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Saturday, August 5, 2017

(4) EACH COTTAGE STANDS UPON ITS ROOF.


       Read Me a Rhyme, Please, my activity book for children based on Mom's poems,   was published in 2006.  Hundreds of copies had been pre-ordered by bookstores, and soon all those copies, except for a few ordered by the author, were returned to the publisher.  After semi-recovering from this shock I could see two reasons for the rejection.

      One, the editor in charge of design had unaccountably placed the poems on a dark gray background, making them difficult even for an adult to read.  Two, the “little clown” referred to in the poem was portrayed by the artist as a large, unappealing person of color.  Perhaps if the clown had appeared in a smaller format, he wouldn’t have looked so overbearing and unattractive. 
        But it’s all water over the dam now.  Too late to repair the damage. 

Update 3-30-2016:
Much to my joy, Read Me a Rhyme, Please totally recovered, and now copies are so scarce they are priced at Amazon from $25 to $50.

In tipsy Topsy‑Turvy Town
Everything is upside‑down
Or backside‑to or inside‑out—
       Which gives the town its name, no doubt.  
   
         As if to give their queerness proof,
          Each cottage stands upon its roof;
           Bubbles bend but never burst, 
       And pups come running, tail‑end first.                
      
       The children, when they fall, my dear, 
           Fall up instead of down, I hear; 
        And when they cry, as children do,
         A hearty laugh is their boo‑hoo.
   
       If you would go, my little clown,
         To tipsy Topsy‑Turvy Town, 
      No matter, dear, how far you roam,
      You'll get there faster staying home. 

                                                  Ernestine Cobern Beyer

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