I am a 50-times published author of children’s books with more than 2.5 million books in print. I've enjoyed positive press in the School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews and Publisher’s Weekly. My cartoon gags have appeared in more than 600 newspapers worldwide, and one ended up in the bestselling "Chicken Soup for the Soul." A 1982 graduate of John Carroll University, I've published essays and articles which have appeared in local and national magazines and newspapers. Three of my books have been recognized with an International Reading Association/Children's Book Council "Children’s Choice Awards," making the list with Shel Silverstein, Roald Dahl and JK Rowling. I wrote to each of them at different times, saying how cool it must be for them to be on the same list as me, but I haven't heard back from them. Probably just busy.
My words are CATegorical books which explain the parts of speech (A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink; What is a Noun?" and the rest) have been compared to Schoolhouse Rock. I have been called "America's English Teacher," but that was mostly by my mom.
My influences include Dr. Seuss, Tom Waits, e.e. cummings, Shel Silverstein, Mad Magazine and Ogden Nash.
Here are a few things I believe:
I believe that some people are born to play tuba in the marching band.
I believe that humor offers a fun way to learn, and a fun way to teach.
I believe that of us have a gift (even if it's a gift we'd like to return). I believe in Heaven and not Hell.
I believe we are all 15 seconds away from ruining our lives.
I believe if you hit the target every time, one of you is too close.
I believe that baseball is part chess and part ballet. I believe that toast, when cut into triangles, tastes better.
I believe that he who dies with the fewest regrets wins.
I believe that the music of the Beatles, and the black & white episodes of The Andy Griffith Show are proof of God's existence.
I believe that, while the great loves of your life will come and go, a high-quality bowling ball will last a lifetime.
I believe you should have a game plan, but you should write it in pencil.
I believe that there are hundreds of ways to be smart.
I believe that we all deserve to be somebody's elvis.
I believe it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
I believe that if I died while eating a Dove Bar, that heaven would be a step down.
I believe that a good teacher can save more lives than a good surgeon, a good firefighter or a good cop.