On the lookout for summer bugs

Hi everyone,

Next on our summer topic suggestions is this one from Jeanne Poland, who sent this entertaining challenge.

“Today a house fly sat on my deck rail and said hello. Jeanne PolandPlease entertain us with some summer bugs. I want kindergarten science on your blog. I’m sure you wrote the poems already.”

Jeanne, here are two I may have posted before. The first is from the book called bugs, poems about creeping things. The second appeared in The Book of Giant Stories. I have many bug poems but kindergarten children might like these. I’ll look for others but in the meantime the floor is open for others to post their own bug poems, including the clever Jeanne herself.

David L. Harrison

Never kiss
The centipede,
Pick him up
Or hug him.

The centipede is
All you’ll do is
Bug him.

In his youth,
The centipede
Never learned
To play,

Never learned to
Or kiss.
Now he’s
That way

So never kiss
The centipede.
I say
Not once
But twice,

The centipede’s
A waste of time.
He simply

The Gnat
David L. Harrison

A careless giant once sat
On top of a very small gnat.
The gnat looked around
And said with a frown,
“That giant has ruined my hat!”

Giants in German

Hi everyone,

Congratulations to Sylvia Vardell on her new book, THE POETRY TEACHER’S BOOK OF LISTS. I am ordering my copy at once. It sounds like just the thing for anyone with an interest in children’s poetry. Way to go, Sylvia!

My new pleasure is a translation of my book, THE BOOK OF GIANTS, into German. The original book came out in 1972 and was published in the United States by American Heritage Press, in the U.K. by Jonathan Cape, in Canada by McGraw-Hill, and in Italy by Mondadori. When the book won the Christopher Medal, additional translations began to arrive in my mailbox. I tried to keep one of each but I’m not sure I have them all. I see Chinese, Japanese, French, and German on my bookshelf. From here I count fifteen different editions and translations. Trade and book club sales worldwide exceeded 750,000.

McGraw-Hill acquired American Heritage Press in the 70s and there came a time when GIANTS no longer fit into the company’s thrust. I retrieved my rights to the book. After letting it rest for a time I approached Kent Brown at Boyds Mills Press and and he brought back THE BOOK OF GIANT STORIES. It’s now available in paperback. I’m delighted to see international interest in the book continue and this new German translation makes me hope that other countries will rediscover it. Recent queries have come from the Philippenes, Ireland, Iran, and India. Storytellers in Canada, the U.K., and Australia have told stories from the book and at least one of the three stories has been read on the BBC. GIANTS has been featured on educational TV and released many years ago on CD-ROM. I’ve seen it described as classic folklore tales, which makes me smile. After all, I may be classic but I’m not that old!


New translation for Giants

Hi everyone,

In my mail yesterday was a copy of THE BOOK OF GIANT STORIES translated into Lithuanian. I had been expecting it and was delighted to see my old stories in another language. I’ve lost track of how many times the book has been translated since it came out in 1972. When GIANTS won the Christopher Award, foreign contracts came quickly and I think a dozen or more countries published it. Some were in English but at least ten or twelve were in other languages.

Individual stories from the book have appeared in numerous anthologies and reading textbooks. The most recent request was from the Phillipines this past summer.

Wishing everyone a good week,