A Slightly Anarchic Book of Poems for Reuben.

It’s been a while coming. Ever since the day my daughter nagged asked me if I’d create a book for Reuben full of the type of poems I’d done for her as a girl it’s been beset with problems. When I’d first done them I’d done my own illustrations but nowadays I can’t hold a pencil still enough for that. Then we needed to find the original poems  as she was sure some would be ideal. She was also sure she’d seen them since the attic was done. A mass search ensued which led me to believe they’d gone back up there.

A couple of weeks and a few not so subtle hints later I actually came across the original poems just feet from where I’d looked so head hanging low I said I’d wait until she had chance to re-read them and select some. What a mistake that was. I freely admit that while I was writing them nearly 30 years ago I may have been entertaining myself too and there were more double entendres than you could shake a very long stick at. But, she didn’t understand them at the time and no reason Reuben will when he’s the age she was. It was a big No-No. Yvonne was adamant she wouldn’t be reading some of those to him. She did select some however  which left me with about 24 to write to manage a 32 page book. At a couple a day with time off for good behaviour I managed it  fairly soon and set about finding pictures to suit them. That wasn’t too bad either.

The poems went off to a friend who had offered to edit for me while another friend who’d offered to place the book on Lulu for me got the pictures to look at and decide if the format and size was OK. A third kind friend had helped me with the title, though I made a final adjustment and I was set, or so I thought. Once the editing was done the poems went off to my friend Ilil for input and so came a discussion or two about size. I preferred a bigger size book like a children’s painting book which they could lie on the floor with. It turns out some sizes can be done with a minimum of 32 pages and some with 64. My first choice was scuppered. There was much chopping and changing to address the size of the cover picture and then came the news about cost. Because my pictures are colour inside the book the costs will be high. Maybe high enough to dissuade the people who enquired about buying it from doing so.

Eventually we settled on a 6″x 9″ book which she’d suggested in the first place with a production cost to me of over £7. Lulu suggested a retail price of over £13 but I’ve got it at £9.95 to allow Lulu their share of the royalties while I get 91p which won’t even buy the swimming trunks to swim to America never mind the air fare and unlimited spends. Yah Boo Sucks. Anyway, for those of you who’ve followed my journey, thank you, and here’s the finished product………………………………….

The Cover


Marvin the Monkey

Marvin the Monkey

I owe Huge Thanks to the following friends for helping me reach this stage.
Ilil Arbel without whose technical wizardry I’d be lost.
Sherie Sprague for editing out all my errors and making my English look better.
http://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com for helping with the title, though I got the final tweak. Thanks K.
Huge Hugs to you all and to those who encouraged me to do this!

And finally the link. It will be a short while before it gets onto Amazon and all the other sites so this is direct.   http://www.lulu.com/content/14451623 … … via @Luludotcom



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64 responses to “A Slightly Anarchic Book of Poems for Reuben.

  1. It’s adorable. It seems the writing is always only half the work. But you did it. Congratulations, David!

  2. Thanks a Million Teagan. At last he has his book.Granddads have their uses.
    xxx Massive Multi-Hugs xxx

  3. Looking forward to getting it for my granddaughter!

  4. The cover looks fantastic David, and having read a couple of the poems I know kids will love them. Congratulations and massive hugs from Downunder! Off to Lulu now 🙂

  5. SUPERB!!! What a fantastic idea.

  6. David, your daughter asking that you create a book for Reuben as you had for her–that is a supreme compliment–from her heart back to yours, and now from your heart to Reuben’s.
    Marvin is wise and darling and wonderful.
    I’m sure the book is filled with these gems, and some day Reuben will be sharing his book with his children…and asking that you write another one, for them. Children do remember and cherish the gifts created for them by those who love them. No doubt about it.
    This is your legacy.

    • I hope so Marylin but as Yvonne decided some poems weren’t suitable for him though they had been for her it could be a little watered down or there may still be some that will not get a parents approval.
      I won’t be here to write one for Reuben’s children but maybe he’ll do the job himself if I can get him to see the fun in reading and then perhaps writing too.
      xxx Sending you Hugs Galore xxx

  7. Catherine Johnson

    Fantastic that you got it done, David! They are really fun poems.

  8. I see Marvin isn’t a Gib monkey as he has a tail (ours don’t) although he does have a tale of course.
    Anyway, very many congratulations.
    You do realise you have whetter the appetite for the original version complete with double entendres?

  9. Such a shame the printing costs have to be so high.

  10. Excellent job. I agree we’re now curious about the poems that didn’t make it. You’ve been very generous going for such a low price. Cost of picture books are very high and self-publishing doesn’t help matters when it comes to picture books. Well worth the effort.

    • My original intent was just to produce the book for Reuben and never thought others might be interested. Since people have been kind enough to show an interest I don’t want them to have to pay a fortune for it.
      I chose Lulu because it prints in so many countries, cutting down the delivery time.
      If some people enjoy reading it to their children it will have made the effort worthwhile.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  11. What a wonderful and loving gift for Reuben and many congratulations on the birth of ‘Tall animal tales for Toddlers and up’ As the daughter of a publisher I’m fully aware of what it entails to get a book produced and out in to the big, wide, world. No mean feat but you’ve done it! Like so many others, I’m all a gog as to what the poems were that didn’t make the ‘U’ cert grade – C’mon David, spill the beans! A Plethora of HUGS to you XXXXX

    • Sorry Lottie, my lips are sealed though I did sneak one in and changed the wording slightly on another.It’s only the adult mind that sees it.
      One that didn’t make the cut…..

      Dominic Dragon was at a loss
      not sure if it could be,
      that as the result of a one night stand
      and a pint of blood or three.
      How an increase in his girth,
      following the witches coven
      must mean that He is She,
      and now has a bun in the oven.

      xxx Hugs Galore xxx

  12. I am proud to have been part of this great enterprise, and rest assured, ladies and gentlemen, that I will do my best to nag David into publishing a second volume of the forbidden poems… for adults, of course.

  13. Wow, that’s just fantastic! Bravo! So do tell us how we might be able to procure a ‘signed’ specimen? Is that even possible? Congratulations, *+*+*pebbledashed*+*+* with lots of well-wishes and huge hugs, xxxCJ and the fuzzy Rodent xxx 😛

    • Since I’m guessing you don’t mean a facsimile signature and as yet my ship came home when I was at the airport, the only way would be if you sent me one to sign. I’d be quite happy to send it back full of hugs.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

      • Well then, we just may have to do that. Forgive me if it takes me just a wee bit of time to get to that, but I have it on my personal ‘wish’ list here at home for ‘somebody’ to notice, in case he thinks I am deserving of this indulgence.Of course WE know I AM INDEED, but sometimes what’s obvious to some is not so for others…cough** cough** my man is Mr Magoo **cough*. 8/

      • Please tell Mr. Magoo that your pal from Wales says you’re worth that and so much more. If he doesn’t value you, then someone will nip in and steal you away. If my lottery comes up tonight I could bring you the book over.
        xxx Hugs Galore xxx

  14. You have many wonderful replies for your new children’s book, I too am happy for you. Thank you for visiting my blog, myhousethetradingpost, and offering your friendship. I hadn’t realized you wrote children’s literature until today. My husband has been working on a children’s book, the real life story of Squeaky, our pet duck. My husband says, “Hi!” He’s been to North Wales, he named off some places I couldn’t spell. He attended Cambridge in the70s. I wish you much success. Your friend, Terrie

    • Hello Terrie, thank you very much for your good wishes and for also offering friendship. I’ve never done a children’s book before and probably won’t do again though my main book s can be read by quite young children as there’s nothing untoward in them.
      I’m sure your husband’s book will be a hit, ducks are very popular with everyone. Please give him my best wishes.You can tell him I live in one of the easier places to say, Greenfield near Holywell, he might know it here. He was certainly in a lovely place in the 70’s as Cambridge is really nice.
      Thank you again for your kind thoughts.
      xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  15. laurie27wsmith

    That’s great David, a real fait accompli indeed. Love Marvin the Monkey, very humorous.

  16. I’m looking forward to hearing about it when Reuben recites these poems [endlessly] and shares them with his friends, as kids love to do. And later, he may well keep up the family tradtion and write his own.

    • I’d never even thought that he might tell them to his friends. I find that quite funny. I certainly hop he’s ready to do his own ready for his children and grandchildren, or perhaps I should pass the grandchildren mantle on to Yvonne whose fault this is anyway.
      xxxx Hugs Galore xxx

  17. So happy for you, David! It really shows who you are, by all the friendly help and encouragement that you had along the way. I’m finally getting out in the blog world to visit a few friends. Glad I made it over in time to see your good news!

    • I’m glad you made it too Patti. Yes, I’ve had lots of encouragement and help for the book and on the blog. There are some wonderful people out there and I’m lucky to know so many of them.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  18. Bravo!! Glad the book has finally made it to print. Congratulations, David 🙂

    I’m sure Rueben will love it.

  19. Very nice dear David! Congratulations!Hugs!

  20. Thanks so much Dear Tazein.
    xxx Huge Hugs back xxx

  21. Congratulations, David! Hope it makes many people feel happy, including you. 🙂 Lovely cover, too.
    xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

  22. I’m so behind. This is wonderful and I wish I had seen it earlier. I love the cover and I’m sure the poems are lovely. I’m proud of you, David. Congratulations! Hugs to you, my friend. I know Reuben will love these and so will his mother.

    • It’s only out this week so you’ve not missed much Mary J except maybe a few tweets.Thanks so much, I’m really pleased with the look and I hope Reuben will enjoy them when he starts to read. Yvonne is won over.
      xxx Hugs Galore xxx

  23. Hi David, Such a wonderful idea. I loved introducing books to my daughter when she was younger and now its lovely to see her picking up a book, sitting in her chair and starting to enjoy reading. Congratulations on a brilliant book and unique gift for Reben.
    Spreading those hugs all around!

    • Thanks a lot Kim. I agree that reading is important to stimulate the imagination and I hope it works in Reuben’s case. Books have been my friends all my life.and it looks as though your daughter feels the same.
      I’m glad to hear that South Wales is getting it’s share of hugs thanks to you.
      xxx I send Hugs Galore xxx

  24. Looks like Marvin might need to swing across a few continents so my Grandson can read him as well, looks brilliant David!

    • Just a bit of fun really but I hope kids may get a giggle out of it. Originally it was just for Reuben until others showed an interest in it. Parents ( grandparents) may enjoy explaining some of them but that just puts it in an educational category doesn’t it?
      Lovely to see you back here again.
      xxx Unlimited Hugs xxx

  25. Perfect with lots of opportunity for acting out the poem which little ones love, nicely done sir.

    • Thanks so much Maggie. I doubt many parents will act out these poems but they may still have fun reciting them and I doubt too many brains will go bad if youngsters read them alone.
      xxx Countless Hugs xxx

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