Sherrill S. Cannon is a former teacher and grandmother of ten, and the author of nine published rhymed children's stories which have received forty-eight National and International awards. Her first book of poetry has just been released. She is also a playwright with seven published plays for elementary school children, which have been performed internationally in over 20 countries. Most of her books try to teach something, like good manners and caring for others. Married for 57 years, she and her spouse are now retired, and travel in their RV from coast to coast each year to spend time with their children and grandchildren.
Welcome to my blog, Sherrill. I love your children’s books because they rhyme and that makes it fun to read. Please tell us about Santa’s Birthday Gift.
Santa's Birthday Gift is an attempt to include Santa in the meaning of Christmas. One reviewer who critiqued this book wrote: “What a cute story! I know there are many stories about how Santa came into the picture, but this is a delightful idea behind the gifts at Christmas.” The story is best for ages 3-10, to be read to children who still believe in Santa! This book received a 2011 National Indie Excellence Finalist Award, and a 2011 Readers Favorite Silver Medal.
Where did you get your inspiration for this story?
When my granddaughter was 3 years old, I read her the story of the Nativity. When I finished, she looked at me and asked, "But where’s Santa?" That night, the entire story came to me in a dream - and when I sat down to write it, the words just flowed...with ideas I had not even thought about before! How do reindeer fly, why does Santa wear a red suit, where do all the presents come from? I know that God blessed me by allowing me to write this story - and I hope that its message will be shared with as many children as possible. Santa's Birthday Gift to Jesus was his promise to bring presents at Christmastime each year, to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. "He remembers his promise in a wonderful way...He gives Christmas gifts for the Christ Child's birthday."
Could you please give us a few lines from your book?
And kneeling before Him, with a sack full of toys,
He offered his heart to this dearest of boys.
He leaned toward the Christ child and blew Him a kiss
And promised to Jesus what would be his gift:
Each year on Christ’s birthday, he’d deliver his toys
To all children everywhere, all girls and boys.”
That was a perfect example from your book. I loved it. You also have a book of poetry called A Penny For Your Thoughts. I really like the cover. Will you please tell us more about this book?
As a Valentine, I have always been preoccupied with love in all its many forms, and I have also found great joy in writing poetry. As a teacher, I used poetry to help counsel many troubled teens and friends, and have continued this pattern throughout the years. A Penny For Your Thoughts combines all my loves into a book full of feelings. There are three sections: Heads, Spinning, and Tails… (Love & Loss: Coin Toss?) The poems are a variety of forms, including free verse, blank verse, haiku, sonnets, and some are just ways to play with words…like this one:
Words, words, words, words -
Fill my mind like a flock of birds:
Flying, dipping, soaring, twirling,
Keeping my mind always whirling;
Singing, chirping in my heart,
Helping all my feelings start.
Bound within my heart they rage -
Gliding, diving in a cage;
Winging, darting everywhere,
For there is no way to share.
Until, finally, my heart is loosed…
I put them on a page to roost.
This one captures a little of the longing for love and community that many of us feel:
I know I'm loved, but still I'm insecure...
My longing heart cries out for something more -
And I don't know just what I'm searching for,
For what it is, I'm still not very sure:
A perfect love, that's strong yet sweet and pure?
A love to make my thoughts and feelings soar?
A love that satisfies, deep in my core,
That I can trust forever to endure?
All this I have, and yet my heart still longs
For something deeper - that may never be...
How can my heart find out just what belongs
Within that empty space inside of me,
When even I cannot identify
The longing that still makes me want to cry?
That was beautiful, Sherrill. Where is your website so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?
Thank you for this interview, Sherrill. You are a very special poet who shares your talents with children around the world. I hope my readers will check out your books.