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New & Noteworthy News!

And the Winner Is....

Media Specialist, Patty McQueen, is the winner of three autographed copies of my "Over" books illustrated in cut-paper by Jill Dubin.
Thanks to you all for the wonderful comments about my books.

Here's what Patty wrote:
April 3, 2012 12:43 PM EDT
Marianne's books are fantastic for kids (and the adults who read the books to them!) I have had one of Marianne's visits to my other school and she will be visiting my current school in May. We are using her books for classroom and resource activities all through April so we are ready for her visit! Can't wait!
- Patty McQueen, Windy Hill Elementary

Look for another Giveaway Celebration in August, when my next book, published by Sylvan Dell Publishing, "The Tree That Bear Climbed" is released. You can already see that book on the Sylvan Dell website below:



Sylvan Dell Publishing
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Dawn Publications Releases Its First-Ever App!

Now Available from iTunes
List Price: $4.99
Special Introductory Price: $2.99!!

My best-selling counting & sing-along book, "Over in the Ocean, in a Coral Reef" 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. It’s a fun, multi-sensory way to reinforce learning.

Children have three options: “read to me” in which they hear the author reading, “sing to me” to hear her singing it to the classic tune of “Over in the Meadow,” or “read to myself.” When they touch the baby animals on the screen, the octopus squirts ink, the dolphins jump, the seahorses flutter, and so on, from 1 to 10. And then the game begins! The babies “up and swim away” and the reader is invited to find them “from ten to one.”

Additional app pages have information about coral reef animals in general as well as each species featured, including a photograph of each.

Don’t miss this special introductory offer (good through April 18)

Click onto "Dawn Publications" below to view a short video preview of the Over in the Ocean iPad App



Dawn Publications

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Giveaway Celebration!

To celebrate the release of "Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek" I'll be giving away signed copies of my "Over" books illustrated in beautiful cut-paper art by Jill Dubin. Just send me a short message in the comment section below.

On April 12 during National Library Week, I'll announce the winner and mail three autographed hardcover copies to a lucky person for your library, school or a child's home library.
Contest ends April 10, 2012. Read More 
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Come and Explore with Me!

Come take a walk with me in the forest, as I read my newest book at Barmes & Noble in Jensen Beach on Saturday, March 24 at 11:00 a.m. My favorite CRM, Ms. Lin, will be joining me in our fun-filled presentation, as we go on a bear hunt, along with my new puppet, Buster the Bear. Book signing will follow.  Read More 
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Sanibel is "Shellabrating!"

Next Saturday I'll be on beautiful Sanibel Island, Florida, autographing at the 75th Annual Shell Fair.

When I visited Sanibel for the very first time, it was love at first sight. I couldn't believe the assortment of shells that were on the beaches! I had moved to Florida from New York, and did some beachcoming on the east coast, but this was amazing!

Stuffing shells in my coverup, which luckily had big pockets, I laid them out on the balcony of our hotel room and studied the gorgeous works of art. Three years later I returned, sack in hand this time, and did the "Sanibel stoop," gathering beautiful shells that I planned to write about in a children's book. (I was a children's librarian at that time and discovered that not very many books about seashells had been written for children.)

"Seashells by the Seashore" is about about a little girl who collects some very special shells ---periwinkles, kitten paws, olive and scallop shells to name just a few--as a gift for her Grandmother. When she and her friends discover one that has something living inside, they put it back in the water--learning that shells are the abandoned homes of sea creatures called mollusks. It's a fun "hands-on" lesson on one of nature's wonders!

Published by Dawn Publications in 2002, the book is still going strong. I'm looking forward to autographing it at this very special event next Saturday, along with my popular "Over in the Ocean, in a Coral Reef."

There will be all manner of shell art, artifact and accessories on the grounds of The Sanibel Community House, March 1-3. There is no fee to attend Shell Fair, but to peruse indoor exhibitions which are really incredible to see, a $3.00 donation to the Shell Club is encouraged. For more info, phone (239) 472-2155.

75 years of Shell Shows on Sanibel is certainly something to "shellabrate!"



Dawn Publications
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"Australia" a 2011 Florida Book Award Winner!

I have to keep pinching myself! This is the tenth award "Over in Australia, Amazing Animals Down Under" published in 2011, has received.

Florida Book Awards recently announced winners for books published in 2011 by Florida authors. This award, established in 2006 "celebrates the best Florida literature published the previous year." All award recipients will be recognized at the Florida Library Association Conference Banquet on April 19 in Orlando. Click on the link below and you'll see that "Australia" won the silver award for children's literature. What an honor!


Florida Book Awards

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"Over in the Forest" gets its first review!

"Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek," which will be released any day now, already received a wonderful review in the January issue of "Kirkus." Hooray for Jill Dubin and me, and for our terrific publisher, Dawn Publications!

"Having already explored the ocean and jungle, planets, the Arctic and Australia, Berkes this time focuses her "Over in the Meadow"–derived lyrics on a temperate deciduous forest.

Readers are treated to a look at a forest habitat and its more familiar denizens, including beaver, turkey, woodpecker and ’possum. As in her previous titles, there is a nice balance between math and the animal information. Berkes introduces children to the names given to baby forest animals, indicating them with italics—fawns, joeys, hatchlings, poults, chicks and kits. The number is set in a different color type, while the numeral is featured prominently at the bottom of the page. Dubin gives readers several opportunities to practice, illustrating both the baby animals and their tracks, both of which can be easily identified and counted. In addition, she hides another forest dweller on each page. Her paper-collage, colored-pencil and pastel artwork is filled with gorgeous textures that echo the natural world of the forest. Berkes rounds out the text with educational backmatter: a list of the hidden animals and a few facts, a section that reveals her artistic license, some forest facts, detailed paragraphs about each of the featured animals, the music and lyrics, notes from both the author and illustrator, activities to extend the book and resources for more information.

Formulaic? Perhaps, but none can argue with the educational value, nor the fun—what will she tackle next? (Informational picture book.3-8)"

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Celebrate Florida's Literacy Week

"Reading just 20 minutes a day makes a difference! Research shows that children who read just 20 minutes a day are more successful students and have a reduced chance of dropping out of school."

In celebration of the joy of reading and Literacy Week beginning Jan 23, I'll be visiting three Florida schools; two in Lake County and one in Palm Beach County, and also presenting at the Palm Beach Gardens Library on Jan 27.
Please check out my schedule under "events" on this web site to learn more. HAPPY READING!



Literacy Week

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A Picture Book is a Present You Can Open Again and Again!

A few weeks ago there was an article in The New York Times that warmed my heart:
“For Their Children, Many E-Book Fans Insist on Paper.”
While e-books have their place in today’s generation of readers---two of my picture books are already e-books---most parents want their young children to experience turning “real” pages of a picture book, and I couldn’t agree more.

I have fond memories of reading to my daughter as we snuggled in bed after the busy activities of the day ceased and we “climbed” into a picture book.

She would slowly turn the pages, pointing to words and touching the pictures, enjoying the story that the illustrations brought to life. (The “feel” of the book and the size and shape can’t be standardized into an electronic format.)

One of our favorites was the dynamic duo: “George and Martha.” (Two adorable hippos) We probably read about their hilarious adventures at least ten times. And by then, she was reading the books to me! While the first book was published in 1974, I think my grandkids, now reading chapter books and using iPads, would still find picture books by the incredibly talented James Marshall fun to read. I'm thinking of picking up a copy at Barnes & Noble before visting them at Christmas, so three generations can enjoy these sweet tales of friendship.

A picture book can be enjoyed at any age. The combination of art and text make it a unique reading experience! And, unlike an e-book, it can be around for a long time! This holiday season give a child a magical book that he/she can open again and again!


The New York Times
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Review from "School Library Journal" for "Animalogy"

BERKES, Marianne. Animalogy: Animal Analogies. illus. by Cathy Morrison. unpaged. charts. Web sites. CIP. Sylvan Dell. 2011. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-60718-127-9; pap. $8.95. ISBN 978-1-60718-137-8; ebook $9.95. ISBN 978-1-60718-147-7. LC 2011006510.
PreS-Gr 4–Use this rhyming book about animals with students to explain the concept of analogies. “Robin is to wing, as goldfish is to fin. Beaver is to build, as spider is to spin.” Body parts, size, sounds, actions, and animal classification are all included in the examples. Detailed and realistic illustrations give moose, bears, and frogs a ready-to-jump-off-the-page appearance. The lion and dog look ferocious, but fit the pairing of “Dog is to bark, as lion is to roar.” The final image shows a man reading Animalogy to children around a campfire with several animals from earlier pages in the background. Extensive activities are provided at the end of the book and online. The online activities feature cross-curricular lessons, learning games, and projects. This book makes learning about analogies, new vocabulary, and animals easy to understand and fun.–Nancy Baumann, University of Missouri-Columbia
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