I’ve been blessed with the chance to work with a number of wonderful artists over the years such as Dan Burr, Betsy Lewin, Rob Shepperson, Kate Cosgrove, Julie Bayless, and numerous others. Rob Shepperson was my partner on two books: BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS and VACATION, WE’RE GOING TO THE OCEAN.
One reason it’s fun to work with Rob is that his sense of humor comes through in one drawing after another, each time taking my words and adding something more, something for the reader to smile or giggle over.
BUGS even made it onto the stage of a youth concert orchestra performance in Philadelphia when the evening was dedicated to bugs and poems were read from the book during the performance. In addition to his work on books, Rob’s witty art has appeared in major publications for years. I hope very much to work on another project with Rob one of these days.
But there’s still more to Shepperson’s work than his humorous drawings. He’s an artist with great range and from time to time he makes some of his paintings available on his website. He’s currently offering some discounts on selected pieces of his work, which you can find here: https://www.robshepperson.studio/paintings I can’t show you his work on my blog but you can click on his site and see for yourself. The holidays are coming up.
I’m looking down the list of titles that Boyds Mills just took out of their line. I’m going to miss PIRATES and those wonderful paintings by Dan Burr. Its recognitions included: Kansas State Reading Circle List, 2009; NCTE Notable Poetry Books, 2008; nominated for Cybils Award; VOYA’s Nonfiction Honor List, 2009; Texas Bluebonnet Master Reading List, 2010-2011; Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award Master Reading List, 2011-2012; selected by Missouri Center for the Book to represent Missouri at the National Book Fair in Washington D.C., 2013.
Dan and I introduced PIRATES at Texas Library Association in 2008. We had no idea who the guy dressed like a pirate was. He just appeared and stood in behind us for the picture. The Center for the Book held a reception in Warrensburg for Dan and me. Here’s the link. What a great party that was! http://books.missouri.org/content/david-harrison-and-dan-burr-book-signing I didn’t attend the National Book Fair in Washington, D.C. Sandy said I should have gone. Cheryl Harness did you go the year your book was chosen? I think I heard that more than 100,000 people go to those affairs. Here's a poem from PIRATES, published by Wordsong, 2008, (c) by David L. Harrison, all rights reserved.
WHAT’LL THE KING SAY, CAP’N?
Nice and easy, Cap’n.
Do nothing you’ll regret.
We’re helping ourselves to all your gold
And we’re not finished yet.
I’ll have your pistol, Cap’n.
Your knife will also do.
Ah, those rings are pretty things!
Hand them over too.
What’ll the king say, Cap’n?
Seems you lost his loot!
Seems you lost your pistol, Sir,
Your knife and rings to boot.
What’ll the king say, Cap’n?
Your kindness can’t be matched!
Let’s hope the king’s as kind as you
And leaves your head attached.
I’ve told you about the enormous grass carp that prowl the shallows of Goose Lake and crowd out native fish vying for the same vegetation. My thanks to Dan Burr for showing off the one he recently caught on one of his own outings in Idaho. I’m guessing that ours are approximately the same size. One afternoon I stood on our bank and counted thirteen of them within fifty yards of us, some a few feet away.
If you aren’t familiar with Dan Burr’s work, check out PIRATES and COWBOYS, which we did together. PIRATES went on to be chosen by Missouri Center for the Book to represent Missouri at the National Book Fair in Washington D.C. Dan and I want to do other books together but haven’t come up with the right idea yet.
Sorry I can’t play today. I’m in Texas having a fine time!
This is me the last time I was here. PIRATES had just come out so artist Dan Burr and I were there introducing it. We had no idea who the guy dressed like a pirate was. He just wandered by, muttered “Argh,” and got in the shot.
I was pleased to learn yesterday that COWBOYS has been selected for the South Dakota reading list for the 2014-15 Readers’ Choice books. Copies of the book will be made available in schools across the state so that kids can read titles on the list and vote next March for their favorites.
I’m flattered to have another book on a state reading list and grateful to the individuals who selected COWBOYS for the South Dakota list.
Anyone who is familiar with this book knows about Dan Burr’s wonderful artwork. Here’s a picture of Dan and me signing together when the book came out in 2012. We were at the Texas Library Association conference. Our earlier collaboration, PIRATES, was on the Texas Bluebonnet list so we signed a lot of those too. The guy posing with us happened to wander by and got himself into the picture. Argg! Here’s an interior picture. I think you can tap on it and make the image large enough to read the poem.