Things That Make Me Smile No.144: Read-Aloud Picture Books and More BayCon Authors

Brother Billy Bronto's Bygone Blues Band by David Francis Birchman and John O'Brien
If you’ve ever read a book to a child, you’ve probably learned their delight when you give the characters voices or use a narrative voice different from your own. Sometimes that is hard work, and sometimes it flows naturally from the cadence in the story. I recently remembered one of the books I read to my kids when talking to two girls and their father. This book had such a powerful cadence I can still hear the lines echoing in my head. I enjoyed reading the book as much as my kids enjoyed listening to it.

My sons are both grown now, and they don’t remember this book (I asked), but I ended up recommending Brother Billy Bronto’s Bygone Blues Band by David F. Birchman (author) and John O’Brien (illustrator) to a couple of parents and kids. The book combines a blues cadence/beat poetry style with dinosaurs. What’s not to love? In the process, I learned it’s now available in eBook, so decided to share with all of you. We borrowed our copy from the library, and at the time, I believe it was out of print.

Here’s the link to Amazon so you can get a taste of the book in the look-inside, but even without the lines, the title resonates. (It’s not an affiliate link or anything.)

What about you? Do you have any books you’ve read aloud that stick in your head (in a good way) years later? This is only one of several for me. Please share yours in the comments.

Also, I discovered two more bookmarks from this year’s BayCon. I’ve added them to the BayCon authors post, but wanted to give them the same visibility as the rest by including them in a new post.

Sandra Saidak ( was on the happily ever after panel and showed a strong understanding of fairy tales and their history.

Melissa Snark, my husband, and I ended up in a conversation about writing, and I learned she writes urban fantasy, among other things, and so wanted to look up her books (

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3 Responses to Things That Make Me Smile No.144: Read-Aloud Picture Books and More BayCon Authors

  1. jjmcgaffey says:

    Motel of the Mysteries. And a good bit of Dr. Seuss, unsurprisingly. Well, I don’t think I read Motel of the Mysteries aloud, or had it read to me, but it’s a picture book that most definitely sticks in my head.

    • Margaret McGaffey Fisk says:

      I don’t know Motel of the Mysteries, but yes, there are some Seusses among my read alouds, too.

  2. jjmcgaffey says:

    You…don’t…know…OK, I’ll bring it to Worldcon. That’s a gotta-read…

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