Tons of puns

Hi everyone,

My thanks to Terry Bond for passing this one along to me:

Q
What does a thesaurus eat for breakfast?
A
A synonym roll.

Terry has been guilty of such wry word play in the past. In my book with Tim Rasinski and Gay Fawcett called PARTNER POEMS FOR BUILDING FLUENCY, you’ll find a poem called “Groanosaurs”. At the time I was working on the poem I shared it with Terry, who promptly doubled the number of puns. The final poem reads like this:

GROANOSAUR TEST, 2 voices
(Terry Bond, who loves puns, wrote half of this poem. DLH)

(teacher)
What do you call a dinosaur in a hurry?
(class)
A dino-scurry.
(teacher)
What do you call a dinosaur in a snowstorm?
(class)
A dino-flurry.
(teacher)
What do you call a dinosaur at a funeral?
(class)
A dino-bury.
(teacher)
What do you call a dinosaur who likes spicy food?
(class)
A dino-curry.
(teacher)
What do you call a dinosaur stuck in tar?
(class)
A dino-tarry.
(teacher)
What do you call a dinosaur digging a hole?
(class)
A dino-quarry.
(teacher)
What do you call a dinosaur pulling a wagon?
(class)
A dino-lorry.
What do you call a dinosaur who takes this test?
(class)
A dino-sorry!

(c) 2009 by David L. Harrison
from PARTNER POEMS FOR BUILDING FLUENCY
Scholastic Teaching Resources

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Why is this man smiling?

Hi everyone,

Ruth Culham kindly snapped me signing at Charlesbridge. That’s part of my wonderful editor, Karen Boss, in the background. So now I can prove that I really was there! Thank you Ruth!

Here’s Tara Welty between Mary Jo Fresch and me showing off our new book with Scholastic. Tara is Editor-in-Chief for Teacher Resources at Scholastic.

Laura Salas was kind enough to share this selfie from NCTE. With Laura (left), Sylvia Vardell, and Sandy around me, you can understand why I’m smiling!


How to get ready to write

Hi everyone,

I spent yesterday and will work again today putting final touches on my part of the presentation Mary Jo Fresch and I are making at NCTE tomorrow. I think we’re in good shape. Mary Jo has created a beautiful set of slides for our PorwerPoint. The main inspiration for this 75-minute talk springs from our just published book, 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR WRITING SUCCESS. We’ll sign copies of the book at the Scholastic booth right after we finish.

We all know the importance of preparation before we begin something. A simple grocery list requires research. Do we need milk? Check the fridge. Soup? Check the pantry. Otherwise you may wind up with three jars of pickles as I have now. Try writing twenty-five words about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity without doing a little homework first. Kids in school spend more than 15,000 hours from K-12 getting ready for life, yet we don’t help them understand the importance of getting to write.

Our book was written to provide practical activities teachers can use to help their students learn what they can do to prepare before they begin writing. And that’s the subject of our presentation. Wish us luck!

First review of A PLACE TO START A FAMILY

Hi everyone,

Today Kirkus publishes its review of my new poetry collection, A PLACE TO START A FAMILY.

A PLACE TO START A FAMILY
Poems About Creatures That Build
Author: David L. Harrison
Illustrator: Giles Laroche

Review Issue Date: December 1, 2017
Online Publish Date: November 13, 2017
Publisher:Charlesbridge
Pages: 32
Price ( Hardcover ): $17.99
Price ( e-book ): $17.99
Publication Date: January 16, 2018
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-1-58089-748-8
ISBN ( e-book ): 978-1-63289-605-6
Category: Poetry

Twelve poems present a variety of animal homes and mate-attracting constructions. Arachnids (trapdoor spider, garden spider), birds (red ovenbird, white stork), fish (stickleback, pufferfish), insects (termite, paper wasp), mammals (star-nosed mole, beaver, prairie dog), and a reptile (the king cobra) are each introduced by way of a double-page spread and a simple two-to-eight stanza poem. In four sections—building underground, on land, in the water, and in the air—animals are shown building webs, nests, food traps, and tunneled homes, along with their mates, eggs, or young. Laroche’s layered, cut-paper illustrations are clear and intriguingly detailed, handsomely supporting the informational content of each poem. Rich colors and varied textures allow this 3-D original artwork to work well in two dimensions. Harrison’s poems employ varied voices, rhythms, and formats; all are memorable and easy to understand. Some are humorous: a busy stickleback male appeals to a potential mother of his family: “The best nest / that’s ever been! / Please, / Ms. Stickleback, / swim in.” Backmatter gives each animal an explanatory paragraph and, for several, a suggestion of books for further exploration. The author’s and illustrator’s own sources are not indicated. A bonus poem and terrific illustration on the last page describe “A different kind of builder,” sun coral, which creates coral reefs by congregating together. A fine synthesis of poetry and science. (Informational picture book/poetry. 5-8)

I hope that portends more nice things in the book’s future. We won’t know much more until the title is released on January 16 so we have several more weeks of waiting.

My thanks again to Karen Boss (Charlesbridge) for her great editing and to Giles Laroche for his wonderful art!

Thanks to those who have already placed orders. Don’t forget my giveaway of a copy to someone who writes a comment on Amazon.com by February 16. https://www.amazon.com/Place-Start-Family-Poems-Creatures/dp/1580897487/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510499536&sr=8-1&keywords=a+place+to+start+a+family&dpID=51MKvVh2JiL&preST=_SX218_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch