It is with great sadness to hear of the death of Lois Duncan this week, a wondrous, warmhearted, witty woman.I don’t know if anyone knows the tale she shared with me but it is quite story.

In 1989, Knopf published her SONGS FROM DREAMLAND a book of original lullabies, illustrated by Kay Chorao.When her daughter,Kerry, had her first baby, Erin, Lois’ s first grandchild, her other daughter,Robin Arquette,a musician and songwriter, collaborated on a recording of the book as a ‘welcome to the world’ gift.They rented an 8-track recorder and recorded them in her living room. Random House brought out …DREAMLAND as a book/cassette package which got rave reviews.

On the second run of …DREAMLAND Random House packaged it with the wrong cassette – about a pig and its barnyard friends.When parents played the tape to soothe babies to sleep, “the poor kids were jolted into hysterics by the sounds of animals oinking and mooing and clucking, etc.”

The Random House computer showed thousands of returns, yanking …DREAMLAND off the market.

The end of one verse, RED BIRD, reads:

“Time has come now to get some rest–/Good night, my love, good night.”

Good night, Lois. Thank you for your many songs.