We love some Mooseclumps at my house. That's the book of clever, funny, thought-provoking, witty and sometimes just plain silly poems for kids written by Ryan Bliss, a Cary dad and lawyer by day.
I featured Bliss on Go Ask Mom back in June 2012 when Mooseclumps was just an online publication. Bliss' son is the one who inspired him to put together a book of his poems and drawings, which might remind you a bit of Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky. Bliss has been making up poems for his son since he was born.
Bliss quickly built an online following as he regularly published new poems on his website. He eventually self-published those poems in book form last spring.
And it's been a ride ever since.
"I've been hard at work marketing the book and getting it into as many local bookstores as possible (most recently, Quail Ridge in Raleigh)," he tells me. "I was thrilled to learn that the book was awarded a Silver Medal in the 2013 Readers' Favorite Book Awards as well as a Gold Medal for Children's Books in the 2013 Moonbeam Awards."
In the Readers' Favorite Book Awards, Bliss was pitted against submissions from major publishers such as Random House, Penguin, Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster. The win included an invitation to the Miami International Book Fair this month.
Bliss has some new projects in the works - another poetry book in the same style as Mooseclumps and another children's book that will be completely different.
"I'm sticking to the children's book genre, but I'll be branching out from poetry with this one," he tells me. "It's still in the early stages."
Congratulations, Ryan! And thank you to his son for encouraging him to put it all down on paper!
We're featuring the moms and dad of Go Ask Mom's Made by Mom Gift Guide on weekdays through early December. Check back on Monday for the next feature.