Saturday, August 30, 2008

Reader News

Since I began blogging, I've come to appreciate how difficult it is to attract readers and earn their attention. Anyway, Deb, one of the readers I've been lucky enough to have at this blog, has just achieved a downright impressive accomplishment, so I wanted to share.

Deb, who is Deborah Diesen, has a children's picture book, "The Pout-Pout Fish," and it just made the NY Times picture book best seller list:

Congratulations, Deb!

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Adrian Morgan said...

I'm doing a four-week course on "Illustrating Children's Picture Books" next month, just for fun. I'm no artist, but I thought it would be something different to try. I'm planning to use a poem that I wrote for my cousin's daughter a few years ago when she was just learning to read: "A rabbit who lived up an elephant's trunk / was feeling extremely displeased / with the effort it took just to clean out the gunk / whenever the elephant sneezed", etc.

I read your blog, and a whole bunch of other linguistic blogs, on a cyclic basis. I originally found most of them, including yours, via Language Log's sidebar. Glad I did.

-- Adrian (

June Casagrande said...

That's adorable! Ending with the sneeze is just damn good comedic timing. And I don't know much about kids, but I have a feeling they'd love anything to do with elephant boogers.

: )

I'm glad you found this blog, too. (I can't believe the LL guys included me on their little roll call. Their focus is so academic and mine's so "Simpsons." I'm honored they added me to the list.)

Adrian Morgan said...

Here's the other three verses:

"So she looked all around for the optimal place / for which she had started to hope / and was offered just one, which was not in good taste / being deep down a crocodile's throat."

"Well, I couldn't live there, thought the rabbit because / there are too many teeth at the door. / I might as well stay in the trunk where I was / and put up with cleaning the floor."

"But later the elephant stopped by the moat / and the crocodile bit off a chunk. / So the rabbit is now in the crocodile's throat / as well as the elephant's trunk."

I think it's going to be very difficult to illustrate. Drawing animals is hard enough on its own, and depicting their interactions will be even harder. But I intend to have fun in the attempt.


June Casagrande said...

Sorry it took so long to post this. I have company this weekend.

This poem is really adorable. I don't know jack about children's books, but I just know I like words that evokes fun imagery and a sense of the exotic -- "moat" and "crocodile's throat" especially.

Yeah, it'll be hard to illustrate. Maybe a "cave" lined with teeth? Anyway, have fun with it!

Debbie Diesen said...

Thanks for the Pout-Pout shout-out! I'm honored, as I thoroughly enjoy your blog.

8'fed, sounds like you'll have a fun time with the course -- you've a lot of great imagery to work with. Enjoy the experience!

June Casagrande said...

No problema. And P.S. that artwork is adorable.

Adrian Morgan said...

I just wanted to update you on this. I've finished the aforementioned course on "Illustrating Children's Picture Books", and have now blogged about it.

(May I also plug the fact that I'm also blogging a series on grammar? One, two installments so far, and intending to write a new one roughly once a month.)


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