Margo Datz Illustrates A Child’s Magical Night


NIGHTTIDE ON A VINEYARD FARM. Lyric by Patty Schaal, Illustrations by Margot Datz. Vineyard Stories, Edgartown, 2010. $21.95, hardcover.

Sadly, I am no longer a child. Far from it. I may act like one at inappropriate times, but that’s a skill that probably hinders rather than helps write a children’s book review.

But I’ll have at it. Reviewing other people’s artistic creations is far easier than creating one’s own.

Four-Line Lessons in Life, Art from a Linoleum Knife


LIFE LESSON, The Verses of D.A.W., Volume 3. By Daniel Waters. The Indian Hill Press, Martha’s Vineyard, 2010. 35 pages. $15, in paperback.

Honestly, what’s not to love about the verses of Daniel Waters? He takes a passing thought, an offhand observation, a grand world view, and cooks up four or more lines of hilariously insightful poetry.

Cases in point:

Valentine’s Day

“The more you ignore it,

Lovable and Winning Dog Tale Is New Work by Susan Wilson

If there’s such a thing as a literary Rocky, in other words, a writer with a solid professional record, yet missing that big knockout punch that lands him or her the championship, then our Island’s own Susan Wilson is that phenomenon.

Vineyard Bookshelf

HUNDRED-DAY HAUL: 27,000 Miles in 100 Days. By Chris Huff. Vitallight Press. 285 pages. Soft cover, $19.90.

M aybe you know Chris Huff because back in the 90s he mowed your lawn. Or because in that same party-hardy epoch, you and he knocked back some serious drinks at the Lamppost, the Rare Duck and the Ritz. Or you joined the throngs who donated, over the brand new World Wide Web, cash to fund the guy’s road trip throughout the 48 contiguous U.S. states, this madcap laying of rubber to take place in the last hundred days of 1999.

Personal and Political in Playful Pages

But I Wanted a Baby Brother, by Kate Feiffer, illustrated by Diane Goode, Paula Weisman Books, $16.99

Two books from Little Pickle Press by Rana DiOrio, one illustrated by Chris Hill, the other by Chris Blair, both $16.95.

A child’s book works best when it operates on two levels, appealing to both child and parent. All the classics — Wind in the Willows, the Eloise and Madeline sagas, and Winnie the Pooh, accomplish this. But at bottom, the best books in this category impart something for children and grownups to ponder.

Novel Delves Into Seedy Side of Birding

COOLER HEADS. By William Harlan Richter. Small Fry Books, Santa Monica, Calif. 2010. 333 pages. $14.95, softcover.

Magazine by Artists for Artists Helps Get Creative Word Out

“It’s not enough to be a songbird, this world will work you to the bone,” sings musician Dan Waters on Sergeant Sparrow magazine’s new compilation CD. The latest edition of the magazine, just out with the disc included, has taken up the plight of artists working in today’s business-minded creative milieu.

Sergeant Sparrow magazine and its eponymous record label were designed to create space for artists, musicians and writers to show their work regardless whether they have been shown, signed or published professionally.

When Navigating Job Search, Cyberspace Is Essential Stop


Social networking Web sites such as Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have become a part of the equation when it comes to the job hunt. That last statement may serve as yet another source of distress for those looking for work but feeling less than internet savvy. Thankfully, the new book Web 2.0 Job Finder by Brenda Greene and Coleen Byrne gives even the most technologically phobic jobseeker a solid foundation in how best to utilize the internet.

Vineyard Bookshelf

Bright Waters, Shining Tides: > Reflections on a Lifetime of Fishing, paintings and essays by Kib Bramhall, Vineyard Stories, Edgartown, 2011. 96 pages. Hardcover, $29.95.

I know of three painters who are also enviably good writers, all of them Vineyard men by birth or choice.

Mysterious Ways of Sinister Minister

AN UNSPEAKABLE MISSION. By Judith Campbell. Mainly Mystery Press, 2011. 262 pages. $16.95 softcover.