Monday, May 1, 2017

How My Children's Book Got To the Library of Congress

I started a children's book when I was 11. Unwillingly. Our fifth grade teacher had taken a sabbatical. I seem to remember she was the same teacher who came up under my jaw with her fist because I wasn't looking her in the eye. It wasn't until five years later that I was diagnosed with Schizoid Personality Disorder, but I didn't know what I had done that made her react so violently.

Anyway, the new teacher was all artsy fartsy and had this grand vision that we should all write a book of our own.

I thought it was a great idea (because she left us to our own devices to write our books and I used that time to screw around and daydream). Perhaps a day or two before the project was due I decided I better write something down or I'd flunk Fifth grade. So, I thought to myself: what's the easiest concept for a book? I know...

An A To Z book.

What else did I like? Monster movies. The rest was obvious.

So, with two days left in the semester I started writing my book. And by default, illustrating it, too. I managed to create and create 26 monsters in two days.


Mud Zud

It was all an entirely half-ass effort, and I knew it. None of that bothered me. I've never been an ambitious person. But it seemed to bother the new hippie dippy teacher. She wrote this note...

If you had put more effort into this project we could have sent it to the Library of Congress.

Once again, I was unphased. I didn't even think very much about it. Until nearly forty years later, when my only idea in the world was to create an A To Z book with my creative partner Jenny Mathews. I still just had the one idea...

Atrocious Poems A To Z.

This time we've put a little more effort into the book, and indeed will be sending it to the Library of Congress. It's essentially a children's book about all the things children love to hate. Bullies, liver, monsters under the bed etc.

I have been authorized by Jenny to share this panel from the book, which will not be released until June 5th. 

In some of the poems I've tried to incorporate literary themes and devices as lessons to teach young readers tricky literary concepts like oxymoron, paradox, verbal irony etc. I tried not to be too heavy-handed about the lessons. 

You can help support this project now at Kickstarter. If you know a young reader who might be interested, pass the word. Your support not only helps us publish this project, but future Zombie Logic Press books by Rockford, Illinois authors.

Did I bury the lede?

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