Saturday, April 24, 2010

How do you know it's spring?

I asked Augie, "How do you know it's spring?" Here's what he said:

When the groundhog casts his shadow
And the small birds sing
And the pussywillows happen
And the sun shines warm
And when the peepers peep
Then it is Spring.

He was quoting, verbatim, from Margaret Wise Brown's Pussy Willow, a Little Golden Book first published in 1951. Pussy Willow, a little gray kitten, encounters a frog ("peeper") who asks "How do you know it's Spring?" When Pussy Willow doesn't know, the peeper answers with those six lines.

When we first brought this book out last fall, I wasn't sure Augie would like the flowery language, but in fact he asked to reread it many times. We hadn't gone back to it for at least a couple of months when he recited this passage to me.

I've learned you don't know what they're going to like until you try it, and you don't know what's in their minds until you ask! And even the most old-fashioned stories can still charm a child.

(FYI, I see that Amazon has a newer version with a new illustrator.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

How not to be a "noreply" person

I love getting and responding to comments. I use email--you leave a comment on one of my posts, it shows up in my inbox, I hit "reply" and talk back to you. We may even have a little conversation that goes back and forth a few times.

Sometimes I hit "reply" and instead of an email address I see "noreply." I'm always a little disappointed, and I know I'm not the only one. In fact I learned about this from other bloggers who were complaining about the "noreply" people. Oops, I was one of them.

So how do you get comments on your comments? Just make an email address public in your Blogger profile. Set up a separate email account just for blogging if you want to protect your privacy. To link it to your profile:

* Sign into your Blogger account and click on "Customize" at the upper right corner of the screen.
* Click on "Dashboard," and then on "Edit Profile."
* Click on "Show my email address."
* Scroll down and click "Save Profile."

You're done.

If you'd like to receive comments by email, here's how to set that up:

* On the "Dashboard" or the "Layouts" page, click on "Settings" and then "Comments."
* Scroll down to "Comment Notification Email" and fill in your email address.
* Click "Save Settings."

If you haven't been doing this, I think you'll be surprised at how much more interactive blogging can become.


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