was delighted to be asked.
This little board book just kind of wrote itself, and the wonderful first Jewish publisher I showed it to fell in love with it and brought it out swiftly as a board book.
Peter and I had dated for two months in college. He was known as the Williams College Poet at that time, and I as the Smith College Poet and someone (neither of us remember who that was!) thought it was a good idea to have us meet. We spent the entire two months discussing poetry,