James Yasha Cunningham

May 5, 2018

Welcome to Earth — Here’s Your Wuggie Norple Story

A few decades ago, my friend Scott (may he rest in peace) turned me on to your work. He loved your novels, but one picture book, The Wuggie Norple Story, had a special place in his heart.

I soon bought a copy for myself and thereafter, whenever I was invited to a baby shower, my gift was always a copy of The Wuggie Norple Story. I felt that every child should have be able to grow up with that book. Exploding Poptart!

But then one day, shopping for a baby shower, I was unable to find a copy, so I wrapped up my own copy as a gift. And then after that, I was unable to find any more copies in the city of Seattle. (This was back in the days when there were book stores.) Somehow, it had gone out of print and I cursed myself for not buying a case of them when I had the opportunity.

I wish all your books could stay in print and you probably do, too. But I especially despair that Wuggie Norple may be gone forever and that it will be missing from the lives of future generations of children and the adults reading to them. Why can’t the government step in to right this wrong? Why can’t there be a fresh copy waiting at the maternity ward for each new child appearing on our planet? Laughing Gas Alligator!

Daniel replies:

I've been peripherally involved with the publishing industry for about 50 years. Not deeply or directly involved, I write stuff, they buy rights to it and print books, it's a nice arrangement. But I do not pretend to understand how this business works. Books come out, lots of books, every year, too many books, then some disappear, but do they really? You can't find The Wuggie Norple Story, and nominally it's out of print, but I assure you there are copies, and numbers of copies, and large boxes full of brand-new copies floating around. A jobber in Toronto may have some, or they're lost in a warehouse somewhere, or individual copies are stocked by Cattermole 21st Century Children's Books, or some other specialist dealer, or there are used copies for sale on Ebay. I would tell you more, but then I'd have to continue to think about how business is conducted in our great land, and I don't want to do that.