The humble possum has long been a staple of the folklore of the southeastern United States. Their preponderance in both urban and rural environments makes for a symbol easily recognized, but while not as universally hated as the mouse or rat, they retain enough of a “gross factor” to keep them out of the home. Adults know that they will eat anything you plant in a garden, and whatever you may put in a trash can, but children often find them irrepressibly cute and imagine them to be cuddly and friendly.
A new project by Grant Maloy Smith works on this premise, a children’s Christmas book called Fly Possum Fly. The plot is spelled out in the subtitle, The Year My Dad’s Possums Really Saved Christmas. That’s right… Rudolph gets sick and Santa improvises with a team of possums to pull the sleigh. The book is set for a September 17 release, in plenty of time for Christmas giving. In addition to the drama inherent in the story, it includes a good many possum facts for readers to learn.
Smith is a singer, songwriter, storyteller, and overall enthusiast for country and roots music with a western flavor. This is his first effort at a children’s book, and he’s written a song with the same name as an accompaniment to the print edition. He recently cut both a bluegrass and a country version with the popular teen artist, Emi Sunshine, set to release the same day as a single.
Miss Emi says that the song is perfect for kids, as it’s fun to sing but also contains some educational value.
“The concept of the song may seem silly, but it’s so clever. It’s informative and funny at the same time. Who knew possums had 50 teeth!”
Pre-orders are available for the book now online, which is illustrated by the author in a humorous and highly colorful style. We’ll have a taste of the single when it hits next month.