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Welcome to the Fox Blog!

Winter Holiday Sale...!

The following titles are on sale through December 12:

 

Applebet: an Abc, hardcover $45.00 /sale price  $35.00

 

Applebet: an Abc, paperback $30.00 /sale price $25.00

 

Father Fox's Christmas Rhymes, hardcover $15.00 /sale $12.00

 

Father Fox's Feast of Songs, hardcover $15.00 /sale price  $12.00

 

Father Fox's Feast of Songs, CD $15.00 /sale price  $12.00

 

Father Fox's Pennyrhymes, hardcover $45.00 /sale $35.00

 

How Brown Mouse Kept Christmas, hardcover $50.00 / $40.00

 

How Brown Mouse Kept Christmas, paperback $30.00 / $25.00 

 

Love's A Sweet, hardcover $15.00 /sale price  $12.00 

 

Mister Toad, hardcover $18.00 /sale price  $12.00

 

Valentine Foxes, paperback $40.00 /sale price  $25.00 

 

Waterfront New York, Images of the 1920s & '30s, 

written & illus. by Aldren A. Watson $35.00 /sale  $25.00

 

1. Prices listed here include shipping by media mail. Additional postage is required for other delivery options.

2. To order, send a check along with a clearly-listed order.
Be sure to indicate if you would like your books signed and/or inscribed, and to whom.

3. Make your check out to Clyde Watson and mail to 55 Three Mile Rd, Etna NH 03750

4. If you also email me, I can reserve your books and start getting your order ready to ship.

Please note that there is a limited number of available copies for some titles.

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NOVEMBER

November comes....

It's like like clockwork: every year in late October or early November, I begin receiving requests to reprint a certain poem -- a poem which is not mine! Said poem (quoted below) was erroneously attributed to me online sometime in 2005 or before, and now appears all over the internet with my name attached, including on Pinterest and Goodreads...I've responded to many who have posted it with this erroneous credit, but new instances continue to crop up. It's a lovely poem and one I would be more than happy to claim as my own -- HOWEVER, it was written by the well-known and well-loved Elizabeth Coatsworth! I am posting this in a desire to make sure that the true author receives credit, and in hopes that eventually the wrong attributions will cease. Additionally, I will offer a reward (TBD) to the first person who can find out and document where and when it was first published.

 

NOVEMBER, by Elizabeth Coatsworth

 

November comes

And November goes,

With the last red berries

And the first white snows.

 
With night coming early,

And dawn coming late,

And ice in the bucket

And frost by the gate.


The fires burn

And the kettles sing,

And earth sinks to rest

Until next spring.

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Father Fox's Feast of Songs: The Musicians

Feast of Songs, Cassette Tape Insert

The image above shows the "J-card" or cassette insert from the first release of Father Fox's Feast of Songs in 1986. With the exception of the song "Oh My Goodness, Oh My Dear" -- which was recorded in Rollins Chapel in Hanover because it features an organ -- the recording was done in our small dining room at 7 Low Road, Hanover NH. The recording is dedicated to Morris Block, who was slated to be our cellist, but died tragically in a boating accident just a few days before.

 

For the recording session, we carried mattresses downstairs to prop up against the windows to block road noise, and the construction crew working on the house next door kindly agreed not to use any noisy equipment that day so that we could record as quietly as possible.

 

The sound effects for the stories that are included on the tape/CD were done at the end of the day, when the musicians and children had all gone home. This left the two recording engineers, plus the percussionist, A. Nonymous -- aka Cindy Crawford and me. The two of us got more and more punchy as we tried out various "strikers" to get a magical sound out of the chimes. After trying pencils, mixing spoons and assorted other items, we found the right tool (a screwdriver!) but by then, due to recurring bursts of uncontrollable laughter, we had to keep starting over. It was really late when we could finally declare the recording "done"...

 

 

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Family Reunion -- Final Photo

Group hug before dispersing...

Here is the Fox Family shortly before setting off on their separate ways -- whether by air, car, piggyback, or on foot. Tired & happy after the celebration, all agree it's been a wonderful interlude -- but each has friends, projects & work waiting back home. Until next time!

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Almost there!

WHEN IS A TAIL...NOT A TAIL?

All will be revealed on Sunday at 2:00 when we celebrate Father Fox's 50th Birthday!

It's not too late to RSVP, or to request an invitation by emailing me or posting here.

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SEPTEMBER 19th...PARTY TIME!

Shh...!! Surprise Party!!

For several weeks now, relatives of Father Fox have been returning to New England from all over the country. Now they're brushing their tails, waxing their whiskers, patching their clothes, and generally sprucing up for the 50th birthday of their patriarch, the venerable FATHER FOX.

 
YOU are hereby invited to join the festivities!

Participants will

...meet the foxes one by one

...hear selected rhymes from Father Fox's Pennyrhymes read by the author and find out the inside story on how particular people inspired those rhymes.

...take part in a Q & A for which questions can be sent in ahead OR

typed into the Q & A box during the event.

...watch with bated breath as the Foxes pull names out of a hat & announce

Prize Winners in the Birthday Raffle.

 

After a short (5-min) break, interested audience members are invited to return to the screen to share their own Father Fox stories & recollections.

 
When: Sunday September 19th @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Where: Zoom

 
Registration is required: If you didn't already receive a Paperless Post invitation with RSVP option, send me your email address and you will receive one shortly.

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A Laugh For Today

TRAFFIC STOP!

A reader sent me this clipping shortly after Father Fox's Pennyrhymes was published. Somehow I've never been able to throw it out -- it makes me laugh every time I rediscover it!

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Country Bumpkin

Square From A Special Wedding Quilt

 

 

A reader sent me this photo of a quilt square made by a friend for a wedding quilt for one of her girls. How beautifully the creator of this piece has translated an illustration from Father Fox's Pennyrhymes into a sweet and very unique wedding gift! The rhyme goes like this:

 

Country Bumpkin

Pick a pumpkin

Put it in your cart:

For little Jenny

Half-a-penny

Valentine sweetheart.

 

I have no doubt the bride & groom were just as delighted as the two foxes you see here!

For those who haven't got a copy of the book handy for revisiting the illustration that inspired this beautiful stitchery, I'll post it later.

 

 

 

 

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The Fox Family: Another Artist's Version

Fox Family, by Megan Wysocki

In 2019 I received a lovely email from a longtime reader who told me that years before, as a graduate student at the University of Vermont, she had met Wendy during an author visit. 

 

"Right then, I fell in love with your books, especially Father Fox's Pennyrhymes.   I read it (and my signed Wendy's Mother Goose version) to my boys all through their childhoods.   It seems ironic, but I also framed four pages from the book and have hung them in my house since then.  And, I laminated a few pages and have had them as decorations in my classroom for many decades!  So, this year when I decided that I wanted to create some wool foxes, I KNOW that all of the sentimentality attached to my years of being such a fan, came through in every stitch.  I've attached a photo of my version of Father Fox's family for you."

 

Many thanks & much appreciation to Megan Wysocki, creator of the family shown above. She can be contacted via email: mwhomespun@comcast.net

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Foxy Trio

Father & Ma Fox Pose With One of The Little Ones in Another Artist's Rendering

One day in the fall of 1988, I received a phone call from Swietlan "Nick" Kraczyna, newly-appointed Artist-in-Residence at Dartmouth. He and his wife Amy Luckenbach – a master puppeteer and creator of marvelous puppets—had left their home in Florence for the year to live in Hanover while he taught a course in color etching. As long-time fans of Father Fox's Pennyrhymes, they had discovered that I lived in Hanover, looked up our phone number, and called me. This was to be the start of a deep and lasting friendship.

 

Long before we met, Amy had created her own version of the Fox family, remaining as faithful as possible to Wendy's illustrations, down to the last details-even searching out fabrics that matched those worn by the foxes in seen in the book. The next time they came to the States, she brought the fox family along and presented them to me.

 

If you have a copy of the Father Fox's Pennyrhymes, see if you can find the illustrations that inspired the garments these foxes are wearing! Which picture shows the sewing scissors sticking out of Ma Fox's pocket??

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