Wednesday, August 24, 2016

SAVING THE PEREGRINE FALCON: a Song to Remember

Peregrine Falcon Art
I have been cleaning out old files and came across this wonderful song created by the First Grade Class at Mission Avenue Open School in Sacramento, California in 1993. They had read my book, Saving the Peregine Falcon, used the information to create the song, and then performed it for me when I did an author visit to their school in April 1993. Afterward, they presented me with a copy of the words for the song along with a torn paper art project of a peregrine falcon. I have treasured it for many years.
Here is the song:

Peregrine Falcon

We are strong falcons,
We are strong falcons,
We are mighty, mighty, mighty, mighty, mighty birds!
But we need your help!
We need your help!
We need your help right now!

We are little peeps,
We are little peeps.
We don't like the DDT that's in our mother's meat!
'Cause it breaks our shells,
It breaks our shells,
It breaks our shells apart!

We are scientists, we are here to help.
We are scientists, we are here to help.
We will save you from the DDT!
We'll work together, you will surely see!

Thank you very much!
We were in "double Dutch",
But we're doing better now, we're better, better, now!

CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW
CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW

THANK YOU FOR YOUR BOOK!
WE REALLY TOOK A LOOK!
FIRST GRADE WILL REMEMBER
TO HELP WILDLIFE!

The good news is that peregrine falcons are now (in 2016) no longer on the endangered species list, thanks to no more DDT and the dedicated work of many scientists. My book, Saving the Peregrine Falcon, illustrated with photos by Richard Hewett, is out of print but you may be able to find it in the library.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Review of LIVING FOSSILS in Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

I was pleased to receive this very nice review of my book LIVING FOSSILS: Clues to the Past in the August 3rd issue of Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews.

Living Fossils: Clues to the Past

Caroline Arnold
Illustrator:  Andrew Plant
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 7 to 9
Charlesbridge, 2016   ISBN: 978-1580896917
 Many of us have seen fossils in museums; the trilobites and other insect-like creatures, and the dinosaurs, both small and large. For the most part these animals looking nothing like any animal that is alive today. They went extinct long ago and their very distant modern-day relatives are quite different.

However, there are a few animal species living in the present day that are very similar to their ancient relatives. Their kind survived extinction events and climate change, and they have even survived the assent of mammals. These animals are often called living fossils, and in this book readers will meet a few of these singular creatures.

Perhaps one of the most famous living fossils is the coelacanth. Before the 1930’s scientists thought that this large, marine, lobed-tailed fish had died out sixty-five million years ago. Then a fisherman found a coelacanth in the Indian Ocean and the scientific community went wild speculating about how this animal had survived for so long.

Another species that has remained remarkably unchanged is the horseshoe crab. This animal lived on Earth a hundred million years ago, and it still lives here in the present day.

Many of us will probably never see a live coelacanth or horseshoe crab, but there is one living fossil that most of us are familiar with because they are found all around the world. Two hundred and eighty million years ago large crow-sized dragonflies zipped around marshes preying on smaller insects and other animals. Dragonflies today are a lot smaller, but they still favor environments where there is water, and they are still predators.

Young readers who are interested in fossils and in creatures that lived long ago are going to thoroughly enjoy this book. Readers are shown what six ancient animal species looked like and then they are shown their modern-day counterparts. In addition to telling us about these animals, the text also explains how fossils are formed and how living fossils provide scientists with “clues to the past.”

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Book Review in Grinnell Magazine

I am pleased to have my books reviewed in the summer issue of the Grinnell Magazine on page 15. I studied art and literature at Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, and graduated with a major in Art. An almost complete collection of my books can be found in the alumni section of the college library.
Here's the announcement of my recent books in the Grinnell Magazine:

A Day and Night in the …
Prolific children’s book
author/illustrator Caroline Scheaffer Arnold ’66
has published two series of animal board books that were rewritten for younger readers. From the habitat series: A Day and Night in the Rain Forest, A Day and Night in the Desert, A Day and Night on the Prairie,and A Day and Night in the Forest (Capstone: Picture Window Books, 2015). From the animal series: A Zebra’s World, A Panda’s World, A Polar Bear’s World, and A Penguin’s World (Capstone: Picture Window Books, 2015). Arnold also authored Living Fossils: Clues to the Past, illustrated by Andrew Plant

Note: Books in the Habitat series are available in hardback, paperback and as e-books; the new books in the  animal series are board books, adapted from my earlier series Caroline Arnold's Animals.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

SCBWI SUMMER CONFERENCE 2016, Los Angeles, CA

My Workshop at the 45th Annual SCBWI Summer Conference, Los Angeles, CA
The SCBWI summer conference, held this year in the elegant Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, was fantastic as usual with amazing keynote talks, workshops and more. It was three days of inspiration that will last the whole year. Talks from authors, illustrators, editors and agents were terrific. And I loved the chance to spend time with writer friends both old and new.
Book Sale and Stairway to the Biltmore Bowl
On Sunday morning I conducted a workshop “Creating Eye-Catching Nonfiction for the Very Young” in which I talked about the relationship between text and illustration and how they work together to tell the whole story. My theme was “let the illustrations do the work.” I then showed–briefly–the process I go through when illustrating one of my books using my cut-paper technique. I thank Liz Mertz, SCBWI Regional Advisor from Texas, for introducing me at my workshop and making sure everything ran smoothly.
Some of the many SCBWI nonfiction writers at the Nonfiction Social
An incredible team of SCBWI bloggers kept a running account of conference events.  For a close-up look at all the many events of the three-day conference, I recommend going to the conference blog. Because all the workshops ran concurrently, it was impossible to see everything in person. But by reading the blog you can get highlights of the various presentations. I thank SCBWI blogger (and amazing and prolific author/illustrator) Don Tate for the photos of me at my workshop and at the nonfiction social.
Lin Oliver, our extraordinary leader and co-founder of SCBWI
In addition to listening to the keynote speeches, panels and Golden Kite speeches in the large Biltmore Bowl I attended three excellent workshops: The Picture Book Process with Saho Fuji, art director at Little Brown; Crafting the Narrative Nonfiction Biography with Bonnie Bader, author/editor at Penguin Books; and Facts Meets Feeling: Narrative nonfiction that informs, entertains, moves, and convinces audiences by Melissa Manlove of Chronicle Books. The final event of the conference was the autograph party in the Crystal Ballroom where I signed my books Living Fossils, A Zebra's World and A Day and Night in the Rain Forest.
Book Signing in Crystal Ballroom
I have been going to the SCBWI summer conference since 1977 (then it was just SCBW, no I) and have seen it grow and become better and better. This year more than 900 people attended!  In 1977 I was an unpublished writer. A year later I sold my first book. I credit the SCBWI for helping me to become a successful writer and I am pleased and honored to have had the chance to be a speaker this year at the conference. Who knew 45 years ago, when Lin Oliver and Steve Mooser started the Socity of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, that it would become the largest and most influential organization for children’s book writers and illustrators in the world.
Thank you Lin and Steve!
Chocolate pyramid dessert at Golden Kite Awards Dinner

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

NYPL Recommends: New Nonfiction for Kids

I was delighted to discover my new book, LIVING FOSSILS: Clues to the Past on the list of books recommended by the staff of the New York Public Library, in a blog post NYPL Recommends: New Nonfiction for Kids written by Lynn Lobash, Manager of Reader Services.  In each of six categories–science, biographies, sports, animals, art and other stuff–the library's Best Books for Kids committee has chosen several books.  In addition to my book in the science category, the other two titles are: Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh [Gr. 2 - 4]A beautifully illustrated biography about the first person to successfully map the ocean floor.
and
Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure: A Journey Through Physics by Dr. Dominic Walliman & Ben Newman [Gr. 2 - 5]A cat explains physics and finally I get it!
These and all of the other books recommended by NYPL look equally fascinating.
I am proud that Living Fossils is included in this list!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Living Fossils at the Los Angeles Zoo

Zoo Scape, May-June Issue
My book Living Fossils: Clues to the Past focuses on animals of today that closely resemble their ancestors known from fossils. Did you know that there are many plants that are living fossils too?  Ferns, cycads, ginkgo trees, and the dawn redwood are just a few examples. You can see some of these fascinating  plants at the Los Angeles Zoo and you can read about them in the May-June issue of Zoo Scape, in an article called “Living Fossils”. Zoo Scape is the member newsletter of the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Here's an excerpt:
Ferns are so common (there are more than 11,000 species worldwide) that it's easy to overlook their remarkable history, which stretches back about 400 million years. Ferns predated flowering plants and were the dominant botanical life form during the Carboniferous era 360 to 286 millions years ago when flying insects and reptiles first appeared. 
Take a look around YOUR neighborhood. Chances are that you have some living fossils growing near where you live!
Ferns in my front garden

The Nautilus is a living fossil

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Listen to A ZEBRA'S WORLD on YouTube

I was searching the internet recently and was pleased to discover Kristi Bailey, a kindergarten teacher in Texas, reading A Zebra’s World in the Caroline Arnold’s Animals series on YouTube. I loved the way she introduced the book using a globe to show where she lives and where zebras live.
Here is the description of the video on YouTube.
A kindergarten teacher, Elementary K, reads aloud "A Zebra's World" by author Caroline Arnold. This is a non-fiction text that leads readers through the first year of a plains zebra's life in Africa. The book is a great example of expository writing and has text features of captions and labels. This book is a read aloud in the Journeys Reading Series (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.)