Jakob and the ring around a roses book

Last week I heard from a mother whose 2-year-old son has latched onto his copy of my new book something fierce. I’ve heard a lot of compliments from grownups, but the account of this little boy and the “ring around a roses book” made me feel tingly inside, like the whole project was worth it. His mother, Kitty Flynn writes, “At 26 months, Jakob can recite most of the rhymes from Pocketful of Posies. Not surprising, since he went on a Pocketful binge for a few weeks. That’s the only book he wanted to look at, the only book he wanted read to him.

detail from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

detail from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

“Baa Baa, Black Sheep” was the first one he regaled us with. (there were about 3 days straight when that’s pretty much all he said. Over and over. Really, Really fast).


Next was “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” delivered in his own cadence: “up above the world SO high/ Like a diamond in THE SKY.”


detail from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

detail from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

I’ve lost track of how many he knows. We hear them when he wakes, we hear him them when he’s falling asleep. We read the book during meals, he brings it with him for diaper changes (TMI? Sorry).

from Pocketful of Posies"

from “Pocketful of Posies”

I’ve found him a couple of times sitting quietly (you have no idea how bizarre it is to see him sitting quietly) looking intently at the book. He’ll look up and say, “Reading a book. This a good page.” And I have no doubt that the lightning fast recitations are being soaked up by his 13 month old sister, who is just beginning to say words. I want you to know that your collection has made a real and lasting impression on one language-loving little boy and his family. So, if anyone asks, why do we need another nursery rhyme book, just tell them to come talk to me.”

detail from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

detail from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

Jakob and his family live in the Boston area, so they are planning on visiting the Pocketful of Posies original art exhibit at the Danforth Museum in Framingham. I wish I could be there to see his reaction!

Book supply update: Pocketful of Posies has been selling so well that the publisher and all book distributors have sold out of the first printing. The new print run isn’t scheduled to arrive from Hong Kong until mid-January, so whatever supplies bookstores and online retailers have in stock is it for now. When I first heard about this, I thought about the Cabbage Patch doll craze in the 80’s and imagined customers fighting in stores for their copy of “Posies”! Luckily, my local bookstore, Eight Cousins, planned ahead and stocked up. There are some autographed copies still available at 508.548.5548.

To keep up with new posts, please subscribe to this blog (top right column on the home page). Your contact info will not be sold or shared. If you’d like to see more frequent photos tracking the projects in my studio, please follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram

10 thoughts on “Jakob and the ring around a roses book

  1. So touching. No one deserves the praise AND the sales more than you for this masterpiece! You are an inspiration.

    I am waiting rather impatiently for my copy to arrive.

    PS: Got another for my BF (don’t say a word, its a surprise!).

  2. That is truly the proof of success…..a thumbs-up judgment from a 2 year old. Aren’t you glad his mom shared that with you? Kids don’t flatter….kids just say it like it is. Enjoy those words and actions!!!

  3. Like my grandson, I find your book inspired and astonishing…I don’t repeat the verses, however……
    Suzanne aka Granny

  4. What a wonderful book and to appeal to all ages is a real gift. It was so lovely to hear the story about the little lad, you must be very proud and rightly so!

  5. There is no better feeling for an artist/teacher/musician to know that a creation he or she has made has touched the heart of a child and made a lasting impression. What a wonderful story.

    I would imagine that your work has touched many over a few decades. Congratulations, Salley…even if your work had touched only this one child, you have achieved what every artist dreams about. And it will continue to inspire for generations to come.

  6. How marvelous! What a great little story the mom tells, and delightfully presented with the art in place. I remember as a kid how one just wanted to pluck out things pictured in books and play with them, so any book with a “3-D” aspect to it was extra enticing–I had some version of the Little Match Girl that used photos of dolls and dollhouse stuff, it wasn’t a patch on your work, but still made you want to reach into the book and withdraw things (even though that story is creepy, looking back on it…).

    Congratulations on the second printing!

  7. Just got back from the American Library Association meeting where “Pockets of Rhymes was getting a lot of attention. Don’t know for sure but the book may make it onto the children’s divisions Notable book list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s