Poetry reading at Denver book store

Hi everyone,

Early this month LESLIE BULION and I recorded a video moderated by the store’s SOPHIE NOGAR, to be aired at a later date in Denver by the Second Star to the Right Books. That day was yesterday. I heard it go live and thought it went well. It was a pleasure to meet Leslie and partner with her on the presentation. She read from her book, SERENGETI, PLAINS OF GRASS, and I read from THE DIRT BOOK. After our readings, we talked about how we work and why we think poetry is important in the lives of young people. Here’s the video.

What to do today?

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I submitted a proposal for a book that DAN BURR and I want to do. He and I haven’t worked together since I wrote and he illustrated PIRATES (2008) and COWBOYS (2012) for Boyds Mills Press.

PIRATES, especially, received recognition, including Kansas State Reading Circle, NCTE Notable Poetry Book, Nominated for Cybils Award, selected for VOYA’s Nonfiction Honor List, Texas Bluebonnet Master Reading List, Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award Master Reading List, and selected to represent the state of Missouri at the National Book Fair in Washington D.C. I would love to get a new book in the works with Dan.

I also sent a proposal for a book with TIM RASINSKI. We’ve already done the work and leased rights to use it in schools in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Now we’re thinking we might see about getting it published instead of marketing it ourselves.

Also submitted a new story I wrote with JANE YOLEN to a publisher neither of us has worked with before. I need to start thinking about something else I might do for that house.

Jane and I haven’t done anything together since RUM PUM PUM (Holiday House, 2019), which I loved doing.

Also checked signals with KATE COSGROVE about a book we’re interested in doing together. THE DIRT BOOK continues to do well and we love working together.

I think today I’ll work a bit more on the idea to do with Kate. I need to move that one along enough that I can submit it somewhere.

Elsewhere, Tim Rasinski, LYNNE KULICH, and I continue to wait for the readers to report in about the proposal we submitted several weeks ago for a new education book.

LAURA ROBB, Tim Rasinski, and I expect to get a pub date anytime now for a book we’re just completing for Teacher Created Materials. I hope to see that one come out late this year.

The Dirt Book named to Bill Martin, Jr. List

Hi everyone,

Learned yesterday that THE DIRT BOOK has been chosen as one of ten finalists for the BILL MARTIN JR. Award. Thanks to KATE COSGROVE for putting together an announcement.

Children across Kansas will be reading THE DIRT BOOK through this next school year and the grand winner will be announced at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. Got to love that dirt! For more information, here’s a link. https://www.emporia.edu/teachers-college/about-college/honors-awards/bmj-award-home/2023-nominees/

Books to help you spring into nature

Hi everyone,

Kate Cosgrove just discovered a very nice writeup on March 29 about our book on the Children’s Literature Assembly blog. Three books are featured — WONDER WALKERS, written and illustrated by MICHA ARCHER; WHAT’S INSIDE A FLOWER, written and illustrated by RACHEL IGNOTOFSKY; and THE DIRT BOOK, written by DAVID L HARRISON and illustrated by KATE COSGROVE.

I’m grateful to the authors, KATHRYN WILL and RIVER LUSKY. Kathryn is an assistant profess of literacy at University of Maine Farmington and River is a grad student. Here’s the link. https://www.childrensliteratureassembly.org/blog.

The article begins, “As we emerge from a long winter with the lengthening of days to warm the earth, I am drawn to books that get us thinking about nature–the plant and animal life in the world. For this text set we chose three books that leverage nonfiction, poetry, and a picture book to develop content knowledge, build vocabulary, and encourage divergent thinking about the natural world. They invite readers to be curious about nature in both big and small ways. Teachers can easily deepen and extend the texts through a variety of activities, and we have created a few to get you started.”

The Writers Yearbook

NOTE: Yesterday I had the birthday party of a lifetime. David Harrison Elementary principal SHAWN DEWITT, librarian ANGELA KNIGHT, and virtually the whole school worked SO hard to make the day absolutely perfect for me in every way. I’ll have much more to say about all that, plus pictures, as soon as I gather all the material.

Hi everyone,

Last year I joined The Writers Place in Kansas City. I visited there once, years ago, and finally decided to seek membership to the group that describes itself like this: “The Writers Place, located in Kansas City, MO, serves the entire metropolitan area. Its mission is to promote writers, nurture an interest in writing and literature and reach out to wide and diverse audiences.”

I’ve been gone from Kansas City for forty-nine years, but it was my home from 1963-1973 and I still feel a certain kinship for the community. I correspond now and then with a few of my old staff members from Hallmark days and drive up for a weekend on rare occasions.

Each year an editorial committee at Writers Place gathers a collection of contributions from members and publishes an anthology of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. The collection “hosts a rich collage of works by several poets laureate, world-known storytellers and novelists, award-winning authors, and those who are at the beginning of their literary journey.” As a newish member, I submitted a poem from THE DIRT BOOK, “Now We Know,” and am pleased to see it appear in the just-out 2021 publication.

One of these days, maybe this year, I hope to make a trip to Kansas City to meet other members of the Writers Place and perhaps even make a presentation. I’d like that.