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Monday, January 16, 2012

A Tale of Two Readers

     For the past several years I have been in search of my very first grade school primer.  Fun with John and Jean was the Catholic school version of Dick and Jane.  My St. Joan of Arc reader starred John, Jean and Judy, Puff, Spot and a whole slew of other characters including neighbors, grandparents,  and even the priest and nuns from John and Judy's church and school.  Last month I finally found one and haven't been able to put it down since.  What a wonderful life where children played outside without the benefit of iPads, iTouches or any other iEquipment! Father always wore a suit and tie, little Judy once left the house with Spot and walked all the way to school by herself without being abducted, and the family ate together at one table every evening without a television tuned to a sporting event.  Such a happy and innocent time!  I am well aware that Go the F**k to Sleep and Goodnight iPad are both still on the bestseller list, but I'll pass.  Though I will be the first to admit that the content now seems dry and repetitive, at least the New Cathedral Basic Readers thankfully skipped the vampire story lines.

    Fast forward to the 2011-2012 school year. The Pleasant Valley Elementary School in Peters Township uses a Reading Street text published by Pearson Scott Foresman.  I got a call late last year from a third grade teacher there alerting me that a poem of mine was included in the poetry section of their text.  (By way of explanation, oftentimes those of us who write poetry anthologies are lucky enough to be able to sell the rights to individual poems to educational textbook publishers.  However, even though we are paid in advance for those rights, we have no idea what poems will be used or what textbook they will be used in or when they will be published.)   Now, amazingly, a little snippet from one book of my zany poems is being read by a new generation of emergent readers.  The poem is about a wacky invention that can help children find lost shoes.  I am sure Judy could have used it.

1 comment:

  1. How fun! My daughter's school just started using this series this year. I'll have to look for your poem in her 3rd grade reader next year.