July 30, 2010
. I'm gearing up for another fun year visiting schools. If you're interesting in having me visit your school, please check out my "Authors in Schools" page here
. Also, some students in Texas put together a Wikipedia page about me. You can read it here
September 2, 2009
. I have a new song posted, "Triple the Pickle." It's a fun, goofy, nonsensical song. It's performed by Mick Brady, who lives in Dublin, Ireland. You can listen to the song here on Songramp
August 21, 2009
. The new school year is starting, and I'm hoping to visit more schools this year. For information on my school programs, click here
. This year, I'll be joined by either Tim Frazier or Sergio Wals, who will perform songs made from my poems.
May 24, 2009.
Sergio Wals and I have just finished a fun several weeks on the road, with school appearances in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and Missouri. Ever wonder how I sound reciting my poems? Here's a video
of me reciting "Nobody Knows Where Our Bus Driver Goes," and Sergio singing "Pluto's Not a Planet Anymore."
May 23, 2009.
"Daddy's Making Dinner" appears in a fun new cookbook by Geneice Duke, Kelmi Cuties: Best Simple Recipes
. You can contact Geneice and order a copy of the cookbook through her website at kelmicuties.com
March 1, 2009. Sergio Wals and I are starting to gear up for our April and May school visits. We have performances scheduled at schools in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri. We're really looking forward to all of them!
February 6, 2009. This was an active week. A clip from my song with Alex Stangl, "Pluto's Not a Planet Anymore," was played on the NPR radio program "All Things Considered" this week. The program airs on 560 radio stations, and has an average of 12 million daily listeners. The clip aired after an interview with Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who has a new book out called The Pluto Files. In the book, Dr. Tyson includes a very nice discussion of our Pluto song, and reprints the full lyrics.
September 18, 2008. There was a really nice story about Sergio Wals and me in our local newspaper yesterday. It's always nice to see media supporting the arts!
September 1, 2008. Sergio's CD is now available at all of the major on-line sites, such as iTunes and Amazon. Last week, a song from the CD was played on the Dr. Demento show, and another is scheduled for a week from now. If you listen to Dr. Demento, please request songs from the CD! Also, if you know of any kids' music or comedy radio programs that might like a copy of the CD, send us a note.
July 28, 2008
. Sergio's CD now can be purchased on-line at CD Baby. Just click here
July 21, 2008. Sergio performed twice this past weekend, at a Champaign restaurant and at the local farmers' market. If there is a radio station in your area that plays children's music, please send me an email and let me know! I'll mail them a CD, and I'll email you once I do so that you can request Sergio's songs!
July 18, 2008
. Sergio Wals' CD is now out! Every song is based on one of my poems, and I even perform a bit (some simple keyboards, sound effects, etc.) on some of the songs. I'll post a note soon about where the CD can be purchased. For now, you can download songs from the CD at Dig Station by clicking here
June 29, 2008.
Hey, great news! My friend Sergio Wals has recorded a CD of songs all made from my poems. The CD should be out within a few weeks. Here's the cover:October 30, 2007.
I have a couple of bits of news. First, I have been out visiting schools quite regularly. Please contact me if you'd like me to visit yours! If you're within the big triangle formed by Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis, I'm nearby. The Meadowbrook Press folks now have a page about my poetry visits on their Gigglepoetry site, as part of their Authors in Schools program. The other news is that I was on the radio today! WILL AM 580 in Champaign interviewed me about children's poetry and songwriting. I read two of my Halloween poems, "A Sweet's Farewell" and "Count Sneezes," and they played two of my songs, "A Spirited Denial" and "Pluto's Not a Planet Anymore." I had a great time, and now I know for sure that my songs have been played on the radio.August 21, 2007.
As some of you may recall, my poem "A Spirited Denial" was made into a song by the amazingly talented performer Alan Johnston. The song was just released on a CD called Halloween Treats with Victor R. Vampire and Friends
. You can read all about here: http://www.alleghenymusicworks.com/IBS/SimpleCat/Product/asp/hierarchy/04/product-id/36726737.htmlJanuary 8, 2007.
Wow, 2007! And "Jeff's Poems for Kids" is now six years old. My thanks to the 51,000 or so visitors this year who found the site at its new location. The site has now had some 278,000 visitors in six years. This past year has been quite eventful, especially musically. Quite a few of my poems--I believe the number is now 16--have been turned into songs. "Pluto's Not a Planet Anymore" was the most-played song of the 14,000 songs on the Songramp music site for about six weeks, and it also was voted the most-favored song. Many wonderfully talented musicians have worked on the songs. Two--Alex Stangl and Alan Johnston--have been Songramp Artist of the Year, Alan in 2005 and Alex in 2006. I was even named Artist of the Month there this past December! I also had more poems published in books this past year, including two in the Meadowbrook book (distributed by Simon & Schuster) My Teacher's in Detention
. I have one schedule for another Meadowbrook book this year. Well, enough. Happy New Year, and Happy Rhyming!December 4, 2006.
Various news on the music front. First, "Pluto's Not a Planet Anymore" was named November Physics Song of the Month by the American Association of Physics Teachers. Second, this same song was the most-played song on the Songramp music site for over five weeks, from October 26 to December 2. Third, I was named Artist of the Month on Songramp. They have an interview with me here: http://www.songramp.com/news.php?viewStory=623October 8, 2006.
My Halloween poems are all posted! If you look under "More Poems," the first 15 or so after "The Toy Box Ate My Brother" are Halloween poems. Have fun!September 30, 2006.
I've just created a website on Broadjam, a site for songwriters and musicians. If you're interested, you can download copies of my children's songs there (they charge 99 cents per song). Here's the address:http://www.broadjam.com/artists/artistindex.asp?artistID=36286June 20, 2006.
Two of my poems--"Nobody Knows Where Our Bus Driver Goes" and "Genie, Please Hurry"--appear in the new Meadowbrook Press book My Teacher's in Detention
. The book has loads of funny poems. Check it out!April 26, 2006.
I've now had eleven!!! of my poems turned into songs, and by some highly talented musicians. In fact, Alex Stangl (Nobody Knows Where Our Bus Driver Goes) and Rick Keane (Franky the Onion and Garlic the Kid) both have been nominated for Artist of the Month on Songramp. Alex is in a close race this month, and I bet Rick will win before the summer is out. February 22, 2006.
Welcome to the new home of Jeff's Poems for Kids! Be sure to update your links. I have some poetry news. First, "Snowman Sniffles" appears in the January issue of Spider Magazine, and "Here is the Church" came out in January in the Meadowbrook Press book Peter, Peter Pizza Eater. Second, I have four more poems coming out this year--two in another Meadowbrook book, and two in textbooks to be published in Sweden and Germany. Third, two of my poems are now songs. Click on the link for "music" to hear fun musical versions of "The Day Care Blues" and "Nobody Knows Where Our Bus Driver Goes."January 8, 2006.
Jeff’s Poems for Kids is now five years old! Thanks to the 67,000 visitors who stopped by during this past year! In the next year, the site very likely will be moving, so be on the alert for a change of address. And please look for my poem “Snowman Sniffles” in the current (January) issue of Spider Magazine. Happy New Year!
October 9, 2005.
Well, my family and I are now more or less settled in Champaign, Illinois. We’re building a new house, and we’ll be fully settled once we move in there in a few weeks. This is my favorite time of year, as I get to post all of my Halloween poems! Be sure to check them out! I’ve also had various bits of poetry news in the past three months. “Snowman Sniffles” will be in the January issue of Spider
magazine, I received a request to publish “Y Not” in a Swedish textbook, and I had six poems appear in the book The Ultimate Guide to Celebrating Kids, Volume II
July 7, 2005. After living for the past eight years in Tallahassee, Florida, I am moving to Champaign, Illinois. The movers were here today, and my family and I head to Champaign this weekend. I won't be able to update the website for a while, and I also probably will be changing it's address before the summer is over. But the current site should be up and running for at least a couple of months. If you like music, be sure to check out my music page; five of my sets of lyrics now have been turned into songs, and the music page includes links so that you can go and listen to the songs.
April 16, 2005. I have received two pieces of great poetry news in the past few weeks. First, "Genie, Please Hurry" has been given an award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Specifically, the SCBWI awarded it a Letter of Merit as a Runner-Up in the 2004 Magazine Merit Competition. This was for the version that appeared in Spider Magazine in February 2004. Second, "Here is the Church," which is a modified version of the nursery rhyme by that title, has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming Meadowbrook collection Peter, Peter, Pizza-Eater. It should be out next year.
January 8, 2005. Jeff's Poems for Kids is now four years old. Thanks to the 66,000 visitors who have stopped by this past year, and to the 160,000 who have viewed the site since 2001. This past year has been a fun one for me, with my poems published in Cricket Magazine, Spider Magazine, and the book Rolling in the Aisles. I also have seen some of my song lyrics turned into actual songs, and I've decided on a big move--come June or so, my family and I will be moving from Florida to Illinois.
November 17, 2004.
In addition to writing children's poetry, I've also tried to write some song lyrics from time to time. Some friends of mine, Bobby and Cherie Maestas, have turned one set of lyrics into an actual song. It is called "Alana's Eyes." Please note that this is not
a children's song, and the topic is serious and sad. You can listen to a demo of the song here
October 4, 2004. A couple more of my poems are out in print. "Daddy's Making Dinner" appears in the newly-released Meadowbrook Press poetry anthology Rolling in the Aisles. The book has loads and loads of fun poems. Also, I recently received my copy of the October issue of Spider Magazine, which includes "My Pumpkin Was."
October 2, 2004. It's October, and that means Halloween! I've put up a whole set of Halloween poems for you to enjoy.
July 2, 2004. "The Scales of Justice" appears in the July issue of Cricket Magazine. The illustrator, Lars Leetaru (who does a lot of work for the New York Times) did a great job. And, speaking of illustrations, if you do pick up the July issue of Cricket, take a look at the drawings of genies that appear on the last few pages. These were submitted by readers following the appearance of "Genie, Please Hurry" in the April issue of Cricket.
April 12, 2004. I've been busy here as the school year has started to wind down. I made a quick trip to Minnesota two weeks ago, and had the opportunity to read some poems while there. The news is that "Genie, Please Hurry" appears in the April issue of Cricket. Once more, the illustration is wonderful. Also, it looks like "The Scales of Justice" will be in the July issue of Cricket, so keep an eye out for that.
February 5, 2004. My copies of the February issue of Spider arrived last week, with "Genie, Please Hurry" right there on p. 26! The accompanying illustration fits the poem just perfectly. I hope you have a chance to check it out. And, in website news, "Jeff's Poems for Kids" received its 100,000th visitor today. I truly appreciate that so many folks have stopped in to visit, and also that so many of you have written to me about the site. Thanks!
January 8, 2004.
"Jeff's Poems for Kids" is now three years old! There were over 42,000 visitors this past year, and it looks like the site is being used in a lot of classrooms. Thanks, folks! In other news, we finally got our Costa Rica pictures developed. You can see them here
. Also, please remember that "Genie, Please Hurry" is scheduled to appear in the February issue of Spider
is sold in all the big bookstores. So, if you're not already a subscriber, go check it out! "Genie, Please Hurry" also is scheduled to appear in the April issue of Cricket
have such great illustrations that I really can't wait to see what they did with "Genie."
August 10. 2003. Well, I'm back. After spending the last nine weeks in Costa Rica, my family and I have returned to Tallahassee. I hope everyone had a great summer. We had a lot of fun in Costa Rica. It's an interesting, fun place. I even had the chance to read some poems in some classes at the Lincoln School. When we returned, there was some good news waiting for me. First, "The Scales of Justice" has been accepted for publication in Spider or Cricket. Second, I learned that"Genie, Please Hurry," which was accepted last year, will appear in the February, 2004 issue of Spider.
June 9, 2003. My family and I will be traveling a lot this summer, so I won't have the opportunity to update Jeff's Poems for Kids until August. I've posted some favorite poems. Have a great summer, and see you in about two months!
April 19, 2003. The April issue of School Magazine's Countdown includes one of my poems, "Plaster" (I call it "Ulna," but the magazine changed the name), accompanied by a wonderful drawing by Tohby Riddle. The School Magazine group publishes four children's magazines in Australia, Countdown, Blast Off, Orbit, and Touchdown. The School Magazine is the oldest children's magazine published in English, dating back to 1916. It is published by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training.
January 19, 2003.
"Bingo Every Sunday" is the first poem to appear on Spellbound
's new online edition.
January 8, 2003. "Jeff's Poems for Kids" is two years old today! Over 29,000 visitors stopped by in the past year--thanks for dropping in, and thanks to all of you who have written to me!
November 7, 2002.
"Waiting in the Dark" appears in the Fall 2002 issue of Spellbound
is a fantasy magazine for children. Here's the link to the publisher's website.
November 1, 2002. Three of my poems, "Genie, Please Hurry," "History Lesson," and "The Reason that I've Got No Poem," appear in the October-November 2002 issue of the literary magazine PKA's Advocate.
October 24, 2002.
Two of my poems, "The Keys to the Universe" and "Ulna," have been accepted for publication by the School Magazine
group in Australia. I'm excited about "going international." The School Magazine
group publishes four children's magazines, Countdown
, Blast Off
, and Touchdown
. The School Magazine
is the oldest children's magazine published in English, dating back to 1916. It is published by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training. Here's a link to the School Magazine website
September 22, 2002. Three of my poems have been accepted for publication by the magazines of the Cricket Magazine Group. "My Pumpkin Was" will appear in either Ladybug or Spider, "Snowman Sniffles" (formerly known as "First Do No Harm;" they asked me to change the name) also will appear in either Ladybug or Spider, and "Genie, Please Hurry" will appear in either Spider or Cricket.
August 17, 2002.
"The Wizard's Wife" appears in the Summer issue of Spellbound
is a fantasy magazine for children, and the Summer issue is all about Sorcerers. Here's the link to the publisher's website.
August 1, 2002.
"The Toy Box Ate My Brother" appears in the August issue of the on-line magazine Wee Ones
. You can check it out here
June 30, 2002. I am deeply saddened by the passing this week of John Entwistle, best known as the bass player of The Who. Entwistle received less public notice than did his fellow band members, but musicians have long recognized his amazing talent on the bass guitar. Although I am in awe of Entwistle's musical virtuosity, I have always been especially impressed by his underappreciated skill as a songwriter. I listen to a lot of music. Great music is, first and foremost, great poetry. The poems I write are inspired less by other children's writers than by the incredible (and sometimes delightfully dark) humor displayed in the songs of Steve Goodman, Shel Silverstein (the first few Dr. Hook albums are twisted, hilarious works!), John Entwistle, and others. Well, I'm off to listen to Entwistle's "Boris the Spider" and "Roller Skate Kate."
June 22, 2002. "Miss Helga Gunther Reinhold Schmidt" and "The Vampire's Dilemma" appear in the June-July issue of the literary magazine PKA's Advocate.
May 6, 2002.
"When Jenny Joined the Wizards" appears in the Spring 2002 issue of Spellbound
is a fantasy magazine for children, and the Spring issue is all about Sorceresses. Here's the link to the publisher's website.
March 1, 2002.
"Daddy's Making Dinner" appears in the March issue of the online magazine Wee Ones
. Be sure to visit the Wee Ones site
--it's a lot of fun!
February 4, 2002.
One of my poems, "International Federation of Genies," appears in the current issue of the magazine Spellbound
. Be sure to check out the publisher's website
for information about how to order Spellbound
January 8, 2002. "Jeff's Poems for Kids" is one year old today! The site has had over 22,500 visitors in its first year. Thanks to all of you who have stopped by. Please tell the parents, teachers, and children you know about the site!
October 22, 2001. Two of my poems appear in the October-November 2001 issue of the literary magazine PKA's Advocate: "The Negotiation" and "Up a Tree."
August 13, 2001. Four of my poems appear in the August-September 2001 issue of the literary magazine PKA's Advocate: "Fred," "The Kitchen Clock," "The Mountain," and "That Awful Falafel Waffle."
August 10, 2001.
"Daddy's Making Dinner" has been added to the "Winners"
page on Meadowbrook Press's "Giggle Poetry" website.
February 1, 2001. Two of my poems appear in the February-March 2001 issue of the literary magazine PKA's Advocate: "Daddy's Making Dinner," and "Windmills."