It was great to get away, do some beach reading and grab some rays, (Stan did get a little pink), but it’s nice to be back in our RAT CHAT studios. Particularly nice to be chatting about the new – and already multi-starred book – by Thomas F. Yezerski called, MEADOWLANDS, ‘A Wetlands Survival Story’, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Mr. Yezerski shared a tasty tidbit of info on how and why he was inspired to write this wonderful book on urban environmental recovery: Says Mr. Yezerski, that when he first moved to New Jersey from Pennsylvania, he was a bit unprepared for all the busy and confusing highways. (Hey, just try scooting the turnpike and dodging Hondas.) He confessed to both Stanley and me that he got lost in the Meadowlands on more than one occasion. One time, he took a wrong turn and suddenly found himself surrounded by abandoned factories, warehouses and waste. (We know the feeling.) He says it took him over an hour to find his way out and back to a highway.
However, the curious writer and illustrator, returned to explore the empty factories, abandoned railways, and other forgotten places under the turnpike. “I even canoed creeks where I couldn’t see over the tall reeds.” He says that after all his research, he probably now knows the Meadowlands as well as Stanley and I do! I bet he does too! Sometimes, said Mr. Yezerski with a laugh, “You write about what you don’t know.”
Well, this is an author and illustrator that indeed knows his subject well now! And so will everyone who reads this very fine book, thanks to him! Stan and I noticed that the book jacket recommends the audience as 5-8, but frankly, we think this is a book for all ages, and one that should not be missed! As noted in School Library Journal, you don’t have to be from Jersey or familiar with the area to embrace the idea of protecting plant and animal life in an urban environment.
So now, kick off your shoes, put up your feet, get a cup of your favorite Caffe Latte or Espresso Macchiato, and take a few minutes to enjoy our CHAT about the comeback story of the urban wetlands known as the MEADOWLANDS. Get comfy and we’ll see you on the other side.
We are delighted to be giving away an autographed copy of MEADOWLANDS ‘A WETLAND SURVIVAL STORY’! All you have to do to be in the running, is leave a comment! The always ‘above board’ and blindfolded Stanley, will be picking the lucky winner at the end of the month.
The talented Tom Yezerski, a graduate of Syracuse University, is the illustrator of many wonderful books for young readers including: MRS. MUDDLE’S HOLIDAYS by Laura F. Nielsen; THE WINNER’S WALK by Nancy Ruth Patterson; and the ROSE AND RILEY series written by Jane Cutler;
He tells us that he is presently working on a new project called PINCH AND DASH MAKE SOUP, written by Michael J. Daley, who also knows a thing or two about rats. Have to say, as major soup lovers, (how much do we like cream of broccoli with cheddar cheese?), Stan and I will be looking out for this one! Looks like the makings of a good series (and a tasty recipe), with two delightful characters. Here is a sketch of Pinch and Dash, that Tom was delighted to share with all of our ‘chatters‘:
For a companion read to Mr. Yezerski’s New Jersey’s, MEADOWLANDS, check out Lynn Cherry‘s, A RIVER RAN WILD, about the ecological evolution of New England’s Nashua River and FIELDS OF SUN AND GRASS: An Artist’s Journal of the New Jersey Meadowlands, by John R. Quinn. For more information on the New Jersey Meadowlands, check out: Hackensack Riverkeeper, Meadowlands Environment Center, and New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.
Well, that’s it from us for now, CHATTERS! But don’t forget to join Stanley and me next time when we chat about another tasty book – on RAT CHAT!