Wednesday, December 28, 2016

OCTOPUS, ESCAPE ARTIST OF THE SEA

Did you know that October 11, 2016, was Cephalopod Awareness Day? Just in case you need reminding, octopuses and squid are cephalopods. They are among the world's most fascinating animals.

Now you see it, now you don't! In less than a second, an octopus can change the color of its skin. It also has many other tricks up its arms to get away from predators, including the ability to lose one of those arms or shoot a cloud of dark ink. Meet this master of escape and learn all about its story of survival in my book, Octopus, Escape Artist of the Sea.

And, for a terrific view of octopuses (or octopi) in real life, go to the Monterey Aquarium in California and take a trip through the amazing world of cephalopods..

The Monterey Bay Aquarium
Don’t miss Tentacles: the whimsical, Jules-Verne influenced excursion through the world of cephalopods, packed with hands-on exhibits and kiddo-eye level tanks. Because the Aquarium is so awesome, you should allot at least 4 hours to explore. There are otter and shark feedings and other daily programs, an entire play area geared toward the younger crowd (upstairs) that includes water play and other hands-on fun and even a baby tumble zone for the littlest sharks. For a truly unforgettable experience, kids ages 8-13 can enroll in the Underwater Explorers program. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

As we decorate our tree with family treasures and mementos from our travels through the years, we send best wishes to all of you for a very
HAPPY HOLIDAY
and
JOYOUS NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

CRA Eureka Silver Award for LIVING FOSSILS

I was thrilled to learn that my book LIVING FOSSILS, Clues to the Past is a 2016 CRA Eureka Silver award book. This award, given by the California Reading Association, is for outstanding nonfiction books for children. Many thanks to CRA and to the hard working Eureka Committe: Virginia Loh-Hagen, Audrey Fleming, and Sunday Cummins!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

SCBWI 2016 Winter Reading List

The 2016 Winter Reading List has just been published at the SCBWI website and includes my book LIVING FOSSILS: Clues to the Past, listed in the section of California/Hawaii authors as a nonfiction picture book for grades 3-5.

The Reading List Program includes books of all genres from SCBWI  PAL authors and illustrators. This is an opportunity to find that book that a kid or teen will enjoy and can engage with the fun and adventure of reading. The lists will be published bi-annually, in the Summer and Winter.

Check out the current books for all kinds of great titles to add to your holiday gift lists!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Truth is Stranger than Fiction: Talk to UNC Library Graduate Students at the SILS Library, Chapel Hill, NC

SILS Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking to the graduate students and faculty at the School of Information and Library Science at UNC-Chapel Hill about the process I go through when writing and illustrating one of my nonfiction books. We met in the SILS Library, which has a large collection of children’s books, and I was pleased to see a display of more than a dozen of my books on top of one of the bookcases. The books are used for research but are also available for checkout by anyone on campus. We gathered around a large table in the corner of the library and a screen was set up for my slides. Library Head Rebecca Vargha gave a very nice introduction for my talk and at the end we had a lively discussion and questions. I thank Rebecca for inviting me and graduate student Alena Principato for helping to make arrangements, for promoting my talk on campus and taking pictures. I enjoyed my visit very much! I am always glad to meet librarians. They are the people who put books like mine in the hands of children.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Illustrations from my Day and Night series Available at Etsy

Illustration from A Day and Night in the Rain Forest
This gallery quality print is made from an original cut-paper illustration I created for my children’s book A DAY AND NIGHT IN THE RAIN FOREST, one of four books in the Caroline Arnold's Habitats series published by Picture Window Books (Capstone). This image is on pages 2-3. Even though the paper of the print is flat, it retains the three-dimensional quality of the layered paper of the original art.
The print is 10 1/4 inches by 20 inches with a one inch white border and is shipped in a sturdy mailing tube. Smaller sizes of prints are also available.
Prints make great gifts for the holidays!  Check out my Etsy site for these and other available illustrations.
Illustration from A Day and Night in the Desert

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

NONFICTION BOOT CAMP INTENSIVE, Sat. Jan. 14, 2017, SCBWI California: San Francisco North and East Bay

On Saturday, January 14, 2017, I will be speaking at the Nonfiction Boot Camp Intensive in Oakland, California, sponsored by the San Francisco North and East Bay chapters of SCBWI, along with Alyssa Mito Pusey, Senior Editor at Charlesbridge Publishing and noted nonfiction author Pamela S. Turner. Here’s the blurb and link to the website for more information.
It should be a great day!

https://sfnortheastbay.scbwi.org/events/sat-jan-14-nonfiction-boot-camp-intensive/

Join our outstanding faculty for a full day of hands on, deep craft nonfiction sessions in the beautiful Nile Hall of Oakland's Preservation Park. The workshops will provide practical information and guidance about the Nonfiction market, how to get your NF proposal or manuscript into shape, help you understand how to pitch and structure your proposal, how to target to the right market, create your narrative arc, and learn research techniques and methodologies from successful authors.

This program is for developed writers (you have had your work critiqued, participate in a critique group, and have participated in professional writers' programs/conferences) or are published writers. This is a smaller group setting.

First come, first served. Register early to avoid disappointment.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

CONNECTING CULTURES MOBILE MUSEUM: Explore Diversity, See Similarities

Connecting Cultures Mobile Museum exhibit panels
Imagine a museum jam packed with hundreds of objects from all over the world that comes to you at your school library! That’s what the Connecting Cultures Mobile Museum in Southern California does. Bringing its exhibits to middle schools in the greater Los Angeles area, sixth, seventh and eighth graders have the opportunity to learn about cultures around the world and find connections to their own cultural roots. Every object is labeled with its name, country of origin, and color-coded to its region of the world.
CCMM Reception in the RFK Community Schools Library
A week ago I attended a reception for CCMM supporters at RFK Community Schools in Los Angeles. The spacious library was an ideal place for the exhibit panels and tables of “hands-on” objects that students can examine close-up. Founder and President Valerie Lezin gave a short presentation and then we were invited to enjoy an array of delicious international snacks.
Baskets I collected on my trip to Uganda many years ago
I have been a supporter of CCMM for many years, donating objects that I have collected in my various journeys around the world. It is a pleasure to see them as part of the exhibits and to know that they are having a second life helping to inspire young people about our cultural heritage.
Mexican platter and weavings from Central America collected by my family
The mission of CCMM is to inspire understanding and respect for cultural diversity by exploring global arts and artifacts. Currently, CCMM reaches between 16,000 and 20,000 students each year! The students who have the CCMM visit their school are lucky to have this opportunity to enjoy and appreciate this rich resource.
 Find out more about the Connecting Cultures Mobile Museum at http://connectingcultures.us/about/

Objects connected to writing and trade

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

AUTHOR VISITS in PORTERVILLE, CA: Week 2

Signing books at West Putnam School, Porterville, CA
Last week was my second round of author visits in the elementary schools of Porterville, California. Porterville is a small city on the eastern edge of  California’s Central Valley and sits at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, not far from several National Parks. During the weekend between my two weeks of visits, I treated myself to a trip to Yosemite National Park, returning in time to visit my first school of the week.

October 24: Vandalia Elementary School
With Reading Teacher Rebecca Ortiz
My host at Vandalia Elementary School, Rebecca Ortiz, did a great job of organizing my schedule and the book sale and autographing. In advance of my visit, the library had purchased a number of my books so the students could read them. I always appreciate it when the students can become familiar with some of my books before my visit. We had a full schedule with a separate assembly just for kindergarten students which meant we had time to read A Zebra’s World and go on a “Lion Hunt”.

October 25: West Putnam Elementary School
With Mrs. Perez and Reading Teacher Julianne Buckley
On Tuesday my host at West Putnam was Julianne Buckley with the help of her excellent aide, Mrs. Perez, and again I had very enthusiastic audiences with good questions. Here too I was able to meet separately with the kindergarteners. At lunchtime I had a chance to chat with teachers and Julianne provided a delicious lunch from Panera.

October 26: Olive Street School
With Reading Teacher Judy Bedell
On Wednesday, at Olive Street School, I was greeted by the reading teacher Judy Bedell and the principal, Mr. Nunez, who helped me set up my computer for my PowerPoint slide show so I could use the school’s projection system which was better than my projector for the large screen. A special treat of the day was having lunch with selected fourth, fifth and sixth grade students who had the opportunity to ask me questions about writing and books. Jason Pommier, the Public Information Officer of Porterville USD came to take photos. I thank Judy Bedell for all her hard work organizing the day, for providing me with delicious hot soup for lunch, for pulling my books around in her wagon, and for the special treat basket she gave me to take home.

October 27: Roche Avenue School
With Reading Teacher Amanda Avila and Principal Patricia Jorgensen
My host on Thursday was reading teacher Amanda Avila at Roche Avenue School and the day included three assemblies and book signing. Roche is the smallest school in the Porterville USD with only two classes per grade and this helped to make my presentations more personal. I thank Amanda Avila for all her hard work in organizing the day and coordinating the book signing and Principal Patricia Jorgensen for her great introductions at each assembly. The three of us had a delicious and relaxing lunch at Jenny Lynn's Restaurant not far from the school.

October 28: Santa Fe School
With reading teacher Beatriz Hackett
At Sante Fe School my two short assemblies were squeezed into their very busy schedule. I thank my host, reading teacher Beatriz Hackett for organizing the day and school Program Manager, Eric Ortega for helping set up the audio and visuals. After the assemblies I did book signing in the library. Then it was time for me to return home to Los Angeles after a very full and rewarding two weeks visiting all ten of the elementary schools in Porterville, California!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

AUTHOR VISITS in PORTERVILLE, CA: Week 1

Signing books, Belleville School, Porterville, CA
For two weeks I did author visits in Porterville, California, at ten wonderful elementary schools. The students and teachers have been very enthusiastic and responsive at the assemblies and the reading teachers, who have been my hosts and coordinators at each school, have done a fantastic job of organizing each day.  Here, in chronological order are some of the highlights of my visits.

Monday, October 17, Monte Vista School.
With reading teacher Ruth Shirk
I began the week at Monte Vista School where I did two assemblies followed by book signing in the library. Then there was a delicious potluck lunch in the staff room and more book signing. I thank Ruth Shirk for organizing the day and for coordinating my trip to Porterville.

Tuesday, October 18, Belleview School
With reading teacher Michelle Davis
At Belleview School I did two assemblies followed by “book signing parties” in Michelle Davis’ classroom, and then visited several of the kindergarten classrooms. The principal, Crystal Milinich and assistant principal, Jolene Robles, took me out for a very tasty lunch at the Oak Pit Steakhouse.

Wednesday, October 19, Westfield School.
With reading teacher Candance Castillo
Both Wednesday and Thursday of this week were minimum days because of parent conferences so my assemblies had to fit into the morning before lunch. Candance Castillo made sure that everything ran smoothly. I then got to meet with the teachers during their lunch.

Thursday, October 20, John J. Doyle School.
With reading teacher Andrew Lopez
Even though it was a minimum day, we managed to have three assemblies at Doyle. I thank Andrew Lopez for helping to make everything run efficiently so that we could make every minute count.

Friday, October 21, Los Robles School.
The week ended with a visit to Los Robles School with two assemblies, a delicious potluck lunch provided by the school staff, and book signing in Shelby Curry’s classroom. Shelby did a terrific job of organizing the day and I thank parent Melody Burkhart for being on hand to help with set-up, book sales and helping make things ran smoothly. It was a great end to a very successful week!
With parent Melody Burkhart and Reading Teacher Shelby Curry

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Panda Walking Print at Etsy


Illustration "A Panda Walking" from A Panda's World
Check out my giclee prints at my Etsy gallery! A Panda Walking is just one of many prints and cards available. Here is the description:

PRINT from original cut paper collage art created for "A Panda's World" (Picture Window Books, 2006.) Perfect for decorating a child's room! Or, for anyone who loves animals.

TITLE: "PANDA WALKING" limited edition fine art prints:# 1 of 50

SIZE: Image is 6.5"x10" with a 1" white border to allow for framing. It will slip into any store-bought 9"x12" frame for easy display. Other sizes available.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

HATCHING CHICKS IN ROOM 6: Coming January 10, 2017!

I am delighted to have an advanced copy of my new book Hatching Chicks in Room 6 (Charlesbridge, 2017.) I think it looks terrific!  (It is already available for pre-order on Amazon.) Stay tuned for more about the book after the official publication date, January 10, 2017.

HATCHING CHICKS IN ROOM 6
Author: Caroline Arnold
Photographs by Caroline Arnold
Age: 3-7 years
Pages: 40
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, 2017 (available January 10, 2017)
ISBN: ( Hardcover ): 9781580897358

From the flap:
In 21 days, chicks will hatch in Room 6! A hen laid the eggs. Mrs. Best brought them to school and put them in an incubator. Soon the chicks will PECK, PUSH, and POP! right out of their shells. The kindergarteners are counting down to hatching day. When it happens, they'll be ready.

Follow a classroom of kindergartners as they participate in a popular activity: hatching chicks. Readers learn about the life cycle of a chicken, incubating eggs, watching them hatch, and raising the chicks until they are old enough to return to the chicken coop.

Simple text and close-up photographs tell the story. Back matter includes answers to questions about chicks, chick vocabulary, links to chicks online and further reading about chicks.

Friday, October 7, 2016

AMAZON CENTRAL AUTHOR PAGE

I have recently updated my Author Page on Amazon Central and have a new link www.amazon.com/author/carolinearnold . You can find all my books–both print and digital–that are available at Amazon on the page, as well as a short bio and links to my blogs and videos. Enjoy!

Monday, October 3, 2016

CELEBRATING 100,000 PAGE VIEWS of Caroline Arnold Art and Books

Today passed the marker for 100,000 page views of this blog! Hooray! Thanks to all of you have been reading my posts these last few years! I appreciate it very much.  I began regular posting in January 2010 and the viewership has steadily increased since then with a surge in the last few months. While the majority of readers come from the United States, I am pleased to know via the Blogger Stats that it is being read in other countries all over the world as well. I plan to continue posting news of my art and writing events and hope you will continue to enjoy reading Caroline Arnold Art and Books!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Project: Easter Island Mural

A number of years ago I did an author visit at Mission Avenue Elementary School in Sacramento and saw this wonderful mural of one of the giant Easter Island statues called moai.  It was made by the sixth graders after they read my book Easter Island: Giant Stone Statues Tell of a Rich and Tragic Past. After making a grid pattern on a small photographic image of the moai, each student colored one piece of 9" x 12" paper with the corresponding shapes and colors. When assembled on the wall, the mural depicted one of the moai close to actual size and made an impressive image for everyone in the school to see.
Easter Island is out of print but new and used copies are available on Amazon. You may also be able to find it in your library.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

PROJECT: Crayon Resist Petroglyph Art

Shortly after my book Stories in Stone: Rock Art Pictures by Early Americans was published, I visited a school and saw some wonderful art the students had made after reading the book.  After looking at the photographs of the petroglyphs each student wrote a haiku. Then, with pencil, the student drew the outline of one of the animals on a piece of white paper. Many of them drew bighorn sheep, one of the most common images in the Coso Mountains where the story takes place. The students filled in the shape of the animal with white crayon and then painted over it with brown watercolor paint. The white crayon resists the paint, making the image stand out from the darker background, just as the petroglyph designs in nature stand out from the darker rock around them.
When the paint was dry the picture was carefully torn around the edges to give it a rough-hewn look. I loved the art and haiku by Abby. What she wrote is a central theme of the book:
These petroglyphs show
ceremonial beliefs
that are clues to life.


Stories in Stone is out of print but you can look for it in your library.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Tip for the Day, filmed by Tina Nichols Coury

My friend Tina Nichols Coury, author of Hanging Off Jefferson's Nose, did a series of short videos of children's book authors and illustrators giving advice based on their own experience. She interviewed me several years ago at the annual Breakfast With the Authors in Santa Barbara. My tip for the day boiled down to this:
If you are an writer/illustrator and illustrating your own book, make sure you don’t write something that you can’t illustrate. In other words, think of the actions that move the story forward as you write. The beauty of being an author/illustrator is that if you discover a section that doesn't work with the illustrations, you have the option of rewriting the text to improve the flow.
You can see the whole video by clicking here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoGAcBDVA0g

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Listen to A WOMBAT'S WORLD on YouTube

On a recent search of the internet I discovered a YouTube video of Dr. Mira Reisberg reading my book A Wombat's World. It is part of her Mondays with Mira blog. Mira is the founder of the Children's Book Academy.
A baby wombat is born deep in an underground burrow. After seven months in his mother's pouch he is ready to explore. As evening falls, the mother and baby wombat come out of their burrow. Using their sharp claws, they spend the night digging up grasses and roots to eat. Soon the young wombat will be big enough to live on his own. 
Click on the link above and enjoy learning more about wombats! 
A Wombat's World is available on Amazon and as an e-book at Capstone Publishers.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Gardening Project: DO PLANTS FEEL GRAVITY?

One of my first illustration assignments was for a book about gardening activities with children.  At that time, most books for children were illustrated with black and white art so I made pencil drawings.  Here is one of the activities.

Do plants know which way is up and which way is down? Can they detect Earth’s gravity? Here is an experiment that will help you find out.

You will need:
radish seeds
clear glass jars
paper towels
box with a cover

Soak the radish seeds overnight in water. Line a clear jar with a damp paper towel and place the seeds between the towel and the jar, 1 inch from the lip. Keep the towel moist. Stand the jar in inside the box and close the lid to make it dark. When the seeds have germinated (a few days) and their stems extend an inch beyond the top of the jar, place the jar on its side as illustrated. Leave the jar in the dark again. Check the seedlings in a day.  Have the stems and roots changed direction? Do you think that plants can feel gravity?

The effect of gravity on plants is called geotropism.

From Children’s Gardens: A Field Guide for Teachers, Parents and Volunteers by Elizabeth Bremner and John Pusey, Illustrations by Caroline Arnold

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

SAVING THE PEREGRINE FALCON: a Song to Remember

Peregrine Falcon Art
I have been cleaning out old files and came across this wonderful song created by the First Grade Class at Mission Avenue Open School in Sacramento, California in 1993. They had read my book, Saving the Peregine Falcon, used the information to create the song, and then performed it for me when I did an author visit to their school in April 1993. Afterward, they presented me with a copy of the words for the song along with a torn paper art project of a peregrine falcon. I have treasured it for many years.
Here is the song:

Peregrine Falcon

We are strong falcons,
We are strong falcons,
We are mighty, mighty, mighty, mighty, mighty birds!
But we need your help!
We need your help!
We need your help right now!

We are little peeps,
We are little peeps.
We don't like the DDT that's in our mother's meat!
'Cause it breaks our shells,
It breaks our shells,
It breaks our shells apart!

We are scientists, we are here to help.
We are scientists, we are here to help.
We will save you from the DDT!
We'll work together, you will surely see!

Thank you very much!
We were in "double Dutch",
But we're doing better now, we're better, better, now!

CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW
CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW

THANK YOU FOR YOUR BOOK!
WE REALLY TOOK A LOOK!
FIRST GRADE WILL REMEMBER
TO HELP WILDLIFE!

The good news is that peregrine falcons are now (in 2016) no longer on the endangered species list, thanks to no more DDT and the dedicated work of many scientists. My book, Saving the Peregrine Falcon, illustrated with photos by Richard Hewett, is out of print but you may be able to find it in the library.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Review of LIVING FOSSILS in Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

I was pleased to receive this very nice review of my book LIVING FOSSILS: Clues to the Past in the August 3rd issue of Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews.

Living Fossils: Clues to the Past

Caroline Arnold
Illustrator:  Andrew Plant
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 7 to 9
Charlesbridge, 2016   ISBN: 978-1580896917
 Many of us have seen fossils in museums; the trilobites and other insect-like creatures, and the dinosaurs, both small and large. For the most part these animals looking nothing like any animal that is alive today. They went extinct long ago and their very distant modern-day relatives are quite different.

However, there are a few animal species living in the present day that are very similar to their ancient relatives. Their kind survived extinction events and climate change, and they have even survived the assent of mammals. These animals are often called living fossils, and in this book readers will meet a few of these singular creatures.

Perhaps one of the most famous living fossils is the coelacanth. Before the 1930’s scientists thought that this large, marine, lobed-tailed fish had died out sixty-five million years ago. Then a fisherman found a coelacanth in the Indian Ocean and the scientific community went wild speculating about how this animal had survived for so long.

Another species that has remained remarkably unchanged is the horseshoe crab. This animal lived on Earth a hundred million years ago, and it still lives here in the present day.

Many of us will probably never see a live coelacanth or horseshoe crab, but there is one living fossil that most of us are familiar with because they are found all around the world. Two hundred and eighty million years ago large crow-sized dragonflies zipped around marshes preying on smaller insects and other animals. Dragonflies today are a lot smaller, but they still favor environments where there is water, and they are still predators.

Young readers who are interested in fossils and in creatures that lived long ago are going to thoroughly enjoy this book. Readers are shown what six ancient animal species looked like and then they are shown their modern-day counterparts. In addition to telling us about these animals, the text also explains how fossils are formed and how living fossils provide scientists with “clues to the past.”

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Book Review in Grinnell Magazine

I am pleased to have my books reviewed in the summer issue of the Grinnell Magazine on page 15. I studied art and literature at Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, and graduated with a major in Art. An almost complete collection of my books can be found in the alumni section of the college library.
Here's the announcement of my recent books in the Grinnell Magazine:

A Day and Night in the …
Prolific children’s book
author/illustrator Caroline Scheaffer Arnold ’66
has published two series of animal board books that were rewritten for younger readers. From the habitat series: A Day and Night in the Rain Forest, A Day and Night in the Desert, A Day and Night on the Prairie,and A Day and Night in the Forest (Capstone: Picture Window Books, 2015). From the animal series: A Zebra’s World, A Panda’s World, A Polar Bear’s World, and A Penguin’s World (Capstone: Picture Window Books, 2015). Arnold also authored Living Fossils: Clues to the Past, illustrated by Andrew Plant

Note: Books in the Habitat series are available in hardback, paperback and as e-books; the new books in the  animal series are board books, adapted from my earlier series Caroline Arnold's Animals.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

SCBWI SUMMER CONFERENCE 2016, Los Angeles, CA

My Workshop at the 45th Annual SCBWI Summer Conference, Los Angeles, CA
The SCBWI summer conference, held this year in the elegant Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, was fantastic as usual with amazing keynote talks, workshops and more. It was three days of inspiration that will last the whole year. Talks from authors, illustrators, editors and agents were terrific. And I loved the chance to spend time with writer friends both old and new.
Book Sale and Stairway to the Biltmore Bowl
On Sunday morning I conducted a workshop “Creating Eye-Catching Nonfiction for the Very Young” in which I talked about the relationship between text and illustration and how they work together to tell the whole story. My theme was “let the illustrations do the work.” I then showed–briefly–the process I go through when illustrating one of my books using my cut-paper technique. I thank Liz Mertz, SCBWI Regional Advisor from Texas, for introducing me at my workshop and making sure everything ran smoothly.
Some of the many SCBWI nonfiction writers at the Nonfiction Social
An incredible team of SCBWI bloggers kept a running account of conference events.  For a close-up look at all the many events of the three-day conference, I recommend going to the conference blog. Because all the workshops ran concurrently, it was impossible to see everything in person. But by reading the blog you can get highlights of the various presentations. I thank SCBWI blogger (and amazing and prolific author/illustrator) Don Tate for the photos of me at my workshop and at the nonfiction social.
Lin Oliver, our extraordinary leader and co-founder of SCBWI
In addition to listening to the keynote speeches, panels and Golden Kite speeches in the large Biltmore Bowl I attended three excellent workshops: The Picture Book Process with Saho Fuji, art director at Little Brown; Crafting the Narrative Nonfiction Biography with Bonnie Bader, author/editor at Penguin Books; and Facts Meets Feeling: Narrative nonfiction that informs, entertains, moves, and convinces audiences by Melissa Manlove of Chronicle Books. The final event of the conference was the autograph party in the Crystal Ballroom where I signed my books Living Fossils, A Zebra's World and A Day and Night in the Rain Forest.
Book Signing in Crystal Ballroom
I have been going to the SCBWI summer conference since 1977 (then it was just SCBW, no I) and have seen it grow and become better and better. This year more than 900 people attended!  In 1977 I was an unpublished writer. A year later I sold my first book. I credit the SCBWI for helping me to become a successful writer and I am pleased and honored to have had the chance to be a speaker this year at the conference. Who knew 45 years ago, when Lin Oliver and Steve Mooser started the Socity of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, that it would become the largest and most influential organization for children’s book writers and illustrators in the world.
Thank you Lin and Steve!
Chocolate pyramid dessert at Golden Kite Awards Dinner

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

NYPL Recommends: New Nonfiction for Kids

I was delighted to discover my new book, LIVING FOSSILS: Clues to the Past on the list of books recommended by the staff of the New York Public Library, in a blog post NYPL Recommends: New Nonfiction for Kids written by Lynn Lobash, Manager of Reader Services.  In each of six categories–science, biographies, sports, animals, art and other stuff–the library's Best Books for Kids committee has chosen several books.  In addition to my book in the science category, the other two titles are: Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh [Gr. 2 - 4]A beautifully illustrated biography about the first person to successfully map the ocean floor.
and
Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure: A Journey Through Physics by Dr. Dominic Walliman & Ben Newman [Gr. 2 - 5]A cat explains physics and finally I get it!
These and all of the other books recommended by NYPL look equally fascinating.
I am proud that Living Fossils is included in this list!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Living Fossils at the Los Angeles Zoo

Zoo Scape, May-June Issue
My book Living Fossils: Clues to the Past focuses on animals of today that closely resemble their ancestors known from fossils. Did you know that there are many plants that are living fossils too?  Ferns, cycads, ginkgo trees, and the dawn redwood are just a few examples. You can see some of these fascinating  plants at the Los Angeles Zoo and you can read about them in the May-June issue of Zoo Scape, in an article called “Living Fossils”. Zoo Scape is the member newsletter of the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Here's an excerpt:
Ferns are so common (there are more than 11,000 species worldwide) that it's easy to overlook their remarkable history, which stretches back about 400 million years. Ferns predated flowering plants and were the dominant botanical life form during the Carboniferous era 360 to 286 millions years ago when flying insects and reptiles first appeared. 
Take a look around YOUR neighborhood. Chances are that you have some living fossils growing near where you live!
Ferns in my front garden

The Nautilus is a living fossil

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Listen to A ZEBRA'S WORLD on YouTube

I was searching the internet recently and was pleased to discover Kristi Bailey, a kindergarten teacher in Texas, reading A Zebra’s World in the Caroline Arnold’s Animals series on YouTube. I loved the way she introduced the book using a globe to show where she lives and where zebras live.
Here is the description of the video on YouTube.
A kindergarten teacher, Elementary K, reads aloud "A Zebra's World" by author Caroline Arnold. This is a non-fiction text that leads readers through the first year of a plains zebra's life in Africa. The book is a great example of expository writing and has text features of captions and labels. This book is a read aloud in the Journeys Reading Series (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Review of LIVING FOSSILS in Foreword Reviews, Summer 2016



I was pleased to receive the following nice review of my book LIVING FOSSILS, CLUES TO THE PAST (Charlesbridge) in the summer 2016 issue of Foreword Reviews.
Living Fossils is a fascinating book providing an examination of “living fossils”: plants and animals that retain characteristics of their earliest ancestors. The book discusses six different species, with beautiful, detailed illustrations of both the ancient creatures and their modern counterparts. Details on how each creature survived, and how they have or have not adapted over time, are included for each creature. A time line and a glossary of terms are included. The book is intended for ages seven to ten and will surely spark the imagination of anyone interested in prehistory.