Categories
Graphic Novel Poetry

Knock Knock! Who’s Dead? The Spirited Story of the Fox Sisters

On the night of March 31st, 1848—on April Fools’ Day eve—an entity tore the veil thought to forever dissever the living from the dead and spoke in code through knocks and raps to two teenage sisters, Catherine and Margaret Fox. After apersistent and creative Q&A, The Fox Sisters discovered they were communicating with the Spirit of a Peddler who was murdered and bricked up in their cellar.

 

Soon The Fox Sisters were telling their story to spellbound crowds at a time when women rarely gave public lectures, making them unforeseen missionaries for the budding Spiritualism Movement: a practice involving conversing with the dead. Spiritualism became enormously popular during the Civil War when so many women lost their male family members to the conflict.

 

Katie and Maggie Fox’s journey made it possible for many female Spiritualists to become financially independent and gain positions of authority in the male-majority society. Though the connection between Spiritualism, antislavery, and women’s rights is often absent from history books, the three revolutionary movements clearly fueled each others’ success.

 

Excerpt:

So The Great Civil War had just come to an end.

An event most historians don’t recommend

The repeating-of, seeing that so many died:

Far too many sons lost, scores of mothers left crying.

Our Nation Divided was eager to heal—

Like the thousands of families hearing the pealing of

Funeral Bells echo all the night long:

“Gone along, gone along. Gone untimely along.”

But the mourning kept going. Folks came to discover

They weren’t quite ready to fully recover

From such luscious sadness; the dabbing of eyes,

All the whimpering, groaning, and speaking in sighs.

And so very eventually—ocean-to-ocean—

The Nation subscribed to a curious notion:

A fervent belief, linking opposite coasts,

That their dearly departed had just become ghosts.

Who though no longer living, nor breathing, nor seen,

Were still sharing their houses as they’d used-to been.

And were dying to tell that they didn’t much mind

Being spirits—great comfort to those left-behind.

So.

The Civil War’s carnage, our national schism,

Set fuse to a movement called Spiritualism.

Ted Enik © 2021

 

We should include a couple of knockout spreads.

 

Bios

Ted Enik was part of the favored stable of Magic School Bus artists, channeled Hilary Knight for the canonical hardcoverEloise in Hollywood, is the co-author / illustrator of the well-received Wee Witches, and for a decade was the primary artist for the popular Fancy Nancy “I Can Read™” series. Throughout Ted has been a writer—plays and film—and now hopefully resonant, unexpected-and-collectible illustrated books and graphic novels. Most recently, Ted has joined Pixel Mouse House Books, Publisher / Packager, where he works to rejuvenate properties in the public domain or marry ideal collaborators.

Shiloh Penfield’s previous works include the children’s book Unraveling Rose, Boy Zero Comic, a guest artist spot on Red Knight comic, and multiple independent projects.

 

 

 

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Categories
Children's Books Poetry

Casey At the Bat

“And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has struck out.”

Since its debut in 1888, that closing couplet has continued to echo down the decades. The ballad about a puffed-up 19th-century sports superstar quickly caught on with an America ready to elect Baseball the national pastime, and its position as an everlasting classic was instantly secured—safe at home, you might say.

This book is a wonderful read-aloud for parents of the very young, a rich visual adventure for current kid players, and a great gift for baseball-fans of all ages; a timeless comic melodrama about the whiff heard ’round the world!

Categories
Children's Books Poetry

What Does My Dog Jack Do at Night?

What.Does.Jack.Do?

Have you ever wondered what our pets do when we are not around? One little boy might just have the answer. What Does My Dog Jack Do At Night?, A new title from author Adam Mock, brings to life the dreams of a child and his ideas of what goes on when we are not watching. Jack may seem like a normal dog, but he might just have a few tricks up his collar.

Available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble

"What Does My Dog Jack do at Night?" is now and audiobook!

Categories
Children's Books Poetry S.T.E.A.M Children's book

Sticks ‘n Stones ‘n Dinosaur Bones

The first book in our Unhinged History series is a ripping yarn. Full of adventure and deceit, it brings to life the best-known spat in all of paleontology: the bitter rivalry between Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh. This frenzy of discovery and one-upmanship—known today as the “Bone Wars”—was a gold rush–like scramble to find the most and “best” dinosaur fossils, and bring glory to their home-base universities. Lively and witty rhymes plus wonderfully demented illustrations reveal how the paleontologists’ feud began, and how—despite their obsession with outdoing one another—Cope and Marsh nevertheless made genuine and lasting contributions to the field.

Categories
Children's Books Poetry S.T.E.A.M Children's book

Bathysphere Boys

Bathysphere Boys

THE BATHYSPHERE BOYS. The Depth-Defying Diving of Messrs. Beebe and Barton

In the 1930s, scientist and explorer William Beebe, and engineering grad student Otis Baron built the Bathysphere; a hollow steel ball designed for deep-sea exploration. After several false starts and near-calamities, this miss-matched team—in their bare-bones spherical vehicle; equipped with bad lighting, stale air, and tiny portholes—made a series of record-setting dives and became international celebrities. Beebe and Baron were able to see, for the first time, unimagined wonders of the deep, and in 1934, they set the world record for the deepest ever dive—3,028 feet! The second book in our Unhinged History series.