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New & Noteworthy News!

Where the Cold Winds Blow

Now that I have lived in Florida for over twenty years, I've kinda forgotten what it's like to wipe wet snow off my windshield or carefully walk to my car in an ice-covered parking lot. But I still think how lovely it would be to spend a day again making an angel in the snow or tasting snowflakes on my tongue. I remember those days fondly, sledding down a hill with the preschoolers at my nursery school.

One really fun thing we used to do was write in the snow. Here's the recipe:

Fill squirt and spray plastic bottles with water and different food-coloring. Mark off a smooth snowy surface in your playard and let the children practice writing letters or words in the snow.!"

Little did I know way back then that I'd write and publish a book called "Over in the Artic, Where the Cold Winds Blow," perfect to read to young children on a snowy cold day, or even here in Florida.

P.S. Here's what I would write in the snow for you!

" May your holidays be filled with peace and joy!"

See you next year!!

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It's just one word, the best word I can think of: THANKS!

But there is really no word to adequately express how rich and rewarding teachers, librarians, parents and of course the wonderful children, have made my life over these many years.
And obviously I have to thank my publishers at Dawn Publications, Sylvan Dell Publishing
and Lerner Books for making it possible for me to become a children's author.

As I continue to combine fact and fiction, in my "faction" books, I love each book in a different way-- from frogs, birds, shells, ocean creatures, rainforest animals, planets, Arctic animals, animals that migrate, Australian animals, forest animals, animal analogies to the very latest, a bear who climbs a tree. These books continue to receive some terrific reviews and awards. The latest good news is that both Animalogy and Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek just won a 2013 Teachers' Choice Award.

It is such fun writing and researching, each time learning something new and exciting about animals and nature. I am so thankful to be able to do this, entertaining and educating kids for the past 12 years and in the years to come. With appreciation to my dear editors, art directors, marketing people and the terrific illustrators of my picture books, I look forward to sharing three more informational picture books in 2013 (Can you guess what they will be about?) and just signed another one for 2014. Even though I use words all the time, there will never be enough of them to express my heartfelt "thanks!" Read More 
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Energized at FAME!

I'm so excited to be at the FAME Conference again this year, celebrating the 40th anniversary. I still remember my first presentation back in 2002 when, as a new author, I shared my first book, "Marsh Music." Have made so many library friends since then and written eleven more books! (Keep pinching myself!!)

This time (my fourth at FAME) I'll be sharing my latest book, "The Tree That Bear Climbed" (and others) at a workshop with illustrator, Laurie Allen Klein called "So Much More Than a Picture Book." That's basically what all my books are, interactive books combining fiction and non-fiction, all of which can be connected to the Common Core Standards. Promise that Laurie and I will "energize" you at our workshop, so please stop by.

We'll be presenting at 10 a.m. on both Friday. 11/2 and Saturday, 11/3.

Book Signings are at 12:15 on both days, and we'll be at the Authors' Reception
Thursday from 6:00-7:30.


FAME conference

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It's Here! The Tree That Bear Climbed!

Twelve has always been my lucky number, so here in 2012, is my twelfth picture book, The Tree That Bear Climbed . It's the first book I haven't done in rhyme, but there is repetition, which kids of course love, in this cumulative verse adapted, from "The House That Jack Built."
It's all about how a tree grows and the bear who is climbing the tree for a very good reason. Hope you will look it over on Amazon.com or the Sylvan Dell Publishing web site, which gives you many teaching activities to go with the book.

I'll be sharing this and my other Sylvan Dell book "Animalogy" at the FRA Conference in a workshop with illustrator, Laurie Allen Klein, called "So Much More Than a Picture Book!" Look for us this coming Saturday and Sunday 10/20-21, in Orlando!



Sylvan Dell Publishing

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Be a Wildlife Detective!

You can learn a lot about forest animals by simply looking and listening. I'm hoping lots of kids this summer had a chance to actually take a woodland walk, looking for animal clues, discovering animal tracks and listening to many different sounds in a forest.

Reading my latest picture book "Over in the Forest" can't take the place of the real thing, but it is a fun way to learn about the forest and its animals, either before or after you take that walk! The book has already received some wonderful awards:

•2012 Izaak Walton League of America Book of the Year Award (Elementary Level)
•2012 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award (Picture/Storybooks)
•2012 Mom’s Choice Gold Award (Children’s Picture Book Category)
•2012 Purple Dragon Book Award – 1st Place (Children’s Picture Book – Ages 5-)
•2012 IBPPG Next Generation Indie Book Award – Finalist (Children’s Picture Book Category

Hope you'll check it out at your library, on Amazon.com or your local book store. You can also see it at the Dawn Publications website.


Dawn Publications

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Library Summer Reading Programs

It's always great to hear from librarians who use my picture books in their summer reading programs. Recently I was reminded of a YouTube interview I did about "Seashells by the Seashore" and "Over in the Ocean, in a Coral Reef." It was such fun talking about these two books with Riley Roam of Page Turner Adventures and discussing the extended activities librarians, teachers and parents can do with these books. I hope you'll enjoy the interview as together we celebrate the joy of summer reading!


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"Summertime, and the livin' is easy!"

Do you already have activities planned with your kids this summer--going to the ocean, mountains or just enjoying your own backyard? My friend, author and educator, Carol Malnor has a wonderful blog called "Inside Outside Nature" that you are bound to enjoy. She has lots of
"teaching treasures" to share. Carol invited me to be her guest blogger for the month of June.
Hope you'll check it out!


Carol's blog

As the familiar song goes," the livin' is easy" and fun!
Summer smiles,
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Terrific School Visits

Now that school is coming to a close, I want to thank everyone who made my school visits possible, from the dedicated media specialists, the creative teachers, the welcoming principals, to the terrific students, parents and PTO’s.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ve posted recent photos showing how much
goes into making a school author visit successful. These are just of the past few months. Check out more on each of the “My Books” section. Some go back a few years, e.g. the ones where teachers and students decorated each of their doors showing the topics of my books, as well as recent photos of classroom activities. (Check out the amazing art creations in “Over in the Jungle” or the “Frog” collage in “Marsh Music.”)

Planning a good school visit takes lots of time and effort, but it sure pays off in the end.
It’s best when schools book well in advance, so they can plan an event that involves everyone in the school. I’m always impressed when my books are tied into the school curriculum in so many different ways--through math, science, art, music and language arts-- and with the research that kids do about me and my books before my visit.

I hope I have entertained, involved and informed both students and teachers, using my eleven picture books (soon twelve) and hope to do more in the next school year. Thank you so much for all you did to make me feel so welcome (that includes the bottles of water, and tasty lunches!)
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"April is for Authors" Book Festival

What a fabulous time I had at "April is for Authors" in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on Saturday, April 28! This literary event for the entire family is one of the best book festivals I've participated in over the years.
Everything was beautifully orchestrated for the 24 authors who came from all over the county to visit area schools on Friday and give presentations, be on author panels, and do book signings all day Saturday at Palm Beach Gardens High School. If you missed it, put it on your calendar for next year as teachers, authors from different genres, students and families will again come together to celebrate the joy of reading. Click below to find out more!



April is for Authors
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What a Great Response!

My best-selling counting & sing-along book is now available as an interactive app for the iPad! Children count, poke and jiggle the ocean animal babies to watch them graze, skitter, dart, and much more—and then find all the babies in a counting game.

This app is a fun, multi-sensory way to reinforce learning. It was introduced last week for $2.99 and the response was overwhelming! For those of you who didn't yet take advantage of the offer, I've been told that it's well worth the standard price of $4.99. Click on "Dawn Publications" to learn more about it in a video preview and read the first week of great reviews ! Then "dive on in!"



Dawn Publications
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