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Summer 2022    Issue #20



Happy Summer!


Welcome to the twentieth issue of The Simpsonian Muse. I am your scribe, Martha Seif Simpson, Author and retired 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 You Can Use – A mish-mash of activities, crafts, recipes, 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: Newsletters


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


~ NEWS ~


I didn't post a June or July newsletter. So this one will cover the summer of 2022.


The Association of Jewish Libraries Conference was held at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia on July 27-29. The Sydney Taylor Book Award programs were held on Tuesday. First was A Fresh Look at Jewish Historical Fiction: The 2022 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winners. Author Susan Kusel and illustrator Sean Rubin spoke about their picture book winner, The Passover Guest. Veera Hiranandani discussed her middle grade winner, How to Find What You're Not Looking For, and Aden Polydoros talked about his Young Adult winner, The City Beautiful. We also got to hear from Body-of-Work Winner Jane Yolen, who told us how she came to write the 1988 STBA winner, The Devil's Arithmetic.


The second program was Heroes, Survivors, and Upstanders: The 2022 Sydney Taylor Honor Books, which featured presentations by picture book creators Nancy Churnin, author of Dear Mr. Dickens, Jeff Gottesfeld and Michelle Laurentia Agatha, author and illustrator of The Christmas Mitzvah. Young adult book authors Leah Scheier spoke about The Last Words We Said, Hannah Reynolds talked about The Summer of Lost Letters, and E. Lockhart presented a slide show about Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero. We also showed video speeches from middle grade authors Gordon Korman and Eugene Yelchin.


I moderated both programs and we had a book signing. At the Awards Banquet that evening, I presented certificates to the winners and honorees. I also recognized Jo Taylor Marshall, daughter of Sydney Taylor and the sponsor of the awards. It was wonderful being able to have an in-person conference and meet the special guests, and to also meet the AJL people I had been emailing and Zooming with for two years!


Unfortunately, my website STILL won't let me post new photos, so I can't add any pictures of the conference. I am told that they are working on the problem. I'll post the photos when that function is working.


But wait! There's more…


I will be selling my books at the Shoreline Jewish Festival on Sunday August 14, from noon to 5 pm on the Guilford Green in Guilford, CT. And since I have so many books that were sent to me for Sydney Taylor Book Award consideration in 2020 and 2021, everyone who buys one of my books will get to take two more free books! Such a deal! Details about the event:

Shoreline Jewish Festival




To celebrate summer, here are some great books about butterflies. Why butterflies? You'll find out below!

A Butterfly Is Patient by Dianna Aston Hutts, illustrated by Sylvia Long

Beautiful illustrations accompany this lyrical book of interesting and accurate facts about butterflies that will encourage children to observe and appreciate them.

Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs by Pam Muñoz Ryan

In this middle grade fantasy novel, Solimar Guadalupe becomes protector of the monarch butterflies in the kingdom of San Gregorio and must save them and her kingdom when a villainous king seizes power.

My Book of Butterflies by Geraldo Valério

This informative book features gorgeous illustrations of butterflies of all sizes from around the world. A great book for learning about the life cycle and habitats of butterflies.

Is It a Butterfly or a Moth? by Susan B. Katz

A nonfiction book for beginning readers to show them how to tell these insects apart.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

There are many books about caterpillars that turn into butterflies, but none as popular or loved as this classic book.


Did you know that June is National Candy Month?

July is National Anti-Boredom Month?

August is National Romance Awareness Month?


According to the Every Day's a Holiday Calendar, other noteworthy August dates include:

  • August 1 –  Spiderman Day
  • August 5 –  Underwear Day
  • August 6 –  Farmworker Appreciation Day
  • August 11 – Play in the Sand Day
  • August 16 – Wave at the Surveillance Camera Day
  • August 17 – Thrift Shop Day
  • August 19 – International Orangutan Day
  • August 20 – International Day of Medical Transporters
  • August 23 – Ride the Wind Day
  • August 24 – International Strange Music Day
  • August 28 – Bow Tie Day
  • August 30 – Slinky Day


Celebrate Appropriately!




In 2008, John and I went on our first Caribbean cruise. The ship stopped at Key West and we decided to go to the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. We enjoyed walking the paths of the enclosed habitat and seeing hundreds of butterflies up close. Here is the link to their website: https://www.keywestbutterfly.com/

They also have a live webcam so you can enjoy watching the butterflies, too. Key West Butterflies


Want to see more butterflies? This link to the butterfly webcam at the Melbourne, Australia Zoo is wonderful: Live Cam: Butterflies at the Melbourne Zoo


In my Book Share section, I told you about Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs by Pam Muñoz Ryan. Watch this incredible PBS video of millions of monarch butterflies waking from their winter sleep in Mexico: Monarch Butterflies Awaken




Now that you are inspired by watching all those butterflies, here are some websites with coloring pages of butterflies for you to print and enjoy:

Super Coloring has pictures you can print out or color online: Super Coloring Butterflies

Homemade Gifts Made Easy has pictures for kids and adults: Homemade Crafts Made Easy Butterflies


And here are links to some butterfly craft sites:

The Spruce Crafts has projects for kids: The Spruce Crafts Butterflies

The Relaxed Homeschool also has crafts for kids: The Relaxed Homeschool Butterflies

Felt Magnet has butterfly crafts for kids and aduts: Felt Magnet Butterflies





That'll do it for this month.


Until next time, remember to amuse your muse!


~ Martha