Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 8, 2018

Book Giveaway: A Place to Start a Family: Poems About Creatures That Build by David L Harrison

David L Harrison has new book, A PLACE TO START A FAMILY: POEMS ABOUT CREATURES THAT BUILD coming out next week. Giles Laroche created the amazing illustrations. Giles was featured on Illustrator Saturday. You should take a look to see how he creates his books using cut paper and paint.

David has agreed to give away a copy to one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.

A Place to Start a Family: Poems About Creatures That Build

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A poetry collection introducing animal architects that build remarkable structures in order to attract a mate and have babies.

Many animals build something–a nest, tunnel, or web–in order to pair up, lay eggs, give birth, and otherwise perpetuate their species. Organized based on where creatures live–underground, in the water, on land, or in the air–twelve poems bring fish, insects, reptiles, mammals, and birds to life. Back matter includes more information about each animal.

“A fine synthesis of poetry and science” — Kirkus Reviews

BOOK’S JOURNEY:

I’ve been observing wild things since I picked up a wounded black snake when I was three. My first story, written for a college course my senior year, described a life or death struggle I’d watched between a wolf spider and a predatory wasp. Two biology degrees later my appreciation for the balance of nature was greatly expanded and fueled a lifetime of watching, reading, and writing about the creatures around us.

When asked if I’d rather write about kids or animals, it’s animals hands down. The complete answer is that I’d rather write about animals for kids. For one thing, writing well about nature is a thoroughly enjoyable product of careful, patient observation. The more we look, the more we learn. The more we know, the better we write, and that works for children as well as for adults.

Twelve years ago I made a list of topics I’ve written about. They filled two pages. There would be many more than that now. A Place to Start a Family is my 93rd published book and five more are on their way this year and next. Anyway, here’s one paragraph from the list: Hippopotamus, monkey, piranha, caiman, stars above the Amazon, fleeing butterfly, couple in dugout canoe, butterflies drinking, trees at night, Indian families in rain forest, myth of ants turning into vines, jungle birds, jungle rain, treetop frog nurseries, fallen tree, dark passage through the jungle, river dolphin, old woman, night sounds, rhythms in the rain forest, gnat, tick, mosquito, fly, spider, flea, mite, goose, turtle, chigger, baboon, friendless man, caterpillar, rooster, missing frog, wizard, sneezing, opossum, mud pies, man on the moon, cursive writing, having to go to the bathroom, fish in frozen pong, bugs under a rug, Harold the Hog, singing pig, mud, pet shop owner, smelly socks, drawing a horse, eating too many tacos, first day of school, getting kissed by girls, thinking about the future, worm, lizard, rat, meter in poetry, memory-based poems, how to revise, how to write stories, the last ice age, substitute teacher, ghost towns, prospector, writing poems.

When my artist pal, Giles Laroche, suggested a book about the kinds of constructions some animals create in which to produce their next generation, I was delighted to become part of the project. We both love our editor, Karen Boss, so with her blessings we set out to make a list of potential subject matter. Over time we picked our featured creatures and arranged them by chief habitat: underground, land, water, and air; thirteen of them, plus 100-word end notes to further describe each one. That’s a lot of material to include in a 32-page book, especially when you get page after luxurious page of Laroche treasures in the bargain!

Our first collaboration, Now You See Them, Now You Don’t, snared a Kirkus starred review, was named by NCTE as a Notable Book of Children’s Poetry, and won best children’s nonfiction book of the year awarded by The Society of Midland Authors. We have high hopes for equal or better success with this new title. Kathy will tell you how you might win a copy.

Kathy, thank you for inviting me to your blog. It’s always a pleasure and an honor.

DAVID’S BIO:

David Harrison has published ninety-two titles that have earned dozens of honors, including the Christopher Award for The Book of Giant Stories.  His work has been translated into twelve languages, anthologized more than one hundred eighty-five times, and appeared in over eighty magazines and professional journals. In Springfield, MO, David Harrison Elementary School is named for him. His poem, “My Book,” is sandblasted into The Children’s Garden sidewalk at the Burton Barr Library in Phoenix, Arizona and painted on a bookmobile in Pueblo, Colorado. David’s poetry inspired Sandy Asher’s popular, award winning school plays, Somebody Catch My Homeworkand Jesse and Grace and has been set to music performed for numerous live audiences. In 2007, the Missouri Librarian Association presented David with its Literacy Award for the body of his work. David holds science degrees from Drury and Emory universities and honorary doctor of letters degrees from Missouri State University and Drury University. He is poet laureate of Drury. David lives with his wife, Sandy, a business owner and retired guidance counselor. He is working on many new books.

http://davidlharrison.com
http://davidlharrison.wordpress.com

GILES’ BIO:

When Giles is not writing and illustrating  his own children’s picture books, Giles enjoys partnering with writers and poets
and creating cut-paper illustrations inspired by their words. Giles first book with David L. Harrison is titled NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T. He has worked with Philemon Sturges on BRIDGES ARE TO CROSS, SACRED PLACES, and DOWN TO THE SEA IN SHIPS and April Jones Prince on WHAT DO WHEELS DO ALL DAY?

Find out more about Giles and see more of his art on his website; http://www.gileslaroche.com “Art for kids and beyond” or at Charlesbridge Publishing’s website; http://www.charlesbridgepublishing.com.

Thank you David for sharing your book and journey with us. It looks like a wonderful mix of poems, educational information, and creative artwork from Giles Laroche. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. The kid loves books with animals, and this looks like the exact kind that he will like!

    Like

  2. Always wonderful to read books introducing children to the world around them and to poetry. So pleased two see the two together.
    Thank you both for sharing how it all came together. -Vicki

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Giles is delightful to work with.

      Like

  3. […] Kathy Temean features A PLACE TO START A FAMILY and offers a free book. Here’s her link. https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/book-giveaway-a-place-to-start-a-family-poems-about-cre… I hope you enjoy the story of how Giles Laroche and I went about creating the new book and signing […]

    Like

  4. What a fabulous book with terrific text and amazing art. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning, Lynne, and thank you. This one was a pleasure to write.

      Like

  5. Illustrated in that way, the pictures really pop! I’d love to share this book with my twin eight-year-old boys who enjoy the animals–and poetry!–they find on their adventures. Thanks for a wonderful post.

    Like

  6. What an amazing idea! And beautifully done; both the text and artwork are spectacular.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much. The idea came from Giles. We went over a lot of lists before we settled on the animals we presented.

      Like

  7. Thanks for the sneak peek at this wonder-filled book! Both text and art will engage kids and help them learn about our natural world in a fun way. Best wishes, David & Giles! (I also retweeted your tweet, Kathy, and posted on FB)

    Like

  8. Very nice book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s very kind of you. Thank you.

      Like

  9. This looks like a beautiful book. Can’t wait to read and view it. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you’ll enjoy it, Sandra. Giles’ illustrations are magnificent.

      Like

  10. Love the idea of “animal architects” — thanks for sharing your work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Paulette. Many animals create amazing structures and they do it the hard way — without hands.

      Like

  11. Very clever use of rhyme.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy, thank you very much. I’m glad you like the variety used in this book.

      Like

  12. Love, love, love everything about this book! Thanks for sharing the backstory of how it came to be 🙂 Ann Magee

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ann. I’m very pleased to have a pair of books now that are illustrated by Giles Laroche. Fingers crossed for others in the future!

      Like

  13. Wonderful way to teach and entertain. Looks lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amy, thank you for your kind words. It helps to have Karen Boss as my editor. She’s terrific!

      Like

  14. I don’t know how you come up with so many books to give away, but this is another winner. Just shared on FB and twitter. thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Carol. For the record, Kathy also created my website and set me up to blog. If you haven’t visited my sites, check them out. I’m delighted with Kathy’s work.

      Like

  15. I love this idea! Perfect for a storytime about home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point, Annette. Home may mean different things to different creatures, but it’s a good place to start!

      Like

  16. A new poetry book from David Harrison is reason to celebrate! Putting this one on my to read list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Buffy! What a nice thing to say! I’m flattered enough to think maybe I’ll write another book! (:>

      Like

  17. Kathy, thank you so much for featuring our new book today. A PLACE TO START A FAMILY will officially be available eight days from now but I’ve started my celebration early. Giles and I have developed a great working relationship that reviewers are beginning to notice.

    Thank you to everyone who has added a comment and shared the news in other ways. It all helps and I’m very grateful.

    Like

  18. Wonderful book and the illustrations feel serene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Patricia. I loved working on this one and could hardly wait to see what Giles would do with it. It was certainly worth the wait!

      Like

  19. What a lovely way to look at animal families that live among us! I have also tweeted about the giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for helping us make more people aware of the new book. So much appreciated!

      Like

  20. Cool illustration technique! The book looks lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. This book looks beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Carleen. If Giles is involved, you can be assured it’s a beautiful book!

      Like

  22. This sounds so great. I’m a wildlife biologist and writer and this seems like a wonderful book for families. I’ve shared to facebook and Twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Nancy. In my college days I thought I might become a parasitologist and work in Africa. Not all plans work out. (:>

      Like

  23. Hi David. As a former Pre-K Director, I’d certainly purchase your new book to help teach. Sounds great! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning, Gay. Thank you for your kind words. So far the reviewers have been quite supportive so I’m encouraged to think this one may be around for a while.

      Like

  24. Love this book! Looks beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for commenting on our newest collaboration. Much appreciated.

      Like

  25. My students in Colorado love David and his works! I can hardly wait to share this new book with them! Thank you, David, for getting kids to love poetry with your words!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And as you know, dear Susan, I love the students in each of your classrooms! Tell everyone hello for me. And hugs to you.

      Like

  26. Can’t wait to read this beautiful blend of science, poetry and art.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Susan. This was a fun book to make. Our thanks to Karen Boss for being such a wonderful editor.

      Like

  27. This looks like a wonderful and important book, congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marcia, thank you for your kind words. I hope our effort lives up to expectations!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I love the art work on this. I can’t wait to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jena. I hope you will enjoy our book.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. David – the illustrations and topic look fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We had fun making it, Lauri. Thank you!

      Like

  30. I’m looking forward to this intriguing book in both words and art about animals and their homes, thanks David, Giles, and Kathy for hosting them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Michelle! We hope you like it!

      Liked by 1 person


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