Three more books for the littles

Hi everyone,

My friend Deanna Schuler and her son

No one said to stop so here are three other titles that were created with the young ones. Today I’ll start with the most recent one, I WANT AN APPLE, HOW MY BODY WORKS.

A child wants an apple to eat and sets out to get one, eat it, and digest it. What is going on inside her body to make all this possible? This is science in the gentlest way and the illustrations of DAVID CATROW provide a smile on every page.

The quickest book I ever wrote was inspired by a Gary Lawson cartoon about cows in a field. While two stand in a field on third chatting on their hind legs, another stand watch by the road. When a car comes by, they all return to al fours as proper cows should, but when the car passes, they go back to what they were doing. Inspired by the idea of cows doing all sorts of things behind farmer’s back, I spent the rest of an afternoon writing WHEN COWS COME HOME. The delightful art of CHRIS DEMAREST is perfectly for the tale.

The Huffin Puff Express came out in 1974, priced at 29 cents as a Tell-a-Tale Book. It’s still available in a hard cover edition that came later. I checked to see if it still has an Amazon ranking and saw that it was 95,000 among children’s books so that seems pretty good for a 47-year-old book. Here are a few opening lines.T

The Huffin Puff Express is rolling,
Clickety, clickety-clack.
Its wheels are turning round and round,
Rumbling along the track.


Hop to It

Hi everyone,

From Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell comes the good news that HOP TO IT, has made the finals for the Kids Book Choice Awards in the “Ages 8-12: Best Book of Facts” category. The collection features 100 poems by 90 poets.

If you are interested in voting, and getting your name on the list to receive free copies of five books, here’s more information.

Also, please let them know that we’re going to sponsor a #bestbookoffacts giveaway on Twitter (@pomelobooks). 

To have a chance to win a “book club set” of five books, people just need to tweet out something like the following (and tag us @pomelobooks and the #bestbookoffacts hashtag so we know they’ve done it):

—a photo of a note or quote from kids on why they love facts or books of facts;

—a photo of a kid or kids (hidden faces will be fine) pointing to a sign that says: “Facts + books = fun reading” or “We love facts” or “Facts RULE” or some other phrase to show that they value facts and nonfiction books.

On 9/30 Janet and Sylvia will choose winners of the books and notify them via Twitter.

45 poems, 45 days

Hi everyone,

Yesterday when I counted the work days until my deadline in November, I found that there are 45 days (after subtracting time for a river cruise up the Mississippi and a weekend in Kansas City to attend Andrea Boccelli’s performance. 45 poems, 45 days. Seems simple enough. That’s a joke.

My request for some days off next week were denied. Turned out not to be a good time to ask my boss. From now until November 15, if I catch a break here and there, you’ll be the first I tell.

The Dirt Book comes out today

Reminder: At 11:00 CT this morning I’m giving a virtual book talk at Left Bank Books in St. Louis. Joining me will be Kate Cosgrove who illustrated the book, THE DIRT BOOK. All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books’ Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank’s YouTube channel.

Hi everyone,

Today is the publication day for THE DIRT BOOK. To those of you who have already ordered in advance, thank you. Your copies should soon be on the way. If you haven’t ordered yet and have been waiting until it was available, now it is.

This book has a top fold so it opens up and down rather than from side to side to give Kate more room to give the sense of moving down deeper and deeper into the ground. There are fifteen poems, each about a different species that live in the dirt for some part of its life, and for each a back note provides further insight into the subject. For example, here’s the poem about ants.

A thousand ants without a sound

build a city underground,

without light construct halls,

down and down the city sprawls,

without rest tug and toil,

grain by grain remove soil,

without a leader in the gloom

scoop and hollow out each room,

without tools clean and sweep,

build their city strong and deep.

(c) 2021 David L. Harrison, from The Dirt Book, Holiday House

And here is the back note:

If you’ve seen red ants and black ants and think that’s it, think again. Scientists have identified more than 12,000 kinds and believe they’ll find more. Small colonies may have a few hundred members but some are so huge they have more than one million. Like their bee cousins, ant communities rely on queens to lay the eggs and females to do the work. Males are needed for mating with new queens but otherwise don’t do much or live long. Ants like fruit, dead things, and many kinds of human food. That seems fair. In some countries, people eat ants. (c) 2021 David L. Harrison, from The Dirt Book, Holiday House.