Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A WARMER WORLD, Now in Korean

I recently received a copy of my book A WARMER WORLD translated into Korean.  I am always thrilled to see my books translated into other languages and often surprised to discover that what takes so many letters to write in English can be expressed more succinctly in another language.  Over the years a number of my books have been translated into other languages. Except for The Skeletal System (El Sistema Oseo), which is available from Lerner Publications, and A Zebra's World (El Mundo de las Cebras) available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt School Publishers, the foreign language editions are available only in the countries where they have been published.



The Skeletal System (Lerner, 2007, hardback and paperback)
A Zebra's World is available in Spanish as El Mundo de las Cebras (ISBN 978-0-547-13232-7) from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt School Publishers.


A Warmer World (BIR/MINUMSA Publishing Group, Korea)
Birds Nature's Magnificent Flying Machines (Gilbut Children's Publishing Company, Korea)
Super Swimmers (Sigongsa Company Ltd., Korea)

Wiggle and Waggle (Hemingway, Korea) 


A Guide Dog Puppy Grows Up (Japan UNI Agency, Inc., Tokyo)
When Mammoths Walked the Earth (Shinjusha Ltd., Tokyo, 2005)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Celebrate Earth Day!

Next Monday, April 22nd, is Earth Day!  Celebrate by doing something to help our planet.  Here's a repeat of my post on A Warmer World.  Check out the blog for other news about what people are doing to help prevent global warming.

Here are some ideas for ways you can celebrate.

1. Get your hands dirty!
Volunteering is a great way to contribute on Earth Day and meet new friends in the process. Find out about volunteering opportunities in your community, by checking out the Earth Day Network.
2. Donate to the Canopy Project.
Planting a tree is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve the environment ­and your quality of life. If you don’t have the opportunity to plant trees in your community, you can simply donate to the Canopy Project. For every $1 you contribute, they’ll plant a tree.
3. Pay the “earth-friendly” way!
Save natural resources by enrolling in online bills and statements. You’ll avoid paper, stamps, envelopes, and the fossil fuels used to transport the mail, which are all contributors to our damaged environment.
4. Creative commuting.
Every gallon of gasoline your car burns emits about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. Leave your car at home for the day, and try car pooling, mass transit, biking and walking to school or work if possible. Even just one day a week is significant!
5. Become a year-round Earth ambassador.
Share your personal “green initiatives” with family and friends! When you inspire others to celebrate Earth Day and make environmentally conscious decisions year-around, you have truly made a difference.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ALASKA: Conference Talk and Projects with Children

View of Valdez Harbor from the Conference Center
At the end of March I went to Alaska to speak at the Alaska Library Association conference in Valdez and to do two library programs.  It was an exciting week with breathtaking scenery, a late winter snowstorm, meeting librarians from all over Alaska, and doing some fun activities with kids.  At the conference I gave a presentation called Think Outside the Book: Projects and Activities that Reinforce Reading in which I highlighted various ways books like mine can be used as jumping off places for other activities.  These include writing projects such as animal pyramid poems, art projects, miniature and life-size models, watching wildlife on live video cams on the web, and more.  A list of links to all the projects can be downloaded from my website. I thank Carol Race from the Juneau Library for organizing my book signing at the conference and the conference organizers for making everything run smoothly.

Wiggle and Waggle puppets, Wasilla
After the conference I went to Anchorage--a spectacular ride (7 hours) over the pass and through beautiful snow covered mountain valleys. One morning I did a story-time presentation at the Wasilla Public Library (about an hour’s drive from Anchorage) to a group of lively pre-schoolers.  The focus of the program was my Wiggle and Waggle book.  The children helped act out the story with my sock puppets, sang the song with me, and participated in the story.  Then they each made their own stick puppets to take home. Click here to download the Wiggle and Waggle activities.  Thanks to Sara Saxton for coordinating my visit and for cutting out all the Wiggles and Waggles!
Zebra art, Loussac Library, Anchorage
Later that day I did an after school program at the Loussac Library in Anchorage which included a craft project, Put Stripes on the Zebra.  As always, I was amazed at the children’s creativity both in the arrangement of stripes on the zebras and in adding elements to the background.  Some put in trees and clouds and suns, others added flowers, and one boy added a cart and a helmet for the zebra!  I thank Linda Klein for coordinating the program and assembling all the craft materials, Mary Crosby for her assistance helping to make everything run smoothly, and Sherry Douglas for making it possible.  I also did some sightseeing in Anchorage, visiting the Alaska Museum and the Science and Nature Museum.  Altogether, it was an exciting trip!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Libraries in the Los Angeles Area

One of the top reasons for why I became an author is that it gives me a reason to spend time in one of my favorite places--the public library!
I want to share a link recently posted on the Red Tricycle blog promoting the "best libraries for kids" in the Los Angeles area.  As they say in the article, "The public library ain't what it used to be," offering all kinds of things in addition to books--playing games, listening to programs, sharing books and more.  The article is illustrated with wonderful photos showing kids having fun at the library and features the Los Angeles Public Library Central Branch, Santa Monica Library, Silver Lake Public Library, West Hollywood Library, South Pasadena Public Library, and the newly renovated Beverly Hills Public Library. 
Check it out and plan a trip to YOUR nearest library!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Panda and book centerpiece
Imagine 40 children's book authors and illustrators plus 4000 children and their teachers all talking about reading, writing and illustrating for three days in March.  That is the Children's Literature Festival, held each year in Warrensburg, Missouri, at Central Missouri State University.  This was the 45th year of the festival and I was honored to be one of the authors participating.  (I came once before, about fifteen years ago.)  The Sunday schedule included a luncheon for authors, illustrators, librarians, teachers and friends, followed by book sales and autographing. The luncheon tables were decorated with wonderful open "books" displaying the name of each author, names of their books both on the cover and embedded in small plastic domes, and a paper cut object representing the author's work.  My centerpiece had a charming paper panda on it.
Autographing Too Hot? Too Cold?

On Monday and Tuesday, I met with groups of students and their teachers in classrooms on campus. I was impressed by the appreciative audiences and grateful for the volunteers who saw that everything ran smoothly.  I thank Naomi Williamson and her hard working committee and volunteers, especially the drivers who ferried us to and from the airport and between the hotel and campus, for the splendid organization of the festival and for making it such an outstanding event.
And I learned that most of the people in Missouri pronounce the second "i" not as a long "e" but as if it were an "a" as in "uh"! The next time I visit I will be sure to pronounce it like a native!