Getting even the finest book into print can be a long process. Between the years 1993 to 2004, I submitted to 60 different publishers an activity book called Read Me a Rhyme, Please for pre-school through Grade Two. Many of the rejection letters spoke warmly of Ernestine Beyer’s talents as a poet and invited me to try them again. I did this so often that my submissions neared a total of a hundred. I saw my local post office clerk oftener that I saw my children. I remembered how Mom used to say she could paper a wall with her rejection slips.
In 1928, the poet wrote a discouraged letter to my out-of-town father.
"All my poems are coming back and back. Each time it is like a kick in the stomach. I know just how Dempsey felt when Tunney pummeled his bad eye! I wish it didn't affect me that way. I almost think I'll have to give it up, I get so blue. I have to lecture myself to keep going . . . perhaps lecturing should be my vocation. It is sad to think yourself a skylark and find you are only a mud one!"
Oh, how I empathized with my mother 75 years later. Every time I saw my address on a returned manila envelope -- oof! It was like a punch in the solar plexus.
In December of 2004, I had given up and almost forgotten my quest, when I received a call from Gary Wilson of Humanics Learning .
“We are going to publish your book,” he announced. I almost had to grab my desk to keep from falling off my chair. Read Me a Rhyme, Please appeared in bookstores, schools, and libraries in September, 2006 and was a runaway success..
We’ve come a long way, Mom. Couldn’t have done it without you.
The following is a letter from a young New Hampshire fan.
Dear Mrs. Malley,
My brother and I have read some poems to my sister. My favorite is Topsy Turvy Town. It has a lot of imaganation [misspelled but who cares!] Thank you for makeing this book.