Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Who doesn't love dinosaurs?  First graders at a school I visited read my book Dinosaurs All Around, which tells how artist Steven Czerkas creates life-size dinosaurs for museum displays, and then created their own dinosaurs with paper plates.  The curved edge of the paper plate is perfect for attaching the bony plates on the back of a stegosaurus.  I love the way students gave the dinosaurs all sorts of different colors.

Dinosaurs All Around was published in 1993 by Clarion Books.
Stephen Czerkas's dinosaur models, ranging from the largest carnivores to hatching babies, are widely exhibited in museums. This book is based on a traveling exhibit, "Dinosaurs: A Global View," organized by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and a visit to the artist's studio. Czerkas draws on a painstaking study of fossil bones, living reptiles, and modern animal behavior in the process of putting skin over the bones, choosing color and markings and action poses for the most true-to-life portrayal possible.

Learn how such models are constructed, and the decisions the artist must make in portraying these long-vanished reptiles. Find out how models like these help us to understand what life was like millions of years ago when dinosaurs were alive.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

KINDLE: More of My Books Now Available for Your Kindle

StarWalk Kids has now published nine more of my books on Amazon Kindle, all from my animal series illustrated with photos by Richard Hewett.  With new formatting and updating, these out-of-print books are getting a new life as digital books, perfect for your computer and other digital devices.  I now have a total of 20 titles available for download as Kindle books. The books are also available through the StarWalk Kids subscription program.
Look for these new titles:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


A walrus mother has a baby, called a calf, about 15 months after mating. At birth, a walrus calf weighs 100 to 160 pounds (45 to 72 kilograms) and is about 4.5 feet (1.4 meters) long.  The calf is almost the size of a person!
You can learn more about walruses in my book A WALRUS' WORLD (Picture Window Books, 2010.)
To print a coloring page of a walrus mother and baby, click here.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Mural as a Class Project: Miwok Village Life

Mural of Miwok Village by Third Grade Students
Most students in third grade learn about Native Americans.  In my brother’s third grade class in Novato, California, located in Marin County just north of San Francisco, the children learned about the Miwoks, a tribe indigenous to their area. Their studies culminated in books that each child wrote and illustrated, telling about the life of a traditional Miwok family. (I had a chance to see the books in progress on a class visit.) The students also made a mural depicting Miwok life.  Everyone in the class participated in painting the background of the mural, using brushes and sponges to create the local hills and landscape.  Then each student drew animals, birds, people, chopas (dwellings) and other elements and glued them to the background.  The result is a beautiful and detailed depiction of a Miwok village. By working together the students created a piece of art much more complex than each could have done alone and enjoyed the satisfaction of a joint project.