Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ED PERT AWARD Author Visit to Crestwood Street School

Signing the Author Wall at Crestwood Street School
Last Thursday I had an excellent author visit at Crestwood Street School in Rancho Palos Verdes,  where I spoke to four groups of children grades K-6.  They were enthusiastic during my presentations and asked terrific questions at the end.  Crestwood Street School had won the California Readers Ed Pert Award and my visit was one of the benefits. The sponsor of the award is the Winnick Family Foundation. Crestwood Street School will also  be receiving 100 books from the 2014 Elementary California Collection for their library.  My books A Warmer World and Your Skeletal System are in the collection.  I thank Gwen Davies for organizing my day and helping to prepare the students for my visit.  At the end of the day I signed a special “Author Wall” in the library where I joined numerous other authors who have visited the school in the past.  A photo taken of me during my visit will be added next to my signature.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

CUT PAPER ANIMALS at Crocker Highlands School

Last Friday I had a terrific author visit at Crocker Highlands Elementary School in Oakland, California.  When I arrived I found the library bulletin boards decorated with a host of cut-out animals inspired by my books–moose, eagles, walruses, zebras, pandas (which were displayed with branches of bamboo) wombats, koalas and a whole fleet of swimming platypuses.

In the morning I spoke to three groups of enthusiastic students.  In the afternoon I visited a third grade class and we did the animal pyramid poem project.  I thank librarian Lisa Hobbs for doing a great job organizing the day and making sure that everything ran smoothly.  It was a special treat for me to visit Crocker Highlands because it is the neighborhood school where I live part-time in Oakland and several of the students in the audience were children that I know.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


It's nesting time for bald eagles!  
Bald eagles usually lay two or three eggs in their nest.  The male and female take turns sitting on the nest to keep the eggs warm and moist.  Inside each egg an eagle chick is growing.  It hatches in about five weeks after the egg has been laid.
You can learn more about bald eagles in my book A BALD EAGLE'S WORLD (Picture Window Books, 2010.)
To download a coloring page of a bald eagle at the nest, click here.

UPDATE March 2015: Both nests on Catalina Island now have eggs, due to hatch around the beginning of April. You can watch activity at the nests on live video cams.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

School Visit at the Brawerman School

A week ago I had a wonderful author visit at the Brawerman School in West Los Angeles where I talked to a very enthusiastic audience of fourth, fifth and sixth graders.  I gave a slide presentation which was followed by a question period.  I was impressed by the quality of the students’ questions which varied from wanting to know more about my books to interest in the process of research and being an author. Perhaps some of these students will become authors some day! Librarian Karen Morgenstern did an excellent job of planning and coordinating the day.  Afterward she gave me a tour of the school where I had a chance to visit the art studio, science lab, library, and saw displays of student work in the hallways.  To celebrate reading, one bulletin board displayed each staff member’s favorite book as a child. I asked Karen what her favorite book was: Nancy Drew.  The Nancy Drew mysteries were among my favorite books too!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

THE TERRIBLE HODAG Now Available as a Kindle Book

My tall tale, The Terrible Hodag, originally published in 1989 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and long out of print, is now available again as an e-book published by StarWalk Kids.  The striking paintings by Lambert Davis that illustrate the book capture the mystery and drama of the story.

Every day, Ole Swenson and the other lumberjacks went into the forest to cut down trees.  They worked hard from sunup to sundown, but when night fell, all the men returned to the lumbercamp.  They did not want to meet the terrible Hodag, who had the head of an ox, the feet of a bear, the back of a dinosaur, and the tail of an alligator.  His eyes glowed like fire and he was forty feet tall.

This book is a retelling of the story told by my father that I heard around the campfire as a child at Camp Bovey in northern Wisconsin.  The story continues to bel told to campers at Camp Bovey today and the Hodag's image is still on their t-shirts, as it was when I was a camper.

You can get The Terrible Hodag for your Kindle at Amazon.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

School Visit Projects in Long Beach

Yesterday I had a terrific author visit at St. Joseph's School in Long Beach, CA. Ten years ago I visited the same school so it was especially nice to be able to return. The children and teachers were a very enthusiastic audience and asked great questions. 
Librarian Christy Lund did an amazing job of preparing the students for my visit--introducing my books, visiting my web page, organizing the book order, and doing numerous projects with the kids.  Some of the first graders put stripes on the zebra using the template from my web page.
I am always amazed at the variety of stripe arrangements that children come up with for this project!  Other first graders made charming paper plate pandas which had been hung up to decorate the library walls.  Kindergarten children colored penguins and pandas using a rainbow of colors.  I thank Christy and all the students, teachers, and principal at St. Joseph's for making this a very special day.