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

Tender,
buggy
treats . . .
Sigh.

I could catch them
off guard.

I promised
not
to eat
at school,

But boy oh boy
is this
hard!

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

Outstanding Science Trade Book List for A PLACE TO START A FAMILY

Hi everyone,

A PLACE TO START A FAMILY (Charlesbridge, 2018) — about structures animals create in which to start their families — has been chosen for the 2019 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books list. This is my second partnership with Giles Laroche, who also illustrated 2017’s NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T, also Charlesbridge. Both were edited by Karen Boss who told me that this year five Charlesbridge titles made it on the list.

I’m delighted to see A PLACE TO START A FAMILY recognized by science teachers. PIRATES was honored by VOYA, NOW YOU SEE THEM was voted best children’s nonfiction book of 2017 by Society of Midland Authors, and now A PLACE TO START is being honored. All three books are science-based poetry so I’m especially happy about that.

New translation

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I received my copies of a new Chinese translation of A PLACE TO START A FAMILY. I’m delighted to add this one to the Korean translation that came out recently. I’m always happy to see my work in a language I can’t read, knowing that there are many others who can.

And I was right

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I felt like something good was going to happen, and it did. I received copies of a Chinese edition of A PLACE TO START A FAMILY. It’s issued by Beijing DangDang Kewen E-Commerce Co., Ltd. I don’t think I’ve ever been in Chinese, unless it was THE BOOK OF GIANTS STORIES long ago. Got a nice advance both in hardback and paper, and I had no idea this was in the works.

My gratitude again to my great editor, Karen Boss, and my partner for the book, the wonderful artist, Giles Laroche. We made a good team and enjoyed the process. I hope this is the first of many translations!

Coming tonight?

BULLETIN: School Library Journal just published a review and classroom suggestions for A PLACE TO START A FAMILY. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/david.l.harrison.14/posts/10212437989244320

      Hi everyone,

      If you live in the Springfield area, I’d love to see you at my program this evening at 7:00 at The Library Center (4653 S. Campbell Ave., 417-882-0714). Adults and children are invited to the free presentation. Barnes & Noble will provide several of my titles to sell outside the door and I’ll also have a drawing and give away four books.

      I’ll introduce three recent titles, discuss some of their back stories, read from each book, and respond to questions. Aspiring children’s writers are welcome to come and bring your questions. College students with an interest in children’s literature should find the event useful. Parents and grandparents, please come and feel welcome to bring the young folks in your family. Teachers and librarians, I’ll suggest ways in which these books can be helpful in your school and classrooms. I’ll try to provide something for everyone.

      Couple of samples:

      Horsefly Grade Card:
      Doesn’t Play Well with Others

      In my heart
      I know of course
      it isn’t nice
      to bite a horse.

      They’ve tried to teach me
      gentleness
      but after school
      as you can guess

      Even though
      I feel remorse
      I must go out
      and bite a horse.

      –(c) 2018 David L. Harrison
      from CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS

      Ovenbird

      How do you hide
      your nest
      like that?
      Protect your chicks
      inside
      like that?
      How do you know
      to weave
      like that?
      With grass and hair
      and leaves
      like that?
      Make it round
      with twigs
      like that?
      On the ground
      or limb
      like that?
      We’re so glad
      you sing
      like that.
      And make the forest
      ring
      like that!

      –(c) 2018 David L. Harrison
      from A PLACE TO START A FAMILY

      Hope to see you there!