Haven’t written an original “yellow” poem yet but for now here’s one from a book for Pre-K children I wrote with Mary Jo Fresch for Shell Education called LEARNING THROUGH POETRY. In that book, and four others that accompanied it, I began with a single sound and wrote a poem inspired by it. Here’s the one for yellow. Mary Jo recorded one of her grandsons as he reacted as she read the poem. It’s sensational.
A yak walked into a yoyo store
And yelled, “I want a yoyo!”
“Why do you want a yoyo, Yak?”
Yelled back the yoyo fellow.
”A yoyo’s yummy!” yelled the yak,
“But only if it’s yellow.
Blue ones make my tummy hurt,
Oh yes, they make me bellow.”
And then he gulped a yellow yoyo.
“Yuck!” yelled the fellow.
(c) 2013 David L. Harrison
from Learning Through Poetry (Shell Education)
Here we are winding down another year and my thoughts are already shifting toward 2019, to seeing old friends again when I speak at South Carolina ILA in February, greeting my lead article about poetry in the Winter issue of Missouri Reader, and holding the first copy of my 96th, due out in spring.
It’s exciting to look ahead, but there’s a risk in it too. I haven’t done an adequate job of promoting the two titles that came out this year and I don’t want to go off into 2019 and leave them behind! A PLACE TO START A FAMILY was recently named to the NSTA list of Outstanding Science Trade Books and CRAWLY SCHOOL was chosen to represent Missouri at the 2018 National Book Fair in Washington, D.C. so the new books are off to a promising start. The reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, etc. have all sung high praise for both titles, but so far neither one has received many online Amazon reviews from readers, and I need to look into that.
If you have read either or both books and haven’t posted your thoughts online, now would be a good time and I would appreciate it very much. Naturally you can order copies if you’re inclined to, but I’m assuming that at least a few who follow my blog already have purchased or checked out copies but have been too busy to think about giving the books a boost.
Here are two sample poems, one from each title:
European White Stork
When high on chimney top you nest,
Legend tells us those who dwell
Within this house are surely blessed.
How old your nest no one can tell,
You keep it in such good repair.
Your ancestors built it well.
Stick by stick they placed it there
Where now you cast your lucky spell
And raise your baby storks with care.
(c) 2018 David L. Harrison
from A PLACE TO START A FAMILY (Charlesbridge)
of a Praying Mantis
in the Lunchroom
treats . . .
I could catch them
But boy oh boy
(c) 2018 David L. Harrison
from CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS (Boyds Mills Press)
A PLACE TO START A FAMILY (Charlesbridge, 2018) — about structures animals create in which to start their families — has been chosen for the 2019 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books list. This is my second partnership with Giles Laroche, who also illustrated 2017’s NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T, also Charlesbridge. Both were edited by Karen Boss who told me that this year five Charlesbridge titles made it on the list.
I’m delighted to see A PLACE TO START A FAMILY recognized by science teachers. PIRATES was honored by VOYA, NOW YOU SEE THEM was voted best children’s nonfiction book of 2017 by Society of Midland Authors, and now A PLACE TO START is being honored. All three books are science-based poetry so I’m especially happy about that.
Back from a few days at Table Rock Lake at Branson. The leaves were spectacular as well as the sunsets.
Now it’s back to work. I haven’t started anything new in a while so I’m eager to get back in the groove. Lots of loose ends need tying and I’m behind on correspondence. In the mail was a lovely note from a young miss who loves CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS. She also offered some ideas of her own. That’s the best kind of fan letter.