Wednesday, December 11, 2019

THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE: Where Do Book Ideas Come From?

I never know where the idea for my next book is going to come from. In this case, it was a chance encounter as I browsed a volume of my encyclopedia.

I saw the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco for the first time more than fifty years ago, when I helped my parents move from their home in Minneapolis to Marin County in Northern California. The bridge's enormous orange towers and soaring cables suspended over the deep water of the channel below made a big impression on me–it was both a thing of beauty and a triumph of engineering. My fascination with the bridge grew as I made regular visits to my parents.
In 1985, nearly twenty-five years after my first acquaintance with the bridge I was at home in Los Angeles working on a new book. While I was looking up a fact for that book in the “G” volume of the encyclopedia, I happened upon an article about the Golden Gate Bridge. I started reading and discovered that the construction of the bridge had been completed in 1937. I realized that in two years the bridge would be turning fifty, and most likely there would be a big celebration. It was the perfect time to write a book about the bridge. So I did. That book, THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE, was published by Franklin Watts in 1986, just in time to go into school and public libraries so kids could learn about the famous bridge that connects San Francisco to Marin County and northern California.The book is now long out of print, but may be in some libraries.

The Golden Gate Bridge celebrated another milestone, its 75th birthday, in 2012. You can read about it at my travel blog, The Intrepid Tourist. In just eighteen more years, the bridge will be 100!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

TRAPPED IN TAR: Fossils from the Ice Age–the Perfect Holiday Gift for Your Young Fossil Lover

Ice Age fossils of mammoths, sabertooth cats, dire wolves and more, discovered in the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles and displayed in the George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries. TRAPPED IN TAR: Fossils from the Ice Age tells the story behind the fossils and about life in the Ice Age when these animals were alive and examines the work of the paleontologists who excavate and study them. During the Ice Age, over 400 different kinds of animals lived on the grassy plain that is now Los Angeles. Then, as now, pools of tar sometimes seeped to the surface of the earth. Unwary animals stepped into the sticky tar and were trapped. There they died. Gradually their bones sank to the bottom of the tar seep. In time, the tar penetrated the bones and preserved them. This book tells the story of the Rancho La Brea fossils and examines the work of the paleontologists who excavate and study them at the George C. Page Museum in Los Angeles, California.

TRAPPED IN TAR is available at Amazon for $9.95 (paperback.) It is the perfect introduction to a trip to the La Brea Tar Pits or as a vicarious visit from afar. It is also available as an e-book.


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Hope you will have a fun and yummy Turkey Day!
The illustration is from one of my first cut-paper art books Who Has More? Who Has Fewer? On one side of this folding book for tots, children count the eggs of seven kinds of birds. On the reverse side, the chicks have hatched!


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

ANIMAL PRINTS AND CARDS--Perfect for Holiday Giving

My prints and cards are still available from my Etsy site (www.etsy.com/shop/CarolineArnoldArt) and make an ideal gift for the holiday season. Each image is a high-quality giclee print of one of the cut-paper art illustrations from my Day and Night books or my Animal World series.
Take a look and check it out!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

AAAS/SUBARU Children's Science Picture Book Award--Short List

I am happy to learn that BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6 is on the short list for the AAAS/Subaru Children's Science Picture Book Award short list.

AAAS and Subaru are proud to announce the finalists for the 2020 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books in the Children’s Science Picture Book category. The Prize celebrates outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults and is meant to encourage the writing and publishing of high-quality science books for all ages. Longlists for all four categories were announced in October.
The 2020 winner will be selected from among the following finalists.
  • Butterflies in Room 6: See How They Grow, by Caroline Arnold. Charlesbridge, 2019.
    Follow a classroom of real kindergartners as they participate in a popular activity: raising butterflies. Astonishing photographs show the life cycle of the painted lady butterfly, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult. Engaging text captures the children’s wonder and explains the science behind metamorphosis.
  • Follow That Bee! A First Book of Bees in the City, by Scot Ritchie. Kids Can Press, 2019.
    This playful book mixes narration, facts and appealing illustrations to introduce young children to why the world needs bees, and how people can help them thrive. The book encourages children to look closer at the natural world around them, including in cities, and raises their awareness about how each person can do something to help the environment.
  • Moth: An Evolution Story, by Isabel Thomas. Illustrated by Daniel Egnéus. Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2019.
    A clever picture book text about the extraordinary way in which animals have evolved, intertwined with the complication of human intervention. This remarkable retelling of the story of the peppered moth is the perfect introduction to natural selection and evolution for children.
  • When Sue Found Sue: Sue Hendrickson Discovers Her T. Rex, by Toni Buzzeo. Illustrated by Diana Sudyka. Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2019.
    From a very young age, Sue Hendrickson was meant to find things: lost coins, perfume bottles, even hidden treasure. Her endless curiosity eventually led to her career in diving and paleontology, where she would continue to find things big and small. In 1990, at a dig in South Dakota, Sue made her biggest discovery to date: Sue the T. rex, the largest and most complete T. rex skeleton ever unearthed.
AAAS will provide resources based the 2020 finalists, and once again the books will be offered to schools across the country as part of the Subaru Loves Learning initiative. Through this partnership between AAAS and Subaru, more than 91,000 books were donated in 2019.
Winners will be announced in January and awarded at the 2020 AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle, W.A., February 13-16, 2020.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

WRITING and ART PROJECTS REINFORCE READING: Preparing for an Author Visit

Cut-paper sloths and penguins circled the space for my slide presentation.
I am always impressed by the wonderful activities teachers and librarians do with their students as they prepare for an author visit. By the time the children come to my presentation they are excited to meet me and love hearing me talk about books they have already become familiar with.
Children listed their favorite penguin facts from my book A Penguin's World. Cotton balls decorate their cut out penguins.
On my recent trip to northern California for the Humboldt County Children’s Author Festival, I visited Arcata Christian School (K-8.) Every wall in the room where I presented was covered with projects the children had done after reading my books. From poems and reports to drawings and cut-paper art, the children’s creativity was evident everywhere.
Teacher Vicki Childress and her butterfly cake. Colored festival posters decorate the walls.
I thank all their teachers, especially Vicki Childress, for doing such a great job preparing the students. Vicki coordinated my visit and made a special cake decorated with a beautiful image of a painted lady butterfly. She told me that she looked at the photographs in my book, Butterflies in Room 6, to make sure every part of the butterfly was accurate. After lunch, I cut the first slice and the cake was just as delicious as it looked. Later in the day, the students all received a piece as well. I know that the children will have fond memories of “Author Day” not only because of the cake, but because of all the projects they did in connection with my books. Here are a few samples:
First and Second graders read Wiggle and Waggle and wrote about their favorite part.
The children read and illustrated all four of my Habitat books, using my cut-paper technique. These are some of their pictures inspired by A Day and Night in the Forest.
Mountain lion. Older students made drawings of their favorite animals and wrote pyramid poems (directions are on my website.)
Jaguar. Younger students wrote haikus about their favorite animal.
Transparent butterflies decorated the sliding door.
A coloring page with theme art from the festival helped to build excitement for the bi-annual event.

Monday, October 28, 2019

AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books

I have just learned that Butterflies in Room 6 has made it to the longlist for the 2020 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books in the Children’s Science Picture Book category! The book is one of eight books that were selected. Out of this list, the judges will chose four finalists. 
The Prize celebrates outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults and is meant to encourage the writing and publishing of high-quality science books for all ages. I am so pleased and honored to have my book on this list.