The postcard poems published by Mascot Books and Mr. Eisenberg will be touring pediatric hospitals reading them to kids in long-term care. Only now he’ll be reading—and children will be guessing—not from the original postcards, but from the first three books of his publisher’s new series: Guess Who Zoo, Guess Who Farm and Guess Who Neighborhood. http://www.guesswhozoo.com
Acquiring a publisher for children’s verse is about as hard, Howard declares, “as explaining to a toddler that tissues belong in bathrooms, not unrolled from the toilet to the front door.” So, the poet changed course. With the help of composer Sherwin Kaufman, and producers Ann Ruckert and Jimmy “The Whiz” Wisner, he set out to generate “a buzz.” The group produced a Guess Who Zoo CD, and created a Guess Who Zoo Troupe to perform the poems as songs at children’s museums, schools and hundreds of birthday parties, as a first step toward publishing them.
When the troupe performed in a leading publisher’s office ten years ago, Howard was told, “This is the most fun I’ve had in months.” But it was a mixed message. That encouraging critique was followed by a disappointing, “But, unfortunately, the poems aren’t right for us.” Time marched on and, at last, self-publishing came into vogue. In early August, Naren Aryel, founder of a small creative press in Virginia, will simultaneously publish not only Howard’s Guess Who Zoo but the Farm and Neighborhood books as well. Will his 25-year-old postcard poem kidbook series produce a tidal wave among today’s tots or only a ripple? For a quarter of a century, the Guess Who Great-Grandpa has been waiting patiently to find out.
Writing is in the Eisenberg family’s DNA. “By Arlene and Howard Eisenberg” was a frequent byline in Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s Digest, Cosmopolitan, Parade and dozens of other magazines for 30 years, and the couple wrote four books, including a college health textbook, together. That collaboration ended brilliantly when first-time pregnant daughter Heidi Murkoff kidnapped Arlene to co-write what became the classic What To Expect parenting series, which has been on the New York Times best-seller list for more than 630 weeks.
Son Evan Eisenberg has written two seminal books—one environmental, “The Ecology of Eden”—and the other, a social history of recorded music—The Recording Angel. He has sold a screenplay to Warner Brothers and has written humor pieces for New Yorker, Esquire, Time and elsewhere.
Father and son are collaborating on a baseball screenplay, and Evan has written additional material for Howard’s musical comedy, The Million Dollar Bet. Dad wrote book and lyrics, Evan added a song and several scenes of show-stopping dialog. It had its first cast reading last month at the Actors Theatre Workshop.
Howard agrees with Yogi Berra that, “Life ain't over till it's over.” (That optimistic attitude became, in fact, a song in his musical.) He begs to differ with Philip Roth, who recently announced his retirement from writing at 80. Seven years beyond 80, Howard smiles, "I plan to keep going 'til I don't know whether I'm coming or going."
Howard’s most recent book sits on bookstore shelves far from his Guess Who books. Written with “semi-pro relationship counselor” Shirley Friedenthal, and based on multiple interviews and their own experiences, it’s entitled, It’s Never Too Late to Date.
High on his lengthy to-write list is a half-completed memoir of his writing life with Arlene entitled, A Typewriter Built for Two: My 50 Years with the Woman Who Co-wrote 'The Bible.' Second on his list is a book of wry toddler poems entitled, Good Grief! What’s Next? based on Arlene’s admonition that, “If you’re going to have a toddler, you’ll need a sense of humor.”
Where does all that creative energy come from? “Vitamins, whole grains and sugar-free dining,” Howard believes. Plus swimming and water aerobics three times a week—a regimen he began 15 years ago when a prominent surgeon declared that without spinal surgery he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
The surgeon appears to have been wrong.
Publicist: Laurie Sheppard, www.lspublicity.com
GingerNewYork found on Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) since launching in November, 2010, has been showcasing the “Kool Kats…Gotham Nights” greats of music and culture of New York and beyond. What defines GingerNewYork is its host Ginger Broderick’s unique insight, connection to and pulse on the music and culture of Gotham making GingerNewYork one of the most sought after programs to appear on.
GingerNewYork can be seen in Manhattan on Time Warner Cable Channel 34, Fios Channel 33, and RCN Channel 82, every Friday afternoon at 2pm EST. It can also be seen live streaming on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network's website, www.mnn.org, Channel 1.
About GingerNewYork host Ginger Broderick:
Broderick perhaps better known to many as “The Media CPA” is a fixture on the media circuit.
Ms. Broderick appeared regularly for eight years on weekend morning financial segments for WABC Eyewitness News. She has appeared on Good Day New York, WNBC, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business News, Bloomberg, NY1 and WOR Radio discussing tax-related issues. She has interviewed with top financial publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Wealth Manager.
Ms. Broderick completed her TV Producer’s Certification at Manhattan Neighborhood Network and launched her own talk/variety show, GingerNewYork. Segments of the show are aired LIVE at the MNN studios and taped at the Gibson Guitar showroom/Rehearsal Studios in New York City.
Broderick is a faculty member of Queens College/CUNY Continuing Education Program. Broderick obtained a B.S. degree in accounting from St. John’s University in New York City and is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of New York.
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