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The Upside-Down Book of Sloths

Norton Young Readers, September 5, 2023; Illustrated by Isabella Grott

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Northern Lights Book Award for Nonfiction, 2023

 

Ages 7-10

We all love sloths, those cute critters hanging from rainforest trees. But did you know that their prehistoric ancestors grew as large as elephants, roamed as far north as Alaska, and swam in the ocean like sea lions? This illustrated book for young readers offers a deep dive into the worlds of these remarkable creatures, both present and past.

It’s time to turn everything you thought about sloths…upside down!

“An engaging introduction to an animal family that’s found its niche in the slow lane…Fetching and informative.” —Kirkus Reviews

“An engaging and informative inquiry into the world of sloths, past and present. Recommended.”—School Library Journal

“KIDS LOVE SLOTHS! Filled with delightful illustrations, kid-friendly facts, and NGSS-aligned information, this book is a must-have addition to any classroom or school library.” — Megan H, Teacher Librarian, California

“A fast-paced journey through the 50-million-year history of one of Earth’s slowest, most delightfully weird creatures. Take time to enjoy this wonderful book, full of beautiful illustrations and fascinating factoids.” —Dr. Emily Lindsey, Associate Curator, La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

“If you are not a sloth fan, this delightful book will make you one. If you are already a sloth fan, you might learn things you would not have thought possible!” —Dr. Heidi A. Lennstrom, K-12 educator and STEM mentor, Westside School

“The Upside-Down Book of Sloths has everything right-side-up for both kids and adults. Scientifically accurate text, a joy to read and read again, and remarkable art to enjoy and enjoy again.” —Dr. Donald K. Grayson, Author of Giant Sloths and Sabertooth Cats

“I’m in love with this book! It is both beautiful and accurate, revealing the wonderful world of sloths in ways that will encourage children to learn more. I look forward to recommending it to sloth lovers and everyone I know!” —Dr. Mariella Superina, Chair, IUCN/SSC Anteater, Sloth and Armadillo Specialist Group

“A complete delight!”—Dr. Richard Farina, Universidad de la República, Uruguay

Out of the Blue: How Animals Evolved from Prehistoric Seas

Candlewick Press, 2021; illustrations by Frann Preston-Gannon


Winner, Northern California Book Award for Younger Readers, 2022

Blueberry Honor Book, 2021

CCBC Choice, 2022

School Library Journal Fuse 8 Science Booklist Selection

Where did the first animals come from? With lively, kid-friendly narrative and vivid artwork, this picture book describes the transition of animals from water to dry land. Learn how and why creatures began to emerge from the deep—from the Cambrian Explosion to crustaceans, mollusks to fishes, and giant reptiles to the rise of mammals—and how they compare to the animals we know today. It’s a story from out of the blue—and back again!

★ “Shreeve anchors this chronicle of the development of life on Earth with an opening question: Among hippos, dolphins, and sharks, which two are the closest relatives? Preston-Gannon’s cheerful, colorful illustrations show an astonishing variety of creatures… The total package is simple and effective.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

★ “This title explains how life began in the ocean, with surprising information, descriptive details, engaging illustrations, and page turns that propel readers forward…As the events of the narrative chronicle life and death both in the ocean and on the land, readers can begin to understand the joyous, wondrous, frightening complexity of the creation of life.” —School Library Journal (starred review)

“Shreeve adeptly communicates high-level scientific concepts in just a few paragraphs per page as she highlights key events in the transition from sea to land.”  —The Horn Book

“Evolution is a topic that has been tackled countless times in children’s books, but perhaps not with the same curiosity and beauty as Elizabeth Shreeve’s Out of the Blue: How Animals Evolved from Prehistoric Seas, gorgeously illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon.” —Northern California Book Award for Children’s Literature: Younger Readers

🐸🐸🐸🐸🐸  “As a reviewer that spends a great deal of time looking for accurate evolution education resources, I give this book and accompanying resources two opposable thumbs way, way up!” –Lin Andrews, Director of Teacher Support, National Center for Science Education; Reviewed in The American Biology Teacher, October 2022

“OUT OF THE BLUE is a breathtaking book, filled with oceans of wonder, surprise, and connection!” —Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus

Now also available in PAPERBACK! (Candlewick Press, 2024)

Coming September 3, 2024!

THE ODDBALL BOOK OF ARMADILLOS

Norton Young Readers, September 2024; Illustrated by Isabella Grott

Are they walking seashells? Time-traveling dinosaurs? 

No, they’re ARMADILLOS, wonderful oddballs that amble through life dressed in full sets of armor. This playful nonfiction book compares modern-day species to their prehistoric cousins, with adaptations to changing climates and ecosystems over time. And have you heard about screaming hairy armadillos—or ancient glyptodonts, enormous creatures that once grew as large as cars? 

Armadillos are on the move!

Coming February 25, 2025!

ON AN OCEAN JOURNEY: Animals in Motion Through the Seas

Sasquatch Press, Spring 2025; Illustrated by Ray Troll

I am thrilled to collaborate with one of my science artist heroes, Ray Troll, on this lyrical picture book for young children. The artwork is stunning (hey it’s Ray Troll, after all!) and we’ve included lots of great back matter about ocean creatures. Kids will love learning about over 30 species of sea life and how they move through their watery world. There’s even a field guide in the back.

Thank you, Ray Troll and Sasquatch Books!

Captain Freddy Counts Down to School

Two Lions, 2016; illustrations by Joey Chou

It’s Freddy’s first day of school, but first he’s needed on an urgent missioninto space! Captain Freddy’s adventures may just make him ready for his big day back on Earth. This picture book introduces information about the solar system and prepares young children for explorations at school…and beyond.

“A great choice for space fans and a good way to introduce kids to distraction as a coping technique.” Kirkus Reviews

“A colorful and spirited tale that launches readers into space alongside Freddy–a young boy hesitant about leaving home for his first day of school.” —Children’s Book Council

“Shreeve believably builds Freddy’s self-assurance as the story progresses.” —Publishers Weekly

“A sweet and reassuring tale in which Freddy, a fan of space travel, prepares for his first day of school.” Chicago Tribune, Best Back to School Books for 2016

Coming in 2025!

DINOSAURS TO DRAGONS: The Lore and Science of Mythical Animals

Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, Fall 2025; Illustrated by Violeta Encarnación

Over five years ago, I found a cast-off book at a library sale, Mermaids and Mastodons, published in 1957. The author, Richard Carrington, explored possible origins for mythical creatures in fossils and the natural world. WOW! I got prickles up my spine as the idea took hold. It took years for the book to be drafted, revised, and acquired, but it’s found a perfect home with Atheneum/Simon & Schuster. And Violeta’s artwork is gorgeous.

Still pinching myself about this incredible project!

Coming in 2026!

FAST FEET, BIG BRAINS: The Story of Human Origins

Norton Young Readers, 2026; Illustrated by Juan Carlos Alonso

Who are our earliest ancestors? What kind of worlds did they inhabit—and how did they survive? With evocative illustrations from paleo-artist Juan Carlos Alonso, this book (ages 7 and up) depicts a series of “famous fossils” that highlight milestones in human evolution. Recent discoveries and breakthroughs reveal our shared lineage and connections to the natural world.

It’s time to bring our human origins to life!

Stay tuned for cover!

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