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

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A Place to Start a Family

Hi everyone,

This morning I spotted my next book of poetry, A PLACE TO START A FAMILY, posted on Amazon even though it doesn’t come out until January 18, 2018. I’m happy to show you the cover at least. Giles Laroche has done another wonderful job and I think you’ll agree when you see it. Way to go, Giles!

Karen Boss is coming

Hi everyone,
KAREN BOSS headshot
I just received excellent news. Karen Boss, my editor at Charlesbridge, is driving in from Boston to make a special appearance at my poetry workshop in Honesdale. I am delighted! Karen is a wonderful editor and will have a lot to say about the publishing business in general and getting poetry published in particular.

My first book with Karen came out in February this year: NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T.61wO366ugqL__AA160_ Currently we’re wrapping up my part of a second book of poetry, also illustrated by Giles Laroche in his unique style. I’m sure that Karen will have something to say about that when she speaks. She is sweet but tough and knows her stuff. Hey! A couplet!

Karen will arrive on Sunday in time for the kick-off dinner and spend the evening with us. The next day she will speak about the workshop’s theme: how do we get our poetry published? No one person has all the answers but Karen will add significantly to the conversation. Not only that, she’s going to stay with us that day and evening before leaving on Tuesday morning. Here’s her bio.

Karen Boss is an associate editor at Charlesbridge where she works on fiction and nonfiction picture books and middle-grade novels. She holds a MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons College and regularly acts as a mentor for their Writing for Children MFA program. Karen also has an MA in higher education administration and worked at colleges and in the nonprofit sector for the first 15 years of her career. She still works part-time in development at Hyde Square Task Force, a nonprofit that works with at-risk youth in Jamaica Plain. Some authors she’s currently working with are David L. Harrison, Jane Yolen, Nancy Bo Flood, Rich Michelson, and debut author Tami Charles. Her favorite children’s book is The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White, and she thinks that Holes by Louis Sachar is quite possibly the best thing ever written.

I’m grateful to Charlesbridge for loaning us this talented editor, and I’m grateful to Karen Boss for driving the distance twice to join us at The Barn. If you are coming to my Highlights Foundation Workshop, Karen will truly be a highlight! If you are counting, we now have four editors (Mary Colgan, Rebecca Davis, Allison Kane, and Karen Boss), plus an art director, Patrick Greenish. I don’t want to brag, but is this cool or what?

Not sure what’s next but something will come . . .

Hi everyone,
David from 417 Magazine
Last week I finished the novel and completed the first draft of a nonfiction-based story. Giles Laroche is at work illustrating my next book of poetry with Charlesbridgeschool_giles2 and Julie Baylessuntitled is working on my next collection with Boyds Mills. No one has been chosen yet for the one after that. For now at least, those three are out of my hands.

Today I’m supposed to hear from an editor about an educational book proposal but until that comes I’m on my own with a week of few meetings and nothing under contract that requires attention. I don’t have a clue at the moment about how I’ll spend this week, but I can’t wait to get started.

David

Back tomorrow

Hi everyone,

Sorry I can’t play today. I’m in Texas having a fine time!
David and Dan at TLA
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.

More soon.

David