August l, 2011 is the official publication date of FULL MOON AND STAR (Abrams).  Since I have not written a picture book in eons, I am quite thrilled it is finally here.

FULL MOON… written in 2008, was taken by Tamar Brazis at Abrams in 2010.  Tamar immediately contractred Marcellus Hall to do the illustrations.  Marcellus also illustrated my original collection of poetry CITY I LOVE, one of the few books of poetry depicting urban life around the world.

FULL MOON… was a delight to write.  It combines a story of true friendship between two young children, Kyle and Katie, who write plays about the universe. The three plays, “Moon,” “Star” and “Full Moon and Star,” are easy for youngsters to perform. A paperback edition has also been published specifically for the British Isles/Europe markets.

From “Full Moon and Star:” 

STAR:  The thing I like most is that you and I are together every night.  I’m never lonely when you’re around.  I love your graceful glow, Full Moon.

FULL MOON:  “I love your sparkling twinkle.  It reminds me that I always have a friend.”

STAR:  Glowing is so nice.

FULL MOON:  So is twinkling.

FULL MOON and STAR:  We will be friends forever.



The Guinness Certificate arrived last Thursday (Click GUINNESS at left).

In April, 2011, Sylvia Vardell, one of the country’s biggest advocates of poetry for children, wrote me that Beth Enochs agreed to “Get Lee Bennett Hopkins in the Guinness Book of World Records Project.” Beth earned her Master’s Degree at Texas Womans’ University and is a doctoral student under the tutelage of Sylvia.  In addition to writing her Master’s Thesis on poetry holdings of Fort Worth public schools and publishing an article based on her research in the JOURNAL OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE, she also served on the Lee Bennett Hopkins/Penn State University Poetry Award for 2010.

Research regarding my work took an incredible amount of time, patience, and dealing back and forth with Guinness personnel in London and New York. For each anthology I published – 113 – Beth had to provide full bibliographic data — full title including subtitles, artist’s name, publishing house, publication date AND each ISBN number all chronologically cited. The final submission of the bibliography consists of 11 pages.

I cannot thank Beth, and her l3-year old son, Jeff Tullis, for the long hours they put into this incredible record.

I am not into numerology but:  113 titles:  I grew up at 113 Seth Boyden Terrace in Newark, NJ; my birthday is April 13th, Beth’s son is 13; Part of their address is 38 – I lived at 338 West l2th Street in Greenwich Village; and — I was born in 1938!

Due to the present state of publishing poetry, I doubt if this record can be broken in the near future — or ever!  Publishers have cut back drastically on anthology.  Only three collections appear in 2011. They are all mine: DIZZY DINOSAURS: AN I CAN READ BOOK (HarperCollins), I AM THE BOOK (Holiday House) and HEAR MY PRAYER (Zonderkidz).

I thankfully have several collections due out in the future, including at least two in 2012. 

Although I feel so fortunate to hold such a record, I am deeply saddened by the state of poetry for children in today’s society.  It is a genre that MUST be…HAS to be.  For, as I’ve stated many times over, nothing — NO THING — can ring and rage through hearts and minds as does this body of literature.