Where are the reviews?

Hi everyone,

Here we are winding down another year and my thoughts are already shifting toward 2019, to seeing old friends again when I speak at South Carolina ILA in February, greeting my lead article about poetry in the Winter issue of Missouri Reader, and holding the first copy of my 96th, due out in spring.

It’s exciting to look ahead, but there’s a risk in it too. I haven’t done an adequate job of promoting the two titles that came out this year and I don’t want to go off into 2019 and leave them behind! A PLACE TO START A FAMILY was recently named to the NSTA list of Outstanding Science Trade Books and CRAWLY SCHOOL was chosen to represent Missouri at the 2018 National Book Fair in Washington, D.C. so the new books are off to a promising start. The reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, etc. have all sung high praise for both titles, but so far neither one has received many online Amazon reviews from readers, and I need to look into that.

If you have read either or both books and haven’t posted your thoughts online, now would be a good time and I would appreciate it very much. Naturally you can order copies if you’re inclined to, but I’m assuming that at least a few who follow my blog already have purchased or checked out copies but have been too busy to think about giving the books a boost.

Here are two sample poems, one from each title:

European White Stork

When high on chimney top you nest,
Legend tells us those who dwell
Within this house are surely blessed.

How old your nest no one can tell,
You keep it in such good repair.
Your ancestors built it well.

Stick by stick they placed it there
Where now you cast your lucky spell
And raise your baby storks with care.
(c) 2018 David L. Harrison
from A PLACE TO START A FAMILY (Charlesbridge)

Private Thoughts
of a Praying Mantis
in the Lunchroom

treats . . .

I could catch them
off guard.

I promised
to eat
at school,

But boy oh boy
is this

(c) 2018 David L. Harrison
from CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS (Boyds Mills Press)

Family Night in Centerview

Hi everyone,

Today I’ll finish pulling my thoughts together for a school family night presentation on Monday evening. I’ll be leaving from Branson that afternoon for the drive to Centerview, Missouri, a small community in western central Missouri between Kansas City and Sedalia.

I haven’t been to Centerview before so I look forward to meeting parents, teachers, and kids there at Crest Ridge School and spending an evening talking about reading and writing. I’ll drive back that night so it will be a good day. I’ll be quite safe because Sandy is going with me.

The arrangements for my visit came through a grant and include an all day visit at the school next year plus a family night and day visit in another community during the 2019-2020 school year.

Poems by L. Neva Harrison

Hi everyone,

While rearranging some files I stopped to read these two poems by my mother. Our family had no idea she wrote poetry until she was in her nineties and casually asked one day if I would like to read her poems.

My sister Jule worked for a printer at the time so she pulled Mom’s poems together and presented everyone in the family with a booklet of poems by L. Neva Harrison. Mom carried her copy in her walker to show friends at Montclair, where she was living then. These two poems are about me. Jule hadn’t come on the scene yet.


Dirty fingerprints
On the icebox door,
Muddy little footprints
Across the kitchen floor,

Sticky drops of jelly,
Scattered cookie crumbs,
Clues to refreshments
Taken on the run,

He may be fighting dragons,
Rounding up a spy,
He may be mighty Superman
Flying through the sky,

Could be he’s a cowboy
Handy with a gun
Keeping cattle rustlers
Always on the run,

Might be he’s outwitting
Giants that he meets,
Maybe he’s a wizard
Performing magic feats,

No time to wash his hands,
No time to wipe his feet,
No time to get a plate,
Only time to eat,

Today’s the same as yesterday
And the day before,
Fingerprints on the icebox,
Footprints on the floor.

(c) 2005 by L. Neva Harrison, all rights reserved


Straw hat,
Cane pole,
Can of bait,
Fishing hole.

Sunny day,
Lazy stream,
Place to rest,
Dream to dream.

Light heart,
Whistle of joy,
Perfect day,
Happy boy.

(c) 2005 by L. Neva Harrison, all rights reserved

Take a bow, Mom. And thanks!

A poem from the past

Hi everyone,

Sarah Howard, Youth and Community Services Manager at the Daniel Boone Regional Library in Columbia, Missouri, is an old friend. The other day she sent me a poem of mine that popped up in one of her files. The subject is the time when I was six years old when I darned near killed myself trying to keep up with my neighbor, Mr. Joe Geiger, in a taco eating contest. I’ve talked about this before, but I don’t remember posting the poem. Here it is. That’s me, by the way, waving to Mom on my first day of school. That was the year of the taco contest.

Thanks, Sarah!