When was the last time you saw horses drinking and "smoking drugs"?
At a delightful Houghton Mifflin-sponsored lunch for poet Joyce Sidman yesterday, the conversation at one point turned to the unreliability of customer reviews on Amazon.com. As part of this discussion I shared accounts of the (faux) customer reviews posted for a book called Latawnya, the Naughty Horse, Learns to Say "No" to Drugs. Those of you who followed the links in my June "Almost Naked Animals" post may have then discovered the full text and pictures of Latawnya on the forum I’d originally linked to, but in the past month or so it had become a paid site, meaning you could no longer read the book there for free.
Bless Kristen McLean, executive director of the Association of Booksellers for Children, for coming to the rescue! Having heard me talk about Latawnya and its reviews yesterday, she paid for the pleasure of reading the book and is now making it available to you, free of charge, on her own blog, pixie stix kids pix! Read Kristen’s commentary, follow her link to the complete book, and learn something — be it about drugs or horses or maybe the importance of vetting your to-be-self-published book with some knowledgeable, honest readers before you cough up printing fees.