Back in the sixties, when I began writing books, Pitman Publishing Company produced a series of ten little books I wrote for beginning readers. Those of us who taught reading with the instructional system Pitman promoted used them in our classrooms to help children become independent readers as early as age four or five. I sold the rights to these stories to Pitman for, well, a pittance.
These books attracted the attention of Grosset and Dunlap, a well-known publisher of children's books, who purchased the rights from Pitman and produced them in more standardized format, selling them by the thousand in supermarkets, department stores, and wherever else parents looked for good little stories they could read to their children and the children could learn to read themselves. I never earned anything on these thousands of copies sold.
I've published other children's stories, but these little books remain my favorites. Yet I had almost forgotten about them when I received a letter in the year 2000— thirty-five years after publication— from a woman wanting a copy of one of the books, called Ann Likes Red. It seems that when she was little, her mother read the book to her, and she soon learned to read it herself. She loved that little story, and it became her favorite book. Now she wanted to read it to her own little daughter, but she discovered it was out of print. Could I help her?
Moreover, she revealed that in wanting a copy of Ann Likes Red, she was far from being alone. She told me that eleven other women had written to Amazon.com saying they yearned for a copy of this book to read to their own little children! I was astounded, especially when I checked Amazon and found that she wasn't exaggerating.
Since then, Purple House Press has republished Ann Likes Red, to the delight of many of Ann's fans, who can now order copies from Purple House Press or from me. I've received many letters of gratitude for the re-appearance of Ann Likes Red.
In 2002, another of these little books, Ballerina Bess, was republished. Now those who grew up with this book can hold it in their hands again and share it with their own little children. Ballerina Bess has been nearly as popular as Ann Likes Red. Its many fans can order it from Trafford Publishing or from me.
In 2003, two more titles from this series were back in print: The Tent and Big Beds and Little Beds. Both these books include boys as well as girls as characters, so they're just as popular with boys as with girls. These books are now out of print, as are other titles in this series like Bill and the Fish, The Pond, and Brad and Nell. Copies of these old favorites are sometimes available at Albris, Amazon, or eBay, and a few signed copies are available at Loganberry Books in Cleveland.
In 2004, my own favorite was republished: The Sandwich. Boys especially like the humor of this one. You can get a copy from Trafford Publishing or from me.