Didn’t win, felt like a winner

Hi everyone,

I slept in this morning. Oh that felt good. Since June is ANT month, I’m posting a poem from THE DIRT BOOK. Hope you don’t mind. By the way, THE DIRT BOOK did not win the state-wide BILL MARTIN, JR. Picture Book vote. I felt honored to be on the list and send my congratulations to the winner,

Beach Toys vs. School Supplies

Author: Mike Ciccotello
Illustrator: Mike Ciccotello
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
© 2021
ISBN: 978-0-37431-4040
A fun-filled tale of summertime, teamwork, and the balance between having fun and buckling down.

Congratulations to Mike!

Now back to THE DIRT BOOK and my ant poem.


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, all rights reserved


Week coming up

Hi everyone,

I look forward to this week. On Tuesday I’ll join CHRIS CRAIG and GALE CLITHERO back at the recording studio in Ellis Hall on the MSU campus.

Portraits from Fall photo days, September 4, 2019. Visual Media/Missouri State University

We’ll listen to the first cuts of the nine poem/arrangements we made the other day, and consider what other elements we might like to add. Options might include additional instrumentation, vocal backup, maybe some visuals… all decisions yet to be made.

On Wednesday I’m to be taped for a podcast hosted by JOE PIZZO, who in 2020 was named National Educator of the Year by the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE). I’ll let you know when I learn when the interview will be released.

On Friday my cousin ALEXIS EGLESTON graduates from high school in Monett and we hope to get over to be in her adoring audience. I admit, this picture was taken a few years ago, but it remains one of my all-time favorites.

Good week? I think so!

A pub date set

Hi everyone,

Yesterday we (TIM RASINSKI, LAURA ROBB, and I) received the good news that our book with Teacher Created Materials — PROMOTE READING GAINS WITH DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION — has now been copyedited and is off to production next week. We should receive typeset pages to review in the first week of June. Pub date is September 27. Whew!

The word for Word of the Month Poetry Challenge for April is . . .

Hi everyone,

I’m back from my vacation. More about that later. For now the important thing is to give you the word for April. FRIENDS was a good word and inspired a number of excellent poems. My thanks to all who participated!

It’s spring. It’s rainy. It’s blowy. Clouds skitter across the sky. So let’s go with CLOUDS for April’s word. What can you do with that one? I’m eager to find out!