Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 25, 2021

Book Giveaway: THE DIRT BOOK by David L Harrison

David L Harrison has a new picture book titled, THE DIRT BOOK, illustrated by Kate Cosgrove and published by Holiday House. It is coming out on June 8th. They have agreed to send a book with one lucky winner living in the US. 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 do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping David, and Kate!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

15 fun and fact-filled poems about soil–what makes it and who lives in it! This book unearths some of the glorious mysteries that lie beneath our feet!

Dirt! It’s made of chipped rocks, rotting plants, decaying animals, fungi, and germs. It’s food for plants and home to animals of all kinds.

15 poems explore the underground lives of earthworms, spiders, ants, chipmunks, and more.

Chipmunk, for such a little squirt
you sure do move a lot of dirt,
you sure do dig your tunnels deep,
you sure do find some nuts to keep,
you sure do know your underground.
Chipmunk, you sure do get around.

Table of Contents–Dirt Recipe At the Roots of Things, Doodlebug: One Way Ride, Trap Door Spider: The Waiting Game, Earthworm: Dirty Work, Ant: City Builder, Grub: Grass Killer, Mouse: Nightfall Calls, Bumblebee: Planning for Spring, Yellow Jacket Wasp: Warning! Warning! Warning!, Mole: Worm Search, Toad: Bedtime, Chipmunk: Busy, Busy, Busy!, Gopher Tortoise: The Innkeeper, And Now We Know, Author Notes

This is David L. Harrison and Kate Cosgrove’s second nature book together after And the Bullfrogs Sing.
This book has been vetted by an expert. It includes back matter and a bibliography.

Spectacular art is oriented for an extra long view to better depict life down deep.

BOOK JOURNEY:

In the fall of 2014, I made a trip to New York City and visited Grace Maccarone in her office at Holiday House Publishing. We talked over a few book ideas and one I suggested that we both liked would be a book of science-based poems about dirt and what lies below the surface. There happened to be an exhibit on soil at the Museum of Natural History so before leaving for home I went to the museum and took notes and pictures. In December, I sent Grace an official proposal that included several poems and sample back notes. She liked it and took it.

I had other work under contract with Holiday House so what I called my “dirt book” had to wait it’s turn. One of the books with a higher priority was And the Bullfrogs Sing. Kate Cosgrove illustrated it beautifully and reviewers praised it when it came out in 2019. You can imagine my delight to be partnered for a second time with Kate to do The Dirt Book!

That’s the story behind the book, but the story behind the story began more than half a century earlier. As a boy I became fascinated with the tantalizing mysteries of a world below the ground we walked on. I could lie on my stomach for hours, dribbling bread crumbs into ant tunnels to entice the tiny inhabitants to come out for my bait. A twig was all I needed to tease the web-coated holes where spiders waited for lunch to blunder by. Under rocks lived whole villages of beetles, worms, centipedes, slugs, and more. In the yard I found holes. What made them? Was something down there, watching me? Now and then a really big tunnel set my imagination ablaze.

In college, I majored in biology and minored in geology. I think it was destined that all these years later I would finally get around to writing a book about a subject that has occupied so much of my time and fed my fascination over a lifetime – the kingdom of dirt. What is it? Why is it? What lives in it? It’s high time to deal with these issues. Albert Einstein once imagined himself traveling through space in an elevator. Nothing wrong with borrowing from a genius. My elevator takes us down through inner space, down where we can never see without a Kate Cosgrove to show us the way.

DAVID’S BIO:

David Harrison has published ninety-four 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 had three new new published books come out in 2020. A picture book titled, RUM PUM PUM written with Jane Yolen. GUIDED PRACTICE FOR READING GROWTH written with Laura Robb and this book EMPOWERING STUDENTS’ KNOWLEDGE of VOCABULARY with Mary Jo Fresch.  He holds two degrees in science and two honorary doctorates of letters (MSU and Drury University). He is poet laureate for Drury University and honorary doctor of letters degrees from Missouri State University and Drury University. He regularly speaks at conferences and visits schools. David lives with his wife, Sandy, a business owner and retired guidance counselor. He is working on many new books.

Website: http://davidlharrison.com
Blog: http://davidlharrison.wordpress.com

KATE’S BIO:

Kate Cosgrove is an illustrator and artist from Michigan. She received a BFA with honors from Michigan State University. Kate’s illustrations have been published in all kinds of print and web media. She has exhibited in galleries and online, with collectors across the United States, Australia, Canada, Colombia, England, France and Switzerland. Cosgrove illustrated ‘Family Album,’ a children’s album by the hit rock band The Verve Pipe. In 2011 she was awarded an Arts Council Individual Artist Grant for her child-friendly art show ‘Animal ArtVenture,’ hosted by the Lansing Art Gallery.

She says of her art, ‘I was born into a family where everyone makes something: art, music, food, clothing, noise, a mess… I found I like to make messes and art at a very early age. I expect to keep doing both until I draw my last breath. I’m a lucky girl.’

David, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. It looks like another great book. I love the creative layout of the book. Perfect for showing what is happening beneath the ground – in the dirt. Once again Kate has filled one of your books with her talented artwork. The two of you have bring out the best in each other. Hope there are more books of the two of you working together. Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. What a fantastic info book! This looks like a fun read! Congratulations on your work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Brenda. The waiting is nearly over at last!

      Like

  2. Kids love David’s poetry books…and so do I! Happy to help spread the word.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Su! I hope you and Danny have finally seen the last of the snow for now. Time for those baby longhorns to get started.

      Like

      • I’ve been seeing some mama pronghorns out on the ridges near our house. That means there are likely some babies nearby!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I bet they’re even better than longhorns! Sigh. How do you edit these things?

        Like

  3. Kathy, thank you so much for featuring THE DIRT BOOK on your wonderful blog today. It’s always an honor to be here. I’m especially happy to be here today with Kate Cosgrove. Way to go, Kate. Another beautiful book, thanks to you. David

    Like

  4. I meant to mention you can see more about today’s post at my own blog at http://davidlharrison.wordpress.com

    Like

  5. What a fun and interesting book. Thanks for sharing, David and Kathy! [Newsletter subscriber.]

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning, Lynne Marie, and thank you for your response. Only a few more days until we finally see the new book in stores and libraries. Can’t wait!

      Like

  6. Thanks Kathy for this beautiful review of David and Kate’s intriguing and richly illustrated new book, hope it reaches many readers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Michelle. I’m glad the book interests you. The art is wonderful and fits my work beautifully. I’m already hoping for another chance to work with Kate before long.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved David Harrison’s other poetry collections, so I’m excited to read this one! (I’m signed up for the emails, too.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Susan, thank you for your kind words about my work. What a lovely way to begin my morning!!

      Like

  8. What a fabulous idea to encourage kids to put down the electronics and get outdoors and dirty! Can’t wait to read this book. Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nancy, you echo my feelings exactly. I never see kids playing outside anymore. They simply have no idea what they’re missing and it makes me sad. They get their facts on a device and think they know everything. How wrong they are.

      Like

  9. What a great idea. I share don Pinterest, Twitter, and FB.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Carol! I’m so glad my editor, Grace Maccarone, allowed me to keep my working title: The Dirt Book.

      Like

  10. What a joy of a book, and what stunning illustrations! This will go on my wishlist. I’m posting on FB and Pinterest.

    Like

  11. I love all of David’s books. I haven’t seen this one yet, but I want to! Thanks for the review and the chance to win. I follow your blog by email.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rosi, how are things with you? I skipped New York last year but plan to get back this fall. I haven’t been back to Honesdale in several years now but remember fondly the friendships, including yours, that began there.

      Like

  12. Congratulations, David! Of course, you know I love your books, and I am anxiously waiting for my copy of The Dirt Book to arrive. I’m looking forward to reading it and sharing your amazing poetry with my grandchildren. Kate’s illustrations are a delight. You make a great pair.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Greetings, dear adopted cousin. I love hearing from you and appreciate very much your sweet words about my poetry. I hope your grandkids enjoy the new book. They are going to love Kate’s wonderful pictures.

      Like

      • Dear cousin, I know the grandkids will love your new book. They are huge fans of yours.

        Like

  13. I really like David’s Dirt Recipe and Kate’s lively illustrations. (https://twitter.com/ManjuBeth/status/1397240802175238163)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Manju, thank you for reading Kathy’s feature of the new book. It was a joy to write and I’m a huge fan of Kate’s artwork. I am SO glad to see this work so close to finally reaching the public.

      Like

  14. What a beautiful pairing of poetry and art! Adding to my TBR list. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning, Jilanne, and thank you for your kind words about the new book. Come on June 8!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. A very cool looking book. I know a couple of kids who would love this. Thanks.
    I’ve tweeted a link to this post: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/1397249551006720000, and shared an image with a link on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.mx/pin/336573772159382672/.
    Thanks again, have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for helping us share our good news, Carl. You are much appreciated.

      Like

  16. How can you resist a picture book about dirt! It sounds amazing! I know several kids and adults who will love this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For sure! I spoke to some classes of young elementary kids yesterday and they all agreed that they want to know more about dirt. So there you have it. The jury’s verdict is in.

      Like

  17. I enjoy nature poetry and as someone who studied soils in college, this book is a must read for me. I’m an email subscriber and shared on social: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570620215294458127

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The vertical orientation really enhances this book. What a great idea! (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, Janet. It wasn’t my idea to go with a vertical layout, but I love it! This way Kate has more room to present her wonderful art as the reader rides that elevator deeper into the dirt.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. This is close to genius: The idea of marrying fascinating facts with fun rhyme and fanciful art on a subject that’s way beneath us. Kids need more dirty books like this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Bill. I’ve been calling it my dirty book since Day One, but I figured I’d better stick with The Dirt Book when it came to actually giving the book a title. I’ve probably said this about past books of poetry but I feel like this is some of my best stuff.

      Like

    • Bill, Haha! very cute!

      Like

  20. Love the art! I like the vertical orientation too.

    I also subscribe to the blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Anita. We’re both fans of Kate. I hope she and I get a chance to go for a third book before long. She’s a delight to work with.

      Like

  21. This sounds wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much. It IS wonderful. At least I think so. (:>

      Like

  22. Great idea. Love the illustration. I posted on FB and Tweeted. Currently I work as a STEM Teacher at the Boys and Girls Club with Economically Disadvantaged Elementary School.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, PJ, and many thanks. Congratulations on the work you do with kids. Maybe some of them will want to know more about dirt. I loved the subject.

      Like

  23. What a fun, new book! The illustrations look wonderful. Congratulations!

    Kathy, I’m on your blog, and have posted to Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for everything!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Nancy. I love how Kate adds value to each poem by how she interprets the scene and brings it to live, down there in the dirt below our feet. We have fun playing together.

      Like

  24. Congratulations, David & Kate! I love poetry books about animals. 😉

    Looks beautiful all the way around, in both words & pictures, so you should be proud!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Greetings my friend. This work started seven years ago, Matt, when you were just a little bitty child. I’m relieved and delighted to see it finally coming to market. Thanks for your good wishes. Now we need to find a home for OUR book!

      Like

  25. Yay! Congrats David! I cannot wait to read this one. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • And I’m eager for you to read it, Jena. It has been a long time coming but at last the pub date is at hand. Whew!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Too awesome! Dirt is fascinating! Love the dirt recipe. Fun, engaging, and informative 🙂 Congratulations, David and Kate!

    I follow by email and I tweeted this post, Kathy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. First teaching kids about the importance of soil is so important and fun poetry is such a great way to do that. And the illustrations in this book are just fantastic. I would love to win a copy but I will get this book even if I don’t win.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Oh, I am a fan of David’s poetry and Kate’s illustrations are simply fabulous! Can’t wait to get my hands on this “dirty” book. Thank you for sharing its origin story! (I’m also an email subscriber.)

    Liked by 1 person

  29. […] in St. Louis. Many of you have already visited Kathy Temean’s blog feature about the book (https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2021/05/25/book-giveaway-the-dirt-book-by-david-l-harrison/#commen…). I’ve written posts for two other guest blog spots that will come along soon. Another […]

    Like

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