When I saw Steve Jenkins’ art for our new book, Eat Like a Bear (Sept 10, 2013, Holt), I was amazed. The bears’ bodies were so furry-looking. I emailed Steve about it. He told me their bodies were made of amate, Mexican bark paper. Bark paper? You know me and my love o’ plants. I had to find out more. Turns out that this paper is made from fig and mulberry trees by craftspeople in a few small villages in the mountains of Mexico. It has a really deep history. The Mayan and Aztec people held it sacred. The craft almost died out but survived in one Otomi village in Mexico. Oh, there’s so much more to the story, I almost wish I could write a book about it. Hmm…! Take a look at this article on the web and you’ll see why I fell under the spell of this complex bark paper story: Amate Art of Mexico
Posts Tagged ‘mammals’
Turn your garden into a hummingbird hotspot, a haven for butterflies, and a thriving ecosystem. This family-friendly guide is my most personal book yet, sharing the wildlife gardening knowledge that Jeff and I have gained over the years. (more…)
Here Come the Humpbacks! My new nonfiction picture book, illustrated by Jamie Hogan of Maine, traces the migration of a humpback whale from the Caribbean to Stellwagen Banks near New England. The main narrative text is supplemented by expository sidebars. It’s a tad older, longer read than some of my youngest picture books. It’s a good pairing with Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! because it traces some of the environmental challenges along the migrating animal’s journey. NSTA Recommends has commentary on how to use it in science units and NC Teacher Stuff‘s STEM Friday post mentions using it in teaching different kinds of nonfiction writing.
Eat Like a Bear, my book illustrated by Steve Jenkins comes out in late 2012. But I’m already gathering like a bear for winter. The bears in that book are brown bears (grizzlies) but perhaps your classrooms want to study black bears. Here’s a great place to start. My cousin suggested that I might learn from this fellow and it seems he might do presentations in New England so perhaps some schools/organizations might want to work with him.
Ben Kilham presentations
He’s written books and has been featured in television programs. See here.
It is a Gray Squirrel. Small, local populations of gray squirrels have this gorgeous coffee color. This one lives in our neighborhood because a wildlife trapper released it here. As a Gray Squirrel, it is noticeably slimmer than the local Fox Squirrels. And it spends more time up in the trees. It’s the only one that can leap to our platform feeder, too.
Here are three recordings I made in Panama. Just click on the call and a sound player will come on screen. You can also hear toucans grinding their bills and parrots flying past in these recordings. Sharp ears might hear hummingbirds clicking and other tropical forest birds calling.
Meet the Howlers was just released. To listen to my howler monkey sound recordings, check my book page, here. National Geographic also has photos and a bit of information:
February marks the release of my new book, Meet the Howlers! (illustrated by Woody Miller, published by Charlesbridge).This nonfiction, rhyming read aloud looks at the life of a howler monkey from the perspective of a child who is a bit envious about the things wild howlers can get away with that a human child cannot. ”A solid read-aloud for young animal enthusiasts. Ages 4–7″ –Publishers Weekly. Charlesbridge has made a wonderful poster out of the cover art. To download it, visit their site and scroll down to the bottom of the page at www.charlesbridge.com.
I see this on the tree trunk outside my window. The animal’s name rhymes with whirl. One of its more specific common names is the traffic light color that indicates “stop.” It often sits and chews open pine cones, so it’s sometimes called “piney.” Got it? I’ll say more next month.