A day of mixed emotions

Hi everyone,
Yesterday I attended the final meeting of Reading Roundup, a group that has raised tens of thousands of books for Springfield Public School Libraries over the past eighteen years. We used the last of our funds to support as many librarian requests as we could, said our goodbyes, and that was it. For me it’s the end of thirty-five years of volunteering that has involved a multitude of causes, most of which have been literacy related. The only board I’m still on is the Highlights Foundation.



On a brighter front, Macmillan in India sent me a permission request for a poem of mine called “The Secret.” I was embarrassed that I couldn’t recall writing a poem with that name. I remembered one called “The Purchase of Small Secrets” (from the book of the same name, BMP, 1998) and a story called “The Little Boy’s Secret” (from The Book of Giant Stories, American Heritage Press/McGraw Hill, 1972), but drew a blank of the one requested. I had to ask for the source or first lines. Turns out the poem they like appeared in The Mouse was Out at Recess (BMP, 2003). Last time I was reprinted in India (different publisher), I was paid in rupees so I suppose I’m in for something like that again. Anyway, the poem will appear in a textbook for English readers with a first print run of 10,000 copies.

On the lookout for summer bugs

Hi everyone,

Next on our summer topic suggestions is this one from Jeanne Poland, who sent this entertaining challenge.

“Today a house fly sat on my deck rail and said hello. Jeanne PolandPlease entertain us with some summer bugs. I want kindergarten science on your blog. I’m sure you wrote the poems already.”

Jeanne, here are two I may have posted before. The first is from the book called bugs, poems about creeping things. The second appeared in The Book of Giant Stories. I have many bug poems but kindergarten children might like these. I’ll look for others but in the meantime the floor is open for others to post their own bug poems, including the clever Jeanne herself.

Centipede
David L. Harrison

Never kiss
The centipede,
Pick him up
Or hug him.

The centipede is
Humorless;
All you’ll do is
Bug him.

In his youth,
The centipede
Never learned
To play,

Never learned to
Hug
Or kiss.
Now he’s
Odd
That way

So never kiss
The centipede.
I say
Not once
But twice,

The centipede’s
A waste of time.
He simply
Isn’t
Nice.

The Gnat
David L. Harrison

A careless giant once sat
On top of a very small gnat.
The gnat looked around
And said with a frown,
“That giant has ruined my hat!”

New translation for Giants

Hi everyone,

In my mail yesterday was a copy of THE BOOK OF GIANT STORIES translated into Lithuanian. I had been expecting it and was delighted to see my old stories in another language. I’ve lost track of how many times the book has been translated since it came out in 1972. When GIANTS won the Christopher Award, foreign contracts came quickly and I think a dozen or more countries published it. Some were in English but at least ten or twelve were in other languages.

Individual stories from the book have appeared in numerous anthologies and reading textbooks. The most recent request was from the Phillipines this past summer.

Wishing everyone a good week,

David