Books by David L. Harrison

Released: March 1, 2013

"A fresh take on the familiar theme: 'There's no place like home.' (Picture book. 3-7)"
A raccoon couple searches for a new home in this amusing, succinct story with a plot that's short enough for younger preschoolers and comical enough for older kids. Read full book review >
COWBOYS by David L. Harrison
Released: April 1, 2012

"So git along, there, anyone with a mind to share cowboy dreams in romanticized, Old West style. (afterword) (Poetry. 10-12)"
Free-verse cowpoke ruminations on the trail to Abilene, with paintings of long-horned dogies and grizzled riders beneath big skies. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

"The narrative is aided by both photographs and original illustrations that imagine scenes from both the distant past and the field experiences. (glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)"
How and when the Western Hemisphere, particularly North and South America, came to be populated continues to be both mysterious and controversial for scientists. Read full book review >
VACATION by David L. Harrison
Released: May 1, 2009

"Try Mike Thaler's Pig Little (2006) for a wittier day at the poetic beach. (Poetry. 6-10)"
In this slim volume of rather bland poetry, Harrison introduces readers to a boy named Sam and takes them along on his family vacation. Read full book review >
PIRATES by David L. Harrison
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"A section at the end offers additional information on what an average pirate's life would have been like. (bibliography) (Poetry. 8-12)"
Methinks the introduction doth protest too much. Read full book review >
CAVE DETECTIVES by David L. Harrison
Released: June 1, 2007

"Over-designed, under-detailed and without even a mention of the cave's extensive official website, this may excite curiosity about the Riverbluff finds, but isn't likely to satisfy it. (Nonfiction. 10-12)"
The author's strenuous efforts to pump up the excitement aren't particularly successful, but there's enough intrinsic drama to carry readers along in this account of the discovery and early exploration of Missouri's Riverbluff Cave, the oldest found so far in this country with fossil remains. Read full book review >
BUGS by David L. Harrison
Released: March 1, 2007

"Amusing illustrations of the insects in action are done in bold strokes of ink on white pages or in white on black pages with the poems printed in white type, adding a sophisticated flair. (Poetry. 5-10)"
Forty short, rhyming poems about bugs and other crawling creatures are complimented by the choice of a small trim size that suits the diminutive subject matter. Read full book review >
SOUNDS OF RAIN by David L. Harrison
Released: Nov. 1, 2006

"Some of the poems are printed on reproductions of paper torn from a spiral-bound notebook; slapped onto a photographic page that sometimes also holds a snapshot, it's supposed to look like a scrapbook but instead it just hides whatever is behind it. (Poetry. 8-11)"
Despite its good ideas, this poetic tribute to the great rain forest falls flat. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2006

"Boys today will read what boys have always read: good, well-written novels, as Paulsen, Hobbs, Rowling, Jacques, Snicket, Gantos and others know. (contributors and their work) (Anthology. 8-12)"
Now here's a sub-genre that doesn't need to grow. Read full book review >
MOUNTAINS by David L. Harrison
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"An attractive introduction. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)"
How does the fossil of an ocean fish end up on a mountaintop? Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"An acceptable, if uneven, read-aloud candidate. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)"
In short poems arranged for two voices, a dog converses with forest denizens (owl, moth, squirrel) and features (a trail, a brook, a tree): "Woodpecker, / Woodpecker, / what do you see? / Juicy bugs / inside this tree!" Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 2004

"For a stellar autobiography told through poetry, try Lee Bennett Hopkins's Been to Yesterdays (1995). (Poetry. 10-13)"
Harrison relates some of his most memorable moments through poetry, both free verse and rhyming. Read full book review >
EARTHQUAKES by David L. Harrison
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"This entry in the Earthworks series will be tough going for its intended young audience. (Nonfiction. 7-9)"
What is an earthquake? Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"Although there is not much that's original or unique in either the text or the illustrations, it's amusing and entertaining. (Poetry. 6-10)"
A dog wags his tail in the paint and voilà, Donny has a work of art; a wad of bubble gum causes a hysterical disaster; and someone lets the mouse out of its cage. Read full book review >
VOLCANOES by David L. Harrison
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"Curious readers should look elsewhere. (Nonfiction. 7-9)"
A first look at volcanoes by the author of Rivers: Nature's Busy Waterways (p. 412). Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"Brooks's (Sister for Sale, not reviewed, etc.) art tends to be sugary when it comes to Dylan, with his pop eyes and furry feathers, but it also has the spark of narrative animation, making it easy for younger readers to follow. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A case of egg-napping and mistaken identity finds a chicken being raised in the household of an eagle. Read full book review >
RIVERS by David L. Harrison
Released: April 1, 2001

"An adequate introduction to the water cycle for early childhood. (Nonfiction. 6-8)"
Where do rivers come from? Read full book review >
THE ANIMALS' SONG by David L. Harrison
Released: March 1, 1997

"This book, a group of preschoolers, and a rhythm band set form a cacophonous combination with appeal that's loud and clear. (Picture book. 2-6)"
Fans of old-fashioned rhyming books will warm to this perky celebration of sight and sound: ``There was a little girl/With a silver flute,/Toot toot/Tootity toot,/Who puckered her lips/And blew her flute,/Tootity tootity toot.'' Soon she is joined by a little boy with ``a rumity drum,'' a hooty owl, a sleepy ``yippity'' dog, a cow, a pony, a rooster, a pig, bird, goose, lamb, duck, pigeon, and a shy mouse from ``under the sink.'' All together they make a crew that recalls the Bremen town musicians in a noisy, onomatopoeic parade: ``They sang and danced/And skipped along/With a flute and a drum/And the animals' song.'' The parade ends grandly; the girl who started it all is fast asleep in her sunset-drenched bedroom, her toys gathered around her. Read full book review >
A THOUSAND COUSINS by David L. Harrison
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"The collaborators from Somebody Catch My Homework (1993) haven't come up with an original work, but readers awaiting the next Prelutsky or Silverstein can bide their time with this one. (Picture book/poetry. 6-10)"
Poems about family life—``A Thousand Cousins,'' ``Daddy's Snore,'' ``My Baby Uncle,'' etc. Most have punchy endings; each revolves around some gimmick. Read full book review >
WHEN COWS COME HOME by David L. Harrison
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Still, the merry rhyming and the illustrations' blithe abandon may make this an effective storytime diversion. (Picture book. 4-7)"
The author of Somebody Catch My Homework (1990) brings his skillful versifying to a slight, silly tale about a herd of cows straying from their homeward way at day's end (``But if Farmer looks/The other way,/Cows take off/On a holiday!/You never saw/Such cow horseplay...'' Whimsically depicted in airily limned illustrations splashed with sunset-hued watercolors, the errant cows trip a light fantastic while they play tag, square dance, and ``hitch their bikes/To Farmer's sleigh/To pull their babies/As they play.'' They're about to escape out the gate when they spy Farmer and suddenly ``head for home/In a cowlike way'' after all. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 13, 1993

"A winner- -to read aloud, pass around, and chortle over again. (Poetry. 6- 11)"
In his first collection of verse, the author of Little Boy Soup (1990) catches the school scene, from missing the bus on Monday morning to snuggling in with ``This book in bed,/This first FIRST book/I've ever read!'' In the meantime, there are not only challenges (``Does a capital q/That looks like a 2/Make sense to you?'') but emergencies (``I've gottogotothebathroom/The bathroom the bathroom'' has a comically urgent rhythm), rivalries, romances, and a quintessential ``worst boy in the whole class''—``wilder than a billygoat/And meaner than a pig''; school food; an impossible assignment (``But I'm half wild with fright!/You said to write two pages/And get them done tonight!''); there's also the title poem, an amusing tall tale of an excuse. Read full book review >