Thursday, September 18, 2014

Limerick Alley: Liana Mahoney

So happy to welcome Liana Mahoney to Limerick Alley!  Especially since she has some wonderful news that I'll share with you in just a bit. 

The limerick she's brought with her today is based on a true story:

                         I once found a toad (gentle creature!)
                         that was cursed with a sad, sickly feature:
                         his armpits were stowing
                         blood-suckers, and unknowing,
                         that guy was a poor double-leecher.

                         © 2014 Liana Mahoney. All rights reserved.

Photo: Katie Fuller

In case you didn't entirely catch the plot, I'll let Liana fill in the details:
My son found a toad that had a full leech under each of its armpits, and we rescued it. (Used a match to remove the leeches.) We do this sort of thing here all the time: rescue turtles from the road, save caterpillars, relocate salamanders....  We are a nature-loving family who values the idea of looking at nature up close, and that was the basic premise for my picture book FOREST GREEN.

What's that you say?  A new picture book? 

Isn't it a thing of beauty!  Just look at that gorgeous cover by illustrator, Maggie Henry.  Not that I have anything against toads with leeches under their armpits, mind you.  They can be beautiful too... if you look at them the right way.  But I think you'll agree that toads don't have that same lovely, new book smell.

At first glance, the Adirondack forest is lush with green leaves. But look closer and you will see forest green in the wings of luna moths and the songs of the katydids. What else is there to see on a walk through the woods? Splashes of color paint the forest's canvas through the seasons. Take a walk through the pages of this book, where the true colors of the Adirondack woodlands show themselves in beautiful and surprising ways.

Liana's appreciation for the beauty of the forest and all of its creatures is rivaled only by her skills as a patient observer, a poet, and an elementary teacher.  Who better to take all of those observations and bundle them together in a rhyming, circular story for children.

Oh, and did I mention that Liana is patient?  Well, it's worth mentioning again.  Released by North Country Books this past July 30th, FOREST GREEN: A WALK THROUGH THE ADIRONDACK SEASONS was a long time coming.  You can read the whole crazy story about how this book finally came to fruition (after six!! years) on Laura Sassi Tales

Congratulations, Liana!  And thank you for bringing your gentle, nature-loving ways to Limerick Alley.

One last reminder before you go hopping about today's Poetry Friday offerings: please send me your poem of address in response to Irene Latham's September DMC challenge. With just one week to go before the end-of-month wrap-up, I'd love to see (and feature) more of your wonderful poems!  (I will be sharing mine this coming Tuesday.)  DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST is a truly magical collection of children's poetry.  Wouldn't it be great if you could win yourself a personalized copy?  All participants will be entered into a random drawing at the end of this month. 

Today's Poetry Friday roundup is being hosted by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm.


  1. This looks like a wonderful celebration of the Adirondacks...and we love the Adirondacks! Many congratulations to Liana on this book - may it introduce many children to a place they already love or might have not yet seen. As for the frog, I am cracking up and thinking that this leechy guy may be stuck in my head all day long! Happy Poetry Friday to both of you - thank you!

  2. As much as those leeches made me say, "Ew," I'm glad Liana and company rescued the frog. The book looks beautiful. Let's keep encouraging young readers to get outside and enjoy nature.

  3. Congrats to Liona. It looks like a lovely book. Much nicer than leechy underarms.

  4. Congrats to Liana. Of course I love that there's a bear on the cover of her new book!

    I'm so glad she and her son rescued that poor toad.

  5. Congratulations, Liana. The book looks fabulous! I can't wait to read it.

  6. Love the limerick - I've never seen a leech nor would I know how to get it off the poor toad. Good thing this guy met up with Liana and her family. I must find her book - looks delightful! Thanks for sharing, Michelle! (Just one week to go? Where did September go?)

  7. I'm not sure I would know that I was supposed to help the frog, and therein lies the reason for getting this book, which looks wonderful. I am in the west, so have only seen the Adirondacks once, and am sure they are entrancing, different than our Rockies, but still lovely. Thanks for the limerick & congrats on the new book!

  8. Love the cover. The book sounds terrific. Thanks for the post.

  9. I'm not a huge fan of toads. I think boys would love this limerick in all its yuckiness. Thanks for letting us know about this new book. I feel hope when I read about others who struggle for publication.

  10. Double-leecher! Ugh! Thank goodness he ran into Liana. Congratulations on the beautiful book :-)

  11. Does anyone else have itchy armpits now? Gorgeous cover, and hurray for being patient!! Congrats, Liana!

  12. Fun limerick, Liana--I've seen a single leecher, but never a double. You and your son are very brave.

  13. Thanks so much for inviting me, Michelle! And thank you, everyone, for the hearty congratulations!

  14. What a beautiful book -- at least from the looks of its cover. Congratulations, Liana and kudos for persevering!

  15. I know I've already congratulated you, Liana...but there are never too many congratulations!!! So...Congratulations :-)
    Loved the limerick and the interesting story behind it!