With an appreciative nod to O’Henry:
The Last Leaf
scythe away leaves
to weave the earth a mourning cloak,
and bony limbs stripped naked
surrender the season.
Outside your pane
I clutch still, dare
to hold the cosmos at bay.
Stay strong, friend,
for another day.
(c) by David L. Harrison
all rights reserved
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
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
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
Wa. I hate putting away the patio things until spring. Each item — planters, little metal frogs, concrete reading elf, chair cushions, wall hangings — has added to the pleasure of warm spring and summer nights spent out under the stars. I refused to cover the tables yet. We might still get lucky enough to bundle up and sit out by the lake again. I also left four pots with geraniums that still have a few blooms, the result of our covering them each night and pulling the sheet away each morning.
The day ended well though. We went to the symphony concert honoring veterans and stopped off for a late bite and nightcap on the way home.
Yesterday was an amber morning here at Goose Lake. The sun came up mellow. There was no wind. Ducks quietly drew lines across the water like they were solving a geometry problem. The breakfast room table became part of the landscape.
I learned that the new edition of SOMETHING ABOUT THE AUTHOR is out. The editor sent me a pdf of my article in it. The book costs $245 so I’m afraid it won’t find its way into many homes!
I spent the morning working on a new story. It stinks, but not as much as it stank when I started. In the afternoon I did a school visit and told the kids my story stinks but it’s only the fourth draft and has a long way to go. My goal today is to make it start smelling better, maybe even good.