New review

Hi everyone,

AFTER DARK was just reviewed well in Publishers Weekly. My thanks to my editor, Rebecca Davis, for making me aware of it.

Publishers Weekly—January 21, 2020 issue

After Dark: Poems About Nocturnal Animals
David L. Harrison, illus. by Stephanie Laberis. Wordsong, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62979-717-5
Harrison explores the active nighttime hours of 21 nocturnal species—amphibians, birds, fish, insects, mammals, and reptiles are all accounted for. Scientific facts and lifestyle insights, some slightly veiled, are woven into poetic language in a mix of free verse (“Mama skunk/ knows the story./ Never play/ in an empty street”) and rhyme (“Firefly females/ watch from the grass,/ checking each flash/ as suitors pass”). Warmth and foreboding emanate from the nocturnal creatures as Laberis’s shadowed nightscapes show a hum of quiet—and not so quiet—activity in an otherwise sleepy world: a mother wolf oversees rambunctious pups, cockroaches tackle a plate of noodles, and a hermit crab lays eggs on a moonlit shore. Back matter includes additional (and clarifying) facts about each subject mentioned. An immersive volume of nocturnes for young animal enthusiasts. Ages 5–9. (Feb.)

Blog tour, signing, and presentation plans are coming along and will be announced shortly. For now, back in the wheel.


Hi everyone,

Just got another nice review of the upcoming title with Charlesbridge, A PLACE TO START A FAMILY. Kirkus reviewed it well last week. The new one comes from Publishers Weekly.

In 12 playful rhyming poems, Harrison explores the architectural feats of animals that build homes for themselves on land, in the water, and up in buildings and trees. A white-spotted pufferfish attempts to impress a potential mate (“Tiny sculptor/ thinks grand,/ builds a nest/ out of sand/ forty times/ his own size/ trying to/ attract a prize”), while a red ovenbird spends months creating a domelike dwelling (“How do you know/ to weave/ like that?/ With grass and hair/ and leaves/ like that?”). Laroche’s cut-paper illustrations, created with handpainted papers, lend a real sense of depth and dimension to the creatures’ layered homes of grass, leaves, and other organic material; closing notes discuss each animal in greater detail, and a bonus poem looks at the growth of coral reefs. An inviting introduction to a dozen industrious creatures.
— Publishers Weekly