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!



Hi everyone,

Today Kirkus publishes its review of my new poetry collection, 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
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

Giving away a book

Hi everyone,

I want to remind you I’ll give away a copy of A PLACE TO START A FAMILY one month after it’s released on January 16. If you order now and leave a comment on Amazon.com between January 16 and February 16, I’ll put your name in a pool and draw one to receive the extra free copy.

Here’s a sample poem from the new book.

White Stork

When high on chimney top you nest,
legend tells us those who dwell
within the house are surely blessed.

How old your nest, no one can tell,
you keep it in such good repair.
Your ancestors placed it well.

With sturdy sticks they built it there,
where now you cast your lucky spell
and raise your baby storks with care.

(C) by David L. Harrison
Charlesbridge Publishing, 2018
reprinted by permission

NCTE, November 17-18, 2017

Hi everyone,

For anyone going to NCTE in St. Louis next month, I hope you’ll come see me.

On Friday, November 17, Mary Jo Fresch and I will give a Scholastic presentation from 12:30 – 1:45 titled “7 keys to writing success: Changing how students research.”

Following that we’ll sign from 1:45 – 2:15 our new book, 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR WRITING SUCCESS at the Scholastic booths.

Saturday from 11:00 – 12:00 I’ll sign A PLACE TO START A FAMILY, my new book from Charlesbridge at their booth.

From 12:30 – 1:45 I’ll sit at my table for the ticketed Authors Luncheon.

Later that day, time to be announced, I’ll sign galleys of CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS, my new picture book of poetry from Boyds Mills Press.

Off to a good start

Hi everyone,

First of all, I have no idea how “Remembering Dr. Bond” managed to become the title when I started this post yesterday. I didn’t put it there. Laura was my biology professor and advisor at Drury University and I have wonderful memories of her. She guided me toward Emory University for my graduate work in parasitology. She also managed to pull strings to get me into a Drury writing class — my one and only as a student there — although I lacked the prerequisites needed for the course. Dr. Bond changed my life in important ways and I have written about her in the past.

But for this post I started to say that I’d just checked A PLACE TO START A FAMILY on Amazon.com and was delighted to see that it’s already ranked 599 in zoology for children. It doesn’t come out until January 16 so I want to thank you for ordering copies early. I hope enough people will order and qualify to post their thoughts about the book that I’ll have a good pool of names from which to draw a winner for the free autographed copy.

In the meantime, let’s see those CAT poems on Word of the Month. I know we have a lot of cat lovers among us so let’s hear from you!