Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 21, 2021


Here is your second chance to win David L Harrison’s 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!


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.


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 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.



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,



  1. So many children ponder about holes in the ground and the dirt flung from it! Thank you for writing Dirt. I’m hoping to dig into it soon.


  2. I’d love to win this book! Kids LOVE David’s books! (and so do I!)


  3. Amazing rhymes, and I could eat these illustrations, dirt and all!


  4. I’ve borrowed this book from the library, and it’s such a wonderful book! I would love to own and share my own copy. It’s a great book! Well done!

    I follow by email and tweeted this post. 🙂


  5. This looks amazing!
    I can’t wait to use it with my Forest School classes!


  6. Oh the poetry! Oh the art! What a wonderful idea for a book! So excited for this!! ❤️


  7. What a wonderful fun book!


  8. Soup and dirt are two of my granddaughter’s favorite things. I would love to win either book. Thank you!


  9. Spectacular vertical panoramas?! I’m in:-) What an amazing book about what lies beneath. I recently wrote a NF book about underground animals for an educational publisher, so it will be fun to compare the creatures. Kathy, I follow your blog.


  10. This looks like such a cool book! Love the art work. Congratulations!

    Kathy, I’ve also posted to Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for all you do! Happy holidays!


  11. Sounds great, kids will love all the creatures and other things they can find right under their feet. I’d love to have a copy.
    I’ve tweeted:, and shared:
    I also follow daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks again, have a great holiday everyone!!


  12. It looks beautiful and I love the concept having raised girls who loved digging in the dirt!


  13. Such a fun way to learn about dirt!! What a great book!


  14. I love the idea of this book and can’t wait to read it. I took a soils class in college and the field work was so much fun. I’m an email subscriber and shared:


  15. Any new book by David Harrison is cause for celebration. I am really looking forward to reading it. I subscribe to your blog. Thanks for the post.


  16. Those illustrations are stunning! And the poems provide a fresh way of looking at dirt. This seems like a very original book. (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)


  17. I love when I see new poetry collection picture books come out on the market, as this is where my heart lives. Thank you for this one. Can’t wait to read it! Kathy, I also shared on Twitter and tagged you. 🙂


  18. I love the rhythm and flow/meter of the words, so far! Feeling it. Dirt is important. Messes are cool (right Kate Cosgrove?) and often involve discovery. Just clean up when done😉. So many dirt facts to learn and remember! As a fan of dirt, I would like throw my mud pie into the drawing. I will also tweet this blog post. Thanks for writing a needed book David L. Harrison! Give dirt its due! Stay well and happy new year!✌🏼💖🎶🎨📚🌻


  19. Here is Twitter Link….


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