A sporting proposition

Hi everyone,

In my mail when we returned was an advance copy of A PLACE TO START A FAMILY, coming out in January from Charlesbridge. I’ve shown you the cover before but here it is again.

Amazon seems to be taking advance orders now so I propose this: If you order a copy, you’ll be qualified to post a review/comment once the book comes out. I’ll wait for 30 days after the official pub date and draw a name from those who post a review, good or bad. I’ll send the one I draw from a hat an autographed book that can be a gift for someone else.

I’ve never tried this before but let’s see how it goes. Enough comments might help sell the book but the pool of names may still be small enough that chances of winning the extra book could be good.

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Still going after thirty-one years and 72 printings

Hi everyone,
Yesterday I checked on an old standby of mine, WAKE UP, SUN! to see how it was getting along on Amazon.com. The book came out in 1986 and according to my most recent royalty statement from Random House it has sold 1,184,498 copies. As of yesterday the stats posted included: Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 38 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,570 in Books, #18 in Farm Animals
#48 in Beginner Readers

WAKE UP, SUN! usually weighs in around 18,000 – 25,000 so I’m delighted to see it gain this much ground. Somebody somewhere must have ordered a bunch at one time. By tomorrow it will probably return to normal but for now it’s fun to watch.

And the bullfrogs sang

Hi everyone,

Yesterday Grace Maccarone sent sketches for my new picture book, AND THE BULLFROGS SANG, being published by Holiday House next year. It’s the first art I’ve seen for the book, which is being illustrated by Kate Cosgrove, and I like it very much. The book is about the life cycle of bullfrogs. I should dedicate it to those lusty singers who sit around the shore of Goose Lake in spring, each trying to outdo its competitors in attracting a mate.

I’ll spend part of today going back over the text to make a few corrections and I also need to write the back matter. I have plenty of notes so that shouldn’t take too long.

My bugs are creeping away

BULLETIN: Congratulations to our friend Mary Nida Smith who just received the following review of her book, HEROES BENEATH THE WAVES. Way to go, Mary Nida. Proud to know you! http://loiaconoliteraryagency.com/al-konetzni-jr-vice-admiral-us-navy-retired-reviews-heroes-beneath-the-waves-submarine-stories-of-the-20th-century-by-mary-nida-smith

Hi everyone,

As I say goodbye to some of my old favorites, here are a couple of poems from BUGS, published by WordSong, 2007, and illustrated with brilliant humor by Rob Shepperson. http://www.robshepperson.com.

My editor for BUGS (as well as PIRATES) was Stephen Roxburgh. Both titles were selected by NCTE as notable books of poetry. Other nice things that happened to BUGS included being chosen for the “Seeing Stories” exhibition at the Westchester Art Center, 2007 and making the New York Public Library’s annual list of “100 Children’s Books for Reading and Sharing,” 2007. In 2014, BUGS was featured (cover on overhead screen, poems read on stage) in the Dayton, Ohio Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Dayton Ballet II concert, under the direction of maestro Patrick Reynolds. They named the concert: BUGS!!

Here’s a picture of the concert hall. It was quite a deal and I was sorry I couldn’t attend. My book was on sale so I could have even signed a few.

Bad Beetles

Beetle hooligans
Under rocks
Wear smelly boots
And dirty socks.

They beat up bugs
And knock them flat,
Cuss and yell
And things like that.

But toads know how
To deal with beetles —
Be they beegs
Or be they leetles –

With one slurp
They gobble them.
“Urp!”

(c) by David L. Harrison

Centipede

Never kiss
The centipede,
Pick him up
Or hug him.

The centipede is
Humorless;
All you’ll do is
Bug him.

In his youth,
The centipede
Never learned
To play,

Never learned to
Hug
Or kiss.
Now he’s
Odd
That way

So never kiss
The centipede.
I say
Not once
But twice,

The centipede’s
A waste of time.
He simply
Isn’t
Nice.

(c) by David L. Harrison

Poems of my journey

Hi everyone,

R.I.P., CONNECTING DOTS, published by Boyds Mills Press, 2004.

NIGHT SONGS

As starry hours slowly sweep
We turn together in our sleep.
Sometimes I wake and watch her there
In rumpled sheets and tangled hair
Pillow tucked beneath her head
Breathing near me on the bed —
A quiet every-night event —
Then drift away again, content.

Outside in dimly shadowed light
Voices thrum away the night
And as they sing their ancient themes
We mingle in each other’s dreams.
Time moves softly, slow and deep,
We turn together in our sleep
Until the morning comes and then
She wakes and life begins again.

(c) by David L. Harrison, all rights reserved.