From the moment you hold The Dirt Book: Poems About Animals that Live Beneath Our Feet (Holiday House, 2021) in your hands, you realize that this is a unique picture book. After all, how many books do you turn 90 degrees in order to read it? I can only think of one other, Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens, which my (now) adult children enjoyed as kids!
In fact, the award-winning author of The Dirt Book, David L. Harrison, admitted that the brilliant design concept was worked out between his editor and the artist, Kate Cosgrove (scroll down to her October 13th post). "It was a delightful surprise to see the finished book," David said.
If you haven't yet seen this STEM poetry book, you might wonder what I'm so excited about. The reader's experience is enhanced by poems and images that begin at the top of the page and are carried through to the bottom--which shows what is going on in the dirt. And of course, since David is a poet, he uses different types of poetry to highlight these critters.
The book begins with a dirt recipe:
(Parents beware: your children may want to try and duplicate this recipe in your backyard!)
What creatures are found in the dirt?
Readers will meet a doodlebug who creates dirt funnels so that ants slide in and become their lunch; a trap door spider,
and an earthworm who performs dirty work:
earthworm dines on
dirt and germs.
dear wet leaves.
Under our feet are ants that build cities, grubs which kill grass (the immaculate-lawn owner's nemesis!), mice, moles, bees, toads, and... Warning! Warning! Yellow Jacket Wasps.
I love this ending spread with a form of a Tristitia poem:
If you are interested in reading David's inspiration for this book and what he hopes readers will take away from it, please see this interview on Deborah Kalb's blog.
Oh wow! This looks like a stupendous book for kids(even adults)who spend time with their hands in the dirt.
You start the giveaway list, Sue!
I'm in! Bonni email@example.com
Thanks, Bonnie. Im happy to have you visit my blog!
This book is great! As is our local author David Harrison.
I am Amy Jardell director at the Ozarks Literacy Council in Springfield MO. firstname.lastname@example.org We would love a copy to share with our students.
Thanks for stopping by, Amy. I always love new visitors to my blog and I'll put your name in twice!
Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book. I can't wait to read it too.
A new book by David Harrison is always cause for celebration. I have been hearing a lot about this book and can't wait to get my hands on a copy. Thanks for your terrific review.
You're in, Danielle!
Carol, I appreciate the effort and thoughtfulness you put into reviewing my new book. Thank you very much. My thanks go as well to you readers who are leaving your own kind responses. Here's to a great year in 2022!
Thank you, David. I love sharing quality picture books for children. Plus, I learn so much when I do!
This is the book two of my grandchildren would love. Because they love dirt and anything they can find in it. They come to my house and immediately start bringing in grubs and snails and rocks from my yard. Please enter me in the drawing for this one--that I really want to share with them
Thanks so much.
You're in Gwen. If you don't win it--you know the next birthday present to get for them!
Two of my great loves, science, and poetry. I have a grandchild who would treasure this book as well. She's always digging in the dirt and writing, actually, she pretends to teach so her students write.
I love that about your granddaughter!! Your name is in the hat, Gail.
Sounds like a book all of my grands would enjoy! They all love catching all sorts of critters! Thanks for letting have a chance to enter in!
Glad to have you enter, Trish!
The poems and design are so clever. I'd love to have this!
Annettemwhipple at gmail dotcom
Happy to add your name to the list, Annette!
What a neat topic. The art is wonderful. Please enter me in the giveaway! Thank you, Carol.
I thought you'd like this one too, Barbara!
Thanks, Rosi. You're in!
I am a fan of dirt, bugs, and nature in general. This sounds like a great book. Love the artwork too.
Thanks, Jess. I already picked a winner, but I hope you check out the book!
this book is beautifully laid out. What a gift for a young reader!
Thanks, Terri. Unfortunately, I've already picked a winner--but I hope you get to read it and share it with a young reader.
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