Monday, March 10, 2014

Want a treat? These books and CD will keep you guessing.....

Quote of the day:

"The Universe is not made up of 
atoms, it's made up of tiny stories."

I cannot say enough about the books I am about to present to you.  They are of the highest quality as they are interactive, educational and just plain fun. Although written for ages 2-6, I am sure children of all ages will be thrilled with them.  Written in rhyme and wonderfully illustrated by Patrick Carlson these books will be read over and over again.  Let me start at the very beginning....yes, it's a very good place to start....

Who is the author of the Guess Who Zoo books?  Ladies and gentlemen.... I'd like you to meet Howard Eisenberg.

Could 25-year old postcard poems become a hit kidbook series? (Maybe !)

For more than half a century, 87-year-old author-journalist and nouveau great-grandfather Howard Eisenberg has read his whimsical doggerel to appreciative audiences at family birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine Days, retirements and bar mitzvahs. This year, finally, he’s publishing them. Not all—just the whimsical Guess Who Zoo poems ballpoint-penned on postcards to his grandchildren in 1988 from a Qantas jet at 30,000 feet. The interactive poems—last word left blank so the kids could guess the animal—were written on a book and zoo tour of Australia with his late wife, Arlene, co-author of the classic What to Expect book series.
This August, as a result of a suggestion Arlene made 25 years ago, the postcard poems will be published by Mascot Books, and Howard will be touring pediatric hospitals reading them to children in long-term care. Only now he’ll be reading—and children will be guessing—not from the original postcards, but from the first three books of his publisher’s new series: Guess Who ZooGuess Who Farm and Guess Who Neighborhood.
But acquiring a publisher for children’s verse is about as hard, Howard declares, “as explaining to a toddler that tissues belong in bathrooms, not unrolled from the toilet to the front door.” So, the poet changed course. With the help of composer Sherwin Kaufman, and producers Ann Ruckert and Jimmy “The Whiz” Wisner, he set out to generate “a buzz.” The group produced a Guess Who Zoo CD, and created a Guess Who Zoo Troupe to perform the poems as songs at children’s museums, schools and hundreds of birthday parties, as a first step toward publishing them.
Unfortunately, that didn’t work either. When the troupe performed in a leading publisher’s office ten years ago, Howard was told, “This is the most fun I’ve had in months.” But it was a mixed message. That encouraging critique was followed by a disappointing, “But, unfortunately, the poems aren’t right for us.” Time marched on and, at last, self-publishing came into vogue. In early August, Naren Aryel, founder of a small creative press in Virginia, will simultaneously publish not only Howard’s Guess Who Zoo but the Farm and Neighborhood books as well. Will his 25-year-old postcard poem kidbook series produce a tidal wave among today’s tots or only a ripple? For a quarter of a century, the Guess Who Great-Grandpa has been waiting patiently to find out.

Backgrounder: A Family That Writes Together

Writing is in the Eisenberg family’s DNA. “By Arlene and Howard Eisenberg” was a frequent byline in Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s DigestCosmopolitanParade and dozens of other magazines for 30 years, and the couple wrote four books, including a college health textbook, together. That collaboration ended brilliantly when first-time pregnant daughter Heidi Murkoff kidnapped Arlene to co-write what became the classicWhat To Expect parenting series, which has been on the New York Times best-seller list for more than 630 weeks.
Son Evan Eisenberg has written two seminal books—one environmental, “The Ecology of Eden”—and the other, a social history of recorded music—The Recording Angel. He has sold a screenplay to Warner Brothers and has written humor pieces for New Yorker,EsquireTime and elsewhere.
Father and son are collaborating on a baseball screenplay, and Evan has written additional material for Howard’s musical comedy, The Million Dollar Bet. Dad wrote book and lyrics, Evan added a song and several scenes of show-stopping dialog. It had its first cast reading last month at the Actors Theatre Workshop.
Howard agrees with Yogi Berra that, “Life ain't over till it's over.” (That optimistic attitude became, in fact, a song in his musical.) He begs to differ with Philip Roth, who recently announced his retirement from writing at 80. Six years beyond 80, Howard smiles, "I plan to keep going 'til I don't know whether I'm coming or going."
Howard’s most recent book sits on bookstore shelves far from his Guess Who books. Written with “semi-pro relationship counselor” Shirley Friedenthal and based on multiple interviews and their own experiences, it’s entitled, It’s Never Too Late to Date.
High on his lengthy to-write list is a half-completed memoir of his writing life with Arlene entitled, A Typewriter Built for Two: My 50 Years with the Woman Who Co-wrote 'The Bible.' Second on his list is a book of wry toddler poems entitled, Good Grief! What’s Next? based on Arlene’s admonition that, “If you’re going to have a toddler, you’ll need a sense of humor.”
Where does all that creative energy come from? “Vitamins, whole grains and sugar-free dining,” Howard believes. Plus swimming and water aerobics three times a week—a regimen he began 15 years ago when a prominent surgeon declared that without spinal surgery he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Thankfully, the surgeon appears to have been wrong.

Now please make your acquaintance with his three books....

Nothing is more frustrating than a spunky little monkey who swipes the Zookeepers keys and frees his buddies for a wild romp through the zoo.  How will the zoo keeper round up those animals and return them to their rightful cages?  Well, with your help of course.  Eleven of those beasties tell their stories leaving copious clues along the way until the very last line where you....the "clued in" reader get to guess who the animal is.  Come on give it a can do it and help the poor zookeeper out. He will be so grateful for your support.

Old MacDonald's son, (no not the guy born under the big yellow arches), but farmer MacDonald's kid is in a quandary.  You see he bought 11 animals for his new farmstead and they refuse to come out until he can guess all their names.  Guessing is certainly not his forte so he really needs your help so he can get his farm up and running.  I am sure you can not refuse that pathetic, pleading face of his and will gladly  join  him to guess each animal correctly so he can get on with his life.

House-hunting can be a tedious business. Being dragged all over the place to find the perfect fit for the family.... boring. But when parents Tod and Valerie discover the Guess Who Neighbourhood, mundane disappears from their vocabulary and yahoo replaces it.  The neighbourhood animals start asking questions and the family members join in the fun for the answers. Drop in and visit their new found home. I am sure they will love to have a visit from you and your friends and to thank you personally for your contributions of guessing the correct answers so their home of choice can become a reality.

You will love this CD that will have your kids singing and tapping as they try to guess the rhyming riddles.  The songs are upbeat, clever and educational and they have been picked up by institutions such as the Bronx Zoo, The Children's Museum of Long Island and The American Museum of Natural History."   It was voted a "Parenting Pick' by Parenting Magazine and was winner of the "Parents Choice Award."  It is very high quality both and every contributor  that worked on the project worked in excellence to assure the very best musical experience for your child.  
The books and CD can be purchased by going to http://
They are also available on

                 Book Review rating:  9  (Close to perfection!)

          Read on and read always!  Have a great day everyone. 
This blog post and getting to know Howard has been such a delight and I look forward to reviewing many more of his books.  Keep creating Howard as we all appreciate your work and look forward to your upcoming books!

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