icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

June 2024   Issue #40



Happy June!      


Welcome to issue #40 of The Simpsonian Muse. I am your scribe, Martha Seif Simpson, Author and Children's Librarian. As the header says, this monthly newsletter will feature:

  • News – Mine as well as other interesting tidbits
  • Views – A few photos from my world travels
  • Stuff to Amuse – A mish-mash of activities, crafts, recipes, videos or whatever I am excited about sharing

If you missed the previous newsletters, you can click the button on the left sidebar on my website to catch up or click here. *NOTE: If you are a subscriber to my newsletter and some of the photos don't show up, please go to my website to read it. The server is sometimes finicky.

Thanks for joining me on this adventure. I hope you will find something to inform and entertain you.


~ NEWS ~


On June 8, I'll be participating in Women Writing: A Panel Discussion at the New Haven Free Public Library. Six writers with a variety of book publishing experiences will talk about their publishing journeys. Here is the link to the event and author bios. If you are in the area, please come see us.


But wait, there's more!


The Association of Jewish Libraries annual conference will be held on June 23-26 in San Diego, CA. I will be there to celebrate the Sydney Taylor Book Awards and will also be moderating a panel discussion called Uniting Together: Using Universal Jewish Themes, Values and Mitzvot Across the Calendar. I'll have photos to share next month!





Of the six authors who will be presenting on the June 8 panel at the New Haven Library, 4 of us write for children and teens. Here are a few books by my co-panelists.


No Castles Here by A.C.E. Bauer

Hounded by bullies, 11-year-old Augie Boretski finds solace in reading a book of fairy tales, singing in the school chorus, and hanging out with Walter, his assigned Big Brother. When a crisis strikes his neighborhood, Augie decides that this time, he will fight back.


Come Fall by A.C.E. Bauer

Three middle school students become unlikely friends when they are manipulated by Queen Titiana, King Oberon, and the mischievous Puck from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in this tale of magic and self-discovery.


From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks

After Zoe receives a birthday card from her biological father who has been in jail her entire life, she wants to learn more about the father she has never known and to prove his innocence. There is also a sequel, On Air with Zoe Washington.


A Soft Place to Land by Janea Marks

After Joy Taylor's father loses his job, the family has to cut expenses by moving into a small apartment and stopping her piano lessons. Eventually, Joy finds new friends and gains the strength to face all the challenges that come her way.


On Borrowed Wings by Chandra Prasad

In the 1930s, Adele Pietra assumes her dead brother's identity so she can attend all-male Yale University and take control of her own destiny.


Mercury Boys by Chandra Prasad

Saskia Brown discovers she can use liquid mercury to communicate with a man pictured in an old daguerreotype. After sharing this secret with some other high school girls, they form a secret society of nighttime adventurers that seems romantic at first, but soon becomes dangerous.





This year, I'm featuring the birth dates of authors and illustrators who create books for kids and teens. Here are some people, along with a sample of their books, for June 2024.

  • June 2 -  Jack Gantos (Joey Pigza books)
  • June 2 -  Norton Juster (The Hello, Goodbye Window)
  • June 2 -  Helen Oxenbury (Farmer Duck)
  • June 3 – Anita Lobel (On Market Street)
  • June 5 – Richard Scarry (Cars and Trucks and Things That Go)
  • June 6 – Cynthia Rylant (Missing May)  
  • June 7 -  Louise Erdrich (Birchbark House)
  • June 8 -  Judy Sierra (Wild About Books)
  • June 10 – Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are) 
  • June 11 – Robert Munsch (The Paper Bag Princess)
  • June 12 – Helen Lester (Tacky the Penguin)
  • June 14 – Bruce Degen (Jamberry)
  • June 14 – Laurence Yep (Dragonwings)
  • June 15 – Brian Jacques (Redwall series)
  • June 18 – Chris Van Allsburg (The Polar Express)
  • June 21 – Robert Kraus (Leo the Late Bloomer)
  • June 24 – Kathryn Lasky (Guardians of Ga'Hoole series)
  • June 25 – Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar)
  • June 26 – Walter Farley (The Black Stallion)
  • June 26 – Nancy Willard (A Visit to William Blake's Inn)
  • June 26 – Charlotte Zolotow (William's Doll)
  • June 29 - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)

Do you know…

  • Which author wrote the text for a picture book that won the Caldecott Award?
  • Which British illustrator won two Kate Greenaway Medals (similar to the Caldecott Award), and so did her husband? She also had three runner-up books.
  • Which author/illustrator founded a museum in Massachusetts dedicated to the art of children's books?
  • Which author won a Newbery Award for a book that also was a Caldecott honor book for the illustrators?
  • Who illustrated the Magic School Bus books?
  • Who won two Caldecott Awards?

 ~ VIEWS ~


Although I've been to New York City many times and seen the Statue of Liberty from the land, air, and sea, I had never actually been to Liberty Island before. In the summer of 2023, our friend Katie Anton worked as a park ranger at the Statue of Liberty. John, my daughter Rose, and I accepted her invitation to tour this national monument. She got us VIP passes so we were able to skip the long lines to pass through the check points at Battery Park where we would board the ferry. This was the view as we waited for the ferry to arrive. Notice the Statue on the horizon near the center of the photo.


I took this photo of Lady Liberty from the ferry.


Ranger Katie met us on the island.


She was assigned to 2-hour shifts at various areas, including Liberty's crown, the entrance to the statue, and the museum. We saw her in several locations throughout the day.

Before we went into the statue, I walked around the base to take photos from different angles.




I especially like these views of the back because the clouds look so dramatic.


To me, it looks like Lady Liberty is a wizard using her torch as a wand to command the skies. Which one do you like best?


To enter the statue, we passed another checkpoint into the base of the pedestal. People could climb the 200+ steps to get to the viewing platform at the place where the statue meets the pedestal, but we waited for the elevator.

Here are some views I took from Liberty's Observation Deck. You can see a ferry docked at Ellis Island with NYC in the background.


This shows the Main Mall leading from the dock (hidden by trees) to the statue. There are picnic spots along the sides and the new museum is the building beyond the flagpole.


Here you can see the path around the base of the pedestal where I took the photos from different angles.


It was fun to look up from the Observation Deck to get these cool views under Lady Liberty.




Anyone who wants to climb all the way to the crown must reserve their place ahead of time because there are limited spots available. Since there is no elevator inside the statue and my bad knees wouldn't let me climb the stairs, we didn't go further than the Observation Deck. But I took this photo looking straight up into the scaffolding.


When we got outside, we stopped to rest at a shaded area along the mall. Here is Rose with the statue behind her.


Then we went into the new museum. Here's a model of the pedestal and Statue of Liberty showing the inside scaffolding and stairs.


The museum has a large display case with all kinds of items that have an image of the SOL.


There's even a menorah!


The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886. Its original torch was damaged and repaired many times. In 1984, it was removed and placed in the museum. The flame that is on the Statue now has a gilded, closed copper shell lit from the outside.


Another interesting item is this original mold of Liberty's face. It's so large that I can stand under a nostril!


It was fun spending a sunny July day at Liberty Island. It took me 60 plus years to get here, but I'm glad I finally did!





Did you know the Statue of Liberty is part of the National Park Service? Here is the official government website where you can read about its history and construction.


Here is the official government tourist information


The History Channel has several videos about the origin and construction of the Statue, and also about the history of Ellis Island.


This site has information about how to travel to the SOD from Battery Park, NYC or from Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ.


Here are some fun facts about the Statue of Liberty.


Coloring Pages Only has 29 Statue of Liberty coloring pages for all ages. You can download one or more and have fun coloring them in.


Can't visit the Statue of Liberty in person? The National Park Service has an amazing site where you can take virtual tours inside and outside the statue! Click here and then click on Take the Statue of Liberty Virtual Tour.

On the next screen, follow the directions to CLICK TO ENTER THE TOUR.

At the bottom left of the next screen, you can choose to tour Interior, Exterior, or Museum. There are several choices within each category, and at every location you can move your mouse to look up, down, or around to get a panoramic view. There is a map at the bottom right of the screen to show where you are on the statue or mall.

For example, from Interior, you can see the view from inside the Torch (which is closed to visitors), the crown, and other Interior spaces I could never climb to on my own.

My favorite Exterior place is the Observation Deck, where you can see some of the views I shared, including looking up to see the Torch.

At Museum, you can see where the torch and Liberty's face are displayed.

I love this site. Try it yourself!


That'll do it for this month.

Until next time, remember to enthuse your muse!


~ Martha