The spice of a poet’s life

Hi everyone,

One thing I like about writing is the variety of subjects I get to pursue. At the moment I’m working on a piece about Mesopotamia. Yesterday my subject was the kind of animals that live in or visit caves. Last week I wrote a poem using homographs. Tomorrow? Who knows? But I’ll report to work to find out!

By the way, my thanks to my website and blog creator, Kathy Temean, for adding the banner across the top of my daily posts for a while as a reminder of my upcoming book, and my thanks to the book’s artist, Kate Cosgrove, for creating the banner. I checked the status of the new title yesterday, and it’s doing rather well considering that it won’t be out until May 14.

Proof that college pays off…

Hi everyone,

I just checked AND THE BULLFROGS SING on It isn’t due out until May 14 but as of a few minutes before I posted this it ranked as the #1 new release in books about zoology, #75 in books about reptiles and amphibians, #138 in books about environment, and #169 overall in books about zoology.

After earning two degrees in zoology, I think my professors at Drury and Emory would be proud of me!


Hi everyone,

Yesterday’s mail brought an f&g of my next book from Holiday House, AND THE BULLFROGS SING. I’d seen sketches and some finished art via email from my editor, Grace Maccarone, but this is the real thing.

I want to thank my gifted artist, Kate Cosgrove, for her sensitive and realistic portrayal of bullfrogs throughout their life cycle. This one was well worth the wait.

The book makes its debut on May 14 but it already ranks #223 in the category of Reptiles & Amphibians on the strength of pre-orders. You can place your order now at

Where are the reviews?

Hi everyone,

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)

Private Thoughts
of a Praying Mantis
in the Lunchroom

treats . . .

I could catch them
off guard.

I promised
to eat
at school,

But boy oh boy
is this

(c) 2018 David L. Harrison
from CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS (Boyds Mills Press)