New Maine publishing company features poetry for kids

This has been the summer of literary fun at my house. My kids have discovered poetry and have been reciting Shell Silverstein and Dr. Seuss at the top of their booming lungs. So, when I heard that BDN blogger, Crystal Sands of Pajamas, Books, and Chickens was self-publishing a children’s book of poetry written by her husband and illustrated by her son, I was pretty darn excited.

“We kind of always had a dream of starting a publishing company–at least I did.” Sands told me during a recent chat, “I wanted to do children’s books, and after studying the field for many years as both a teacher and as a student, I saw how difficult it could be to do things differently in the publishing industry and for writers and artists to get decent pay.”

Crystal and her husband Ron decided to put their creative powers together and start a Maine-based publishing company from scratch, which is no small feat. Their company, Blue Moose Publishing is making its debut with a book signing party at Briar Patch Books in Bangor, Maine on July 7th, where they will be showing off their first project, a lovely collection of children’s poems called ‘Why The Moon Tumbled Out of the Sky‘.

The book was inspired by Ron’s love for poetry. Sands told me, “When he wrote the poem ‘The Black Chicken Named Poe,’ I thought we HAD to do something with it. I have been teaching and studying children’s poetry for about 15 years, and it’s one of the best children’s poems I have read.”

The poems are beautifully written with whimsical voice and lovely rhyming pattern that kids will adore. The best part, though? The Sands family included their son, Ronan, in the creative process by letting him do all of the illustrations in the book.

“Ron had the idea to have Ronan illustrate the poems, and I was skeptical at first,” Sands shared with me, adding that “I wanted Ron’s poetry to be taken seriously–and our publishing company to be taken seriously–but after we let Ronan try a few of the trees, I realized that maybe Ron was right. Seeing these poems through a child’s eyes might just be the best thing ever.”

That inspiration to see the poems from a child’s perspective isn’t the only part of their family business that Ronan has influenced. “One day, Ron, Ronan, and I were sitting in Bugaboo Creek before they closed, and Ronan, having only three crayons with the children’s menu, colored the moose on the back of the menu blue.” Sands said, “Ron was like, ‘That’s the name of our publishing company, Blue Moose Publishing.'”

Blue Moose Publishing will be opening up for submissions next year. Sands says that she is hopeful that they will be able to offer writers “much more of a percentage than they would get from a regular publishing company.” For more information, check out their website, Blue Moose Publishing.

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Why The Moon Tumbled Out of the Sky is available for pre-order on the Blue Moose Publishing website.

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