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.

Young praying mantis

Hi everyone,

Changing the subject from recent days, here’s a little character I took as it slowly made its way down the outside door facing when we were sitting on the patio last night. I’ve turned the picture sideways to show it off better. Here’s a poem to go with it. Not a perfect fit but maybe it will do.

Praying Mantis

If I could roar
Like a dinosaur,
I wouldn’t have to
Hang on plants,
Putting up
With pesky ants.

If I could run
Like a dinosaur,
I wouldn’t have to
Sit so still,
I’d lunge and leap
To get my fill.

But I can’t roar
Like a dinosaur,
Cannot gallop
After prey,
I have to wait
If it takes all day.

(c) David L. Harrison
Reprinted from Now You See Them,
Now You Don’t. From Charlesbridge.

Where red poppies grow

Hi everyone,

I’m supposed to be goo foffing, and in the afternoons I am, but from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. I’m right here plugging away and loving it. Bill Anderson, you’re right. Fun surprises happen to writers. I had one yesterday.

Andrea Montecinos, an elementary school librarian in Georgetown, Texas, wrote to say that Now You See Them Now You Don’t: Poems About Creatures That Hide has been chosen as a nominee for the Georgetown Red Poppy Book Award.

Andrea goes on to say, “The elementary librarians in Georgetown have started a children’s book award that recognizes excellence in children’s literature – the Red Poppy Book Award. This is our first award list, and we are very excited about the first year of reading, promoting, and choosing a winner. We will be announcing the winner of the award in April 2018. We spent a great deal of time going through many, many books, and we felt that your book definitely deserves to be honored by being a candidate for the first ever Red Poppy Book Award. On October 21st we will be hosting our inaugural Red Poppy Book Award Kick-Off Event. We are inviting students, teachers, parents, and community members to the Georgetown Public Library to hear the names of the nominees as well as celebrate them through crafts, activities, and book giveaways.”

I’m very flattered to have a book included on the inaugural list of nominations. My thanks to Andrea and the team of librarians who are working hard to create excitement about books for the children in Georgetown, a city of 63,000 near Austin. Check out their Red Poppy Festival. It’s quite an affair! https://poppy.georgetown.org

No complaints

Hi everyone,

I hope you’ve had a good week. I didn’t get as much written as I’d thought I would but it was still a productive five days and I think I can wind up the long story by the end of next week. That would give me a head start on the new project I mentioned. Plus I got the blue ribbon and received all those clever poems and good wishes. My thanks to all for that! Sandy worked it out so she could get away to Chicago so it’s on for the award ceremony. I’m very grateful to her for that. I’m finally going to be there for one of these things.

Just won a blue ribbon

Hi everyone,

Once in a while a note comes in that makes me smile and want to whoop and holler. I never enter my work for awards (lazy? cheap?) so I’m especially grateful to Donna Spurlock and her staff at Charlesbridge for doing if for me. You may have seen the notice put up on Facebook yesterday by Karen Boss, my superlative editor at Charlesbridge. In case you didn’t, here it is.

NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T is the winner for the Society of Midland Authors Children’s Nonfiction Book award! http://ow.ly/rNFS30aB8a7

According to the press release from SMA, “The Society, founded in 1915 by a group of authors including Hamlin Garland, Harriet Monroe and Vachel Lindsay, has given out annual awards since 1957. The juried competition is open to authors who live in, were born in, or have strong ties to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin.

Notable winners have included Saul Bellow, Kurt Vonnegut, Studs Terkel, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mike Royko, Jane Smiley, Dempsey Travis, Leon Forrest, William Maxwell, Louise Erdrich, Scott Turow, Alex Kotlowitz, Aleksandar Hemon, Stuart Dybek and Roger Ebert.”

One reason I’m happy is that it’s a book of science-based poetry that won for nonfiction. It’s more evidence for teachers of how poetry can work in their classrooms and hold it’s own against books of prose. When PIRATES came out in 2008, it also was recognized (by VOYA Press) on its Nonfiction Honor List. Both of these titles were well researched so that they can be used in core subject studies.

I haven’t decided yet about flying to Chicago on May 9 to accept the plaque and check at the Awards Banquet. Years ago I didn’t go to NYC to accept my Christopher Award and on another award occasion I stayed home from Chicago. Sandy is encouraging me to go this time. She’ll even go with me. That certainly makes it more enticing.

Meanwhile, if you hear some guy whistling down the street, this might help you understand.