What’s New 2005

Ant, Ant, Ant: An Insect ChantWatch out, world. The sequel to TROUT, TROUT, TROUT: A FISH CHANT is coming. Look for Trip Park’s wild and wonderful art in our new book, Ant, Ant, Ant: the Insect Chant (Fall, 2005). This year I’ve finally faced it: I may have a new career as insect lady. Dragonfly on my handTwo of my books this year involve insects: THE BUMBLEBEE QUEEN The Bumblebee Queenand ANT, ANT, ANT: AN INSECT CHANT. These two books join my other insect-related titles: Army Ant Parade, If You Should Hear a Honey Guide, and Home At Last. Really, I keep trying to write about cute, fuzzy mammals but somehow I end up writing about insects or things like dust.

Stars Beneath Your Bed: the Surprising Story of DustAlso released this year was STARS BENEATH YOUR BED: THE SURPRISING STORY OF DUST. I love the meaning of this book–the way the dust from us and dirt and dinosaurs creates the sunset and sunrise colors. This book is deep and about connections.

Wow, what a time it has been since I last updated my website. I have visited some terrific schools in Richmond, VA; Marion, IN; Greenville, SC; Turkey Run, IN; New Carlisle, IN; LaPorte, IN and so many other towns. In January I visited my old middle school, League Academy, in SC. There I met with some fine young authors as well as with some former teachers of mine. I also spent time in Mississippi interviewing relatives about life in the early 1900s.

Jeff and I had a wild adventure driving all the way from Indiana to Death Valley, CA, and back. We went to see and photograph the spring wildflower bloom. On the way we saw petroglyphs, the Painted Desert, and the Grand Canyon.

Perhaps I will see you at ALA in Chicago or at NCTE in Pittsburgh, where I am speaking during the author strand. Or come learn about writing at the Wisconsin SCBWI conference where I will be speaking this October. This summer I will also be giving a workshop for teachers about integrating literature with science. Please drop by any of these events and say hello! I love to reconnect with folks, especially from schools I have visited. Let me know how YOU are doing. Drop me an email with your news. Oh, and about the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker being rediscovered…we are overjoyed!

What’s New 2004

In June, 2004, NorthWord press is releasing my book TROUT, TROUT, TROUT: THE FISH CHANT, illustrated by Trip Park. This book goes into new and wacky territory, combining lilting language, rhyme, rhythm, informative endmatter, and gorgeous cartoonish illustrations. It’s a great gift book for nature loving children and adult anglers. It’s a hilarious read aloud for libraries…practically a performance piece. Nowhere else will you find such a joyful celebration of North American Freshwater Fish. Park’s watery illustrations are beautiful and goofy at the same time. I LOVE THIS BOOK!

I’ve gone high tech and high content with my talks this year. My new programs feature digital video of rain forests, hummingbirds, and giant damselflies, plus solid advice and activities related to the writing process, specifically about revision. If I haven’t visited your area in a while, you’ll be amazed how my talks have evolved. I bring my own laptop and digital projector so schools don’t have to hassle with equipment. Last fall I visited fantastic schools in Kentucky, New York state, and South Carolina. Check the Educator’s corner for some creative things educators did at those schools and their reviews of my talks. (Be sure to check out the PASTA ART, which was extraordinary.) I also had a terrific visit to the OKI Literature Conference, where I gave the opening remarks.

ONE IS A SNAIL, TEN IS A CRAB has been a huge hit. It’s been translated into Japanese, Dutch, and French and it’s done well in Britain. Teachers are loving this for math for grades K-5. Yes this book really does work at the older grades. See my Educator’s Corner for what various grades have done with it.

SECRETS OF SOUND was also lauded by CCBC as one of 40 books that were outstanding in their depiction of science and scientists.April, Jeff, Armadillo in Peru

Adventures in Nature!
In February Jeff and I had a great adventure in the Amazon rain forest in Peru. We saw giant otters, parrots, macaws, pink river dolphins, and a HARPY EAGLE! We rode in dugout canoes and fished for piranha. We were in a wild part of the Amazon, far from civilization and city lights, so the stars were magnificent at night.