I grew up on Long Island in the 1950s and 1960s. It was a crazy time to be young. The moon landing, the terrible violence of 1968, Woodstock, the Beatles, the Civil Rights Movement, and on and on. It made me who I am.
I wrote for my high school newspaper. Then I went to Harpur College in Binghamton, New York where I took a great creative writing class with Robert Pawlikowski. Sadly, he lost his life much too soon. But I’ve carried his words of support and encouragement in my heart all these years later.
I transferred San Francisco State University, where I earned a B.A. in English in 1976. San Francisco has a glorious history of writers and creative thinking, and I would often read my poetry in North Beach, a section of town made popular by the Beatnik poets, Allen Ginsberg and others.
After college, I returned to New York, and worked as a bartender, a taxi driver, and a songwriter. BUT WAIT! There’s more!
I learned Photoshop and worked with Marc Asnin, a great, award winning documentary photographer.
After that, I got a job as a web editor and occasional writer for Major League Baseball. I interviewed many sports authors, reviewed books, and even a musuem exhibit on the Golden Age of New York City baseball (the 1950s!).
Then, AFTER THAT, I went back to college at the age of 58 to get a Masters in Childhood Education from Hunter College.
I also became an elementary school substitute teacher in NYC.
But regardless of what job I had, I kept writing and learning as much as I could. I signed up for many online classes in creative nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting, greeting cards, memoir, and picture books.
In 2017, my debut picture book, “Waiting for Pumpsie” was published.
In 2018, “The Boo-Boos That Changed The World” hit the bookshelves.
In 2019, two more nonfiction picture books will be published. One about Martin Luther King, Jr. The other is about jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins.
And, in 2020 an historical fiction picture book, ”Oscar’s All-American Barber Shop” hits the stands.
What a long, strang, weird, wonderful trip it’s been!
"Appealingly designed and illustrated, an engaging, fun story about the inspiration and inventor of that essential staple of home first aid."
"Necessity is the mother of invention." Never is that so true than when it involves actual bodily injury!
This book tells the fascinating story of the invention of the Band-Aid in the early twentieth century. Josephine Dickson was particularly accident-prone in the kitchen, inspiring her husband Earle to come up with a creative solution.
The narrative moves smoothly through the Dickson's household solution to the local impact (give Band-Aids to the Boy Scouts) to the global impact (Band-Aids were given to soldiers in World War II and are now used worldwide). Instructive back matter includes additional factual information about Earle Dickson, Band-Aids, and other major medical breakthroughs.
The book tells the story with a delightful sense of humor. A running "The End" gag will make kids chuckle throughout as they will think they've reached the end of the story only to find out that it is not over yet. The splendid illustrations include historical details that evoke a distinct sense of time and place.
VERDICT A funny and illuminating nonfiction entry that will hold particular appeal for aspiring inventors and future medical professionals.”
"A Grand Slam."
In 1959 Boston, a young African American baseball fan named Bernard anxiously waits for the Minor League player Pumpsie Green to join the Red Sox. It is the last team with an all-white lineup, but change is in the air. Bernard and his family continue to face racial discrimination from white fans and policemen at Fenway Park when they attend games.
But after the boy and his family hear Pumpsie's name announced on the radio, they later go to a game to root for the new player.
This story is not so much about Pumpsie Green (who goes on to a short career with the Red Sox) as it is about a family longing for an end to segregation and discrimination. The joy that comes when they enjoy a small victory with their favorite team's integration is palpable though subtle and is the real center of the narrative. The vibrant illustrations in acrylic paint complement and enhance the text, making readers feel a part of the tale.
This uplifting account of a family and the integration of Boston baseball will be inspiring to many youngsters.
"This picture book contributes to children's understanding of America's past, while telling a good story."
"The story's moments of triumph sound the loudest notes."
"This uplifting account of a family and the integration of Boston baseball will be inspiring to many youngsters."
The story is a snapshot of the Civil Rights Movement and a great discussion starter about the state of race relations in the United States today.”
"The Boo-Boos That Changed the World" will be released on audio by Recorded Books in 2018.
Editor Anne Schwartz of Schwartz & Wade publishers (an imprint of Random House) recently signed my historical fiction picture book.
My nonfiction picture book about jazz legend, saxophonist Sonny Rollins, will be released in 2019 by Charlesbridge.
Editor Neal Porter (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House) signed my nonfiction picture book about the writing of the "I Have a Dream" speech. The legendary Jerry Pinkney is illustrating. October 2019.
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