To video or not to video

Hi everyone,

This past week I’ve spent time recording myself in three 3-minute promotional videos, one each for NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T; A PLACE TO START A FAMILY; and CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS. I’ve intended to do this for months and wasted time searching in vain for the program I used quite a while ago when Sandy and I made a video of me reciting one of my poems, “Practice.” Jeff finally came to my rescue and determined that my program had gone out of existence and must have been dropped during an update. He installed VSDC Video Editor, which is free and easy to use.

Making promotional videos is hard work, at least for me. I forget to smile. I scratch my nose. You can hear my breathing. It’s awkward holding up a book. I fail to include an important point. The light makes my skin look creepy. Etc. But yesterday I finally got a decent take on the third book so now they’re in the file ready to use.

Next I need to set up a new DropBox account so my publishers can share the videos and we can talk about ways to use them. It’s a whole new world out there baby.

Outstanding Science Trade Book List for A PLACE TO START A FAMILY

Hi everyone,

A PLACE TO START A FAMILY (Charlesbridge, 2018) — about structures animals create in which to start their families — has been chosen for the 2019 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books list. This is my second partnership with Giles Laroche, who also illustrated 2017’s NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T, also Charlesbridge. Both were edited by Karen Boss who told me that this year five Charlesbridge titles made it on the list.

I’m delighted to see A PLACE TO START A FAMILY recognized by science teachers. PIRATES was honored by VOYA, NOW YOU SEE THEM was voted best children’s nonfiction book of 2017 by Society of Midland Authors, and now A PLACE TO START is being honored. All three books are science-based poetry so I’m especially happy about that.

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!


NCTE schedule

Hi everyone,

Sandy Asher would like for you know about an event coming up that might be of interest to you. Here’s the scoop. https://epa.scbwi.org/events/poetry-day-in-lancaster-pa . I know Sandy (and who doesn’t) so we know this will be a great event or she wouldn’t be involved in it. If you have questions, contact Lindsay Bandy lkbandy84@yahoo.com

On other matters, my schedule is now in place for NCTE this fall in St. Louis. On Friday, November 17, Mary Jo Fresch and I will make a one hour fifteen minute presentation about how to prepare students to research their subject before writing about it. Immediately following, we’ll sign our new Scholastic book, which will be out just in time for the conference, 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR WRITING SUCCESS. Here’s a look at the cover.
7 Keys_cov_tf-rev
On Saturday I’ll sign copies of NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T at the Charlesbridge booth from 11:00 – 12:00 then go to the Authors’ Luncheon from 12:30 – 2:15. I’m not speaking at that event but I’ll be at a sponsored table (Thanks Charlesbridge!) with free books for ticketed guests who join me for lunch. NOW YOU SEE THEM is one of NCTE’s picks this year for Notable Books of Poetry for Children. My next title with Charlesbridge, A PLACE TO START A FAMILY, won’t be out yet but promotional pieces will be available. The pub date is January 6.

Young praying mantis

Hi everyone,

Changing the subject from recent days, here’s a little character I took as it slowly made its way down the outside door facing when we were sitting on the patio last night. I’ve turned the picture sideways to show it off better. Here’s a poem to go with it. Not a perfect fit but maybe it will do.

Praying Mantis

If I could roar
Like a dinosaur,
I wouldn’t have to
Hang on plants,
Putting up
With pesky ants.

If I could run
Like a dinosaur,
I wouldn’t have to
Sit so still,
I’d lunge and leap
To get my fill.

But I can’t roar
Like a dinosaur,
Cannot gallop
After prey,
I have to wait
If it takes all day.

(c) David L. Harrison
Reprinted from Now You See Them,
Now You Don’t. From Charlesbridge.