Sunday, May 15, 2022


Infographic from Carolina Biological Supply

Spring and summer are the perfect time to raise painted lady butterflies. This infographic from Carolina Biological Supply shows where they live and the four stages of life.

Cups of caterpillars from InsectLore. Everything the caterpillars need to grow is provided.

I just received my cups of caterpillars from InsectLore. The caterpillars (larva) will eat the special food at the bottom of the cups and in about two weeks form chrysalises. A week or so later they will emerge as beautiful butterflies.

Find out how a kindergarten class raised butterflies in their classroom and let them go in the school garden in my book BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6

Sunday, May 8, 2022


I was thrilled to participate yesterday in a virtual picture book panel sponsored by Books of Wonder in New York. I loved learning about the other authors new books and about how they get their ideas and their research process. For me, it was a great way to promote my new book KEEPER OF THE LIGHT: Juliet Fish Nichols Fights the San Francisco Fog! Many thanks to Rosalyn at Books of Wonder for chairing the panel.

The other authors on the panel were MONICA BROWN, JOHN PARRA, SUZANNE SLADE and LISA ROBINSON. If you didn't watch the panel live you can download the video for about a month. (Check out the Books of Wonder website for details.) At the same website you can also order autographed copies of the authors' books!
Top, Rosalyn, Books of Wonder; Caroline Arnold, Lisa Robinson. Bottom, Suzanne Slade, John Parra, Monica Brown
Here's the information about the panel from the Books of Wonder website:
Heartfelt and inspiring stories from award-winning creators!

A good picture book can mean the world to a young reader! These beautiful picture books are perfect for empowering and encouraging your young readers and listeners - both with their gorgeous art and their powerful stories!

Growing An Artist, by award-winning artist JOHN PARRA - whose work is featured on U.S. postage stamps, in museums around the world, and in our very own NYC subway system - is a gentle, empowering story based on his own childhood experiences helping his dad's landscaping business.

Keeper of the Light, by CAROLINE ARNOLD - award-winning author of over 170 books for young readers - is the inspiring story of Juliet Fish Nichols, the lighthouse keeper who kept the light shining through the fog following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Blast Off! How Mary Sherman Morgan Fueled America Into Space, by SUZANNE SLADE - whose STEM books for younger readers are routine winners of science-writing awards - tells the story of Mary Sherman Morgan, the first female rocket scientist.

Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People, by award-winning author MONICA BROWN, is a stunning picture book biography of Pablo Neruda, one of the most beloved poets of all time.

The Sweetest Scoop: Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Revolution, by LISA ROBINSON, author of critically acclaimed nonfiction for younger readers.

These are the perfect books for any young reader's growing bookshelf! Meet CAROLINE ARNOLD, MONICA BROWN, JOHN PARRA, LISA ROBINSON, and SUZANNE SLADE and celebrate their wonderful, inspiring books!

Saturday, May 7th at 1:00pm via Crowdcast

Wednesday, May 4, 2022



Spring Flowers, Lu Sutton Elementary School, Novato, CA
My brother Tom, a third grade teacher in Novato, California, loves to garden and loves to do art projects with his students.  In the fall, the children planted bulbs along the walkways by the classrooms.  By early March the tulips, daffodils and a host of other flowers had sprouted leaves and burst into bloom.

The students then took their drawing pads outdoors and sketched the flowers, making close observations of the shapes and colors of the plants.  Back in the classroom they turned their drawings into beautiful, colorful paintings–a perfect way to preserve and share the beauty of spring!

Note: This post was first published 5/22/13. My brother Tom is now retired, but he still loves to garden, planting bulbs, roses and other plants in his garden at home.

Saturday, April 30, 2022


I was delighted to discover PLANTING A GARDEN IN ROOM 6: From Seeds to Salad reviewed on THE NONFICTION DETECTIVES, the excellent blog by librarians Cathy Potter and Louise Capizzo. It posted on April 22, 2022, Earth Day! Thank you for helping to spread the word about my new book!

Here is the review:

Planting a Garden in Room 6: From Seeds to Salad

Written and photographed by Caroline Arnold

Charlesbridge. 2022

Another addition in Arnold’s Life Cycles in Room 6 series, has this kindergarten class planting a garden. In beautiful, colored photos we follow this special teacher as she shares her love of science with her students.

This year, Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Best, has brought some lettuce, kale, radish, spinach, carrots, and pea sees for student to plant in their classroom garden. Readers follow students as they discover each plant has it own kind of seed, preparing the soil to watching the seeds emerge. As they learn about helpful insects, weeding, and garden care the best part comes at harvest time when they can all enjoy the fruits of their labor with a yummy salad. 

The book includes garden vocabulary, garden questions, online sources and suggestions for further reading. *The fun part is learning that the chickens pictures in this book are the ones hatched in Arnold’s book, Hatching Chicks in Room 6. I wish I had a Mrs. Best as my Kindergarten teacher.

Visit the author's website for more information on her books. 


Wednesday, April 27, 2022


 The following review of KEEPER OF THE LIGHT appeared in Booklist, April 15, 2022.

Keeper of the Light: Juliet Fish Nichols Fights the San Francisco Fog.

By Caroline Arnold. Illus. by Rachell Sumpter

Apr. 2022. 40p. Cameron Kids, $18.99 (9781951836375). PreS–Gr. 3


In 1902, Juliet Fish Nichols became the lighthouse keeper on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. Written in first person from her point of view, this fictional narrative describes the actual woman’s solitary life, spent reading, writing reports in the log book, and maintaining the lamp that guided boats at night, as well as the machine that rang a heavy bell, warning sailors away from the island when fog hid it from view. Early one morning, her bed thrashed “like a boat in a storm.” The 1906 earthquake had struck San Francisco. Months later, when the bay was crowded with ships, the bell-ringing machine broke down. Grabbing the mallet, she struck the bell twice every 15 seconds throughout the night, saying, “The fog is fierce, but so am I.” Though not inherently dramatic, the story is well told and interesting. Sumpter contributes illustrations portraying a confident young woman within colorful surroundings including the lighthouse, her hillside garden, and the sun setting over the bay. An attractive picture book celebrating a lighthouse keeper's dedication to her work.


Saturday, April 23, 2022


As I do most years in the days before Easter, I made Ukrainian eggs, this time with my granddaughter. Her egg is on the left. I added mine to our collection of eggs through the years. This year the eggs take on a special meaning.

My family celebrated Easter last Sunday, but in Ukrainian Orthodox churches, Easter in 2022 will be celebrated on April 24th, a week after the celebration in Protestant and Catholic churches. That is because the date is calculated by two different methods.  

Easter as it's commonly celebrated in the United States falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon of the spring equinox (always between March 22 and April 25), while Orthodox Easter is celebrated on the Sunday after the first full moon after Passover (between April 4th and May 8th.) 

I became fascinated with the beautiful designs on Ukrainian eggs when I was growing up in Northeast Minneapolis. I started to make them myself when I was a teenager. The designs are drawn in wax with a stylus (kistka) and the colors are added successively.   The eggs can be kept year after year because the inside moisture simply evaporates over time.  (The designs are made on raw eggs.  The eggs are not meant to be eaten but used for decoration.) Some of the eggs in the bowl were made by my children when they were much younger, others by me. Getting them out at Easter time is a well-loved tradition.


Tuesday, April 19, 2022



Ferry landing at Angel Island State Park, San Francisco Bay, California
I love to travel and sometimes, when I least expect it, a travel experience becomes the source of an idea for a new book.

My new book, KEEPER OF THE LIGHT: Juliet Fish Nichols Fights the San Francisco Fog, which came out last week, was inspired by a visit to Angel Island State Park in San Francisco.
Tram ride around Angel Island
In July 2012, my husband Art and I took a ferry from Tiburon to Angel Island to meet friends who had sailed their boat from Alameda across San Francisco Bay to the harbor at Angel Island. We had a delicious lunch on the boat and then took a tram ride around the island narrated along the way with historic details about the buildings and the people who once lived there when it was the site of an army post, immigration facility, and a light and fog bell station. 

Point Knox, once site of the light and fog bell station. The giant bell remains.

Near an overlook on the south side of the island we heard about Juliet Nichols, the keeper of the Angel Island lighthouse at Point Knox, who, during the summer of 1906, when the bay was filled with supply boats after the devastating San Francisco earthquake, heroically rang the fog bell by hand for more then twenty hours before the fog lifted.
Card catalogue, Oakland Public Library.

Juliet’s story intrigued me. It sounded like the perfect subject for a book. I began to research Juliet’s life and the history of Angel Island. I searched the internet. I went to the Oakland library to read newspaper articles and other items in the archives. (Juliet grew up in Oakland and lived there after she retired.) I looked up Census records on . 

Angel Island Light House log book, 1904-1912. National Archives, Washington, DC.

I visited the National Archives in Washington, DC, to read Juliet’s lighthouse log. I went back to Angel Island several times. Although her house is gone, the giant bell can still be seen at Knox Point.
Keeper of the Light Illustration by Rachell Sumpter

It took me eight years and many rewrites to tell Juliet’s story, then two more years to see it published. I am thrilled that the book is now available and I can share it with the world. Keeper of the Light: Juliet Fish Nichols Fights the San Francisco Fog is published by Cameron Kids/Abrams and is illustrated with beautiful watercolor paintings by Rachell Sumpter. It is available at many book stores as well as Amazon and other online sources.

For samples of Juliet's entries in her log book and other information related to the book go to .