Illustrator Update

Just after the holidays came the sad news that Steve Jenkins, masterful illustrator and artist of many books for children, had died. As the New York Times pointed out, Steve brought science to life with many, many gorgeous books that posed and answered questions about the natural world. What a huge loss for his family and the world of children’s literature.

Replacing Steve as the illustrator of The Upside-Down Book of Sloths was no easy task. After reviewing several portfolios, and kindly taking the time to check with me, Norton Young Readers reached out to Isabella Grott, an artist based in Florence, Italy. She took on the job, and the book is on track for publication in Fall 2023. (A sloth book, of course, takes its own slow time…) I love the expressive quality and humor of her work–and stay tuned for announcement of a follow-up book…shhhhhh….

Source: http://www.isabellagrott.com/

Beta Testing Curriculum for Out of the Blue!

THIRD GRADERS RULE! STEM teacher Sierra Satterstrom has been beta-testing the curriculum for Out of the Blue through this school year—and sending me many ideas for improvements and refinements! I adore seeing the students’ sketches, mini-books, and ideas as they dive into activities for understanding Earth history, predator-prey relationships, and the amazing adaptations that allowed animals to move from ocean to land. Can’t wait to visit the classroom when I’m in San Diego this spring!     

OUT OF THE BLUE Selected for 2021 Science and Nature Books for Younger Readers

Super excited and honored to see OUT OF THE BLUE included in the 2021 Science and Nature Booklist, School Library Journal’s Fuse #8 Production Blog by librarian, author, and book expert Betsy Bird. So many terrific books on this list! I own and treasure many of them and look forward to expanding my library with more. How about you? Is it time to give NONFICTION books to a little one near you? (Okay, I will admit to being particularly enamored of this budding reader…)

TEACHERS inventing prehistoric predators = FUN!

What a blast to be part of the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) Los Angeles Area Conference this month! My teacher friend, Jason Jones, and I presented Creating Curriculum Around Nonfiction Books: New Tools for Engaging Differentiated Learners at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Also got to meet one of my paleo/science communicator heroes, Gabe Santos @paleoparadox + visit the Alf Museum and Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. And hugged me a giant ground sloth at La Brea Tarpits!

Looking for a Teacher Gift?

Looking for a holiday gift for a teacher? Want to help a hard-working STEM educator make science class fun? How about an OUT OF THE BLUE gift package : a signed book, bookmarks and/or stickers, hard copy of the full curriculum* AND an online Q&A with the author. Email me if you’re interested!

*Beta-tested with real live kids!