Please explore my website. Here you can learn about my books, school author visits, and even how to become a better writer! (Oh, and you might want to check out my BLOG.)
If you asked me--in elementary school, high school, or even after college--"Will you ever write a book?"--my answer would have been a loud "NO!"
When I was a kid, growing up in farm country, I had two strong interests: reading, and having adventures in nature. I loved to explore outdoors, roaming woods and fields, investigating ponds. I never dreamed that a person could have a career that called for lots of reading, and learning about wild animals. I've been lucky, working hard but also having fun, creating a career writing children's nonfiction books. This year my 116th and 117th books will be published.
Each book has helped me learn a lot about research and writing. That's why I love visiting schools. As a visiting author my motto is: "celebrating nature, inspiring good writing." Both my school programs and my many animal and nature books cover a wide range of grades. My excitement about nature, science, biography, and history--and the writing process--shines through in a variety of school programs.
As a reader, I've always been curious about the lives of writers. How do they work? Why did they choose to write about a certain subject? On this website you can learn "the story behind" many of my books. Click on a book title and discover where ideas come from, my personal adventures, research, and working with artists and science experts.
Funny things can happen when a writer works, and visits schools. Some of them are scattered through different parts of my website. Watch for A FUNNY THING HAPPENED...
Here's one: A FUNNY THING HAPPENED:
Long ago, my 6th book was published: Cockroaches: Here, There, and Everywhere. For most people, cockroaches are repulsive, disgusting creatures, but also highly successful and--to me and others--fascinating insects. I gave a copy of this book to a young mother, and she read it to her 5-year-old son. She told me that, at the book's end, her son excitedly asked, "Can we get a cockroach?!"
I hope you enjoy exploring here, and have fun learning about my books, school visits, writing life, and more!
TRY SOME NONFICTION MINUTES!
Type "nonfiction minute" into Google, and you will land on a site that is loved by growing numbers of teachers, librarians, and students. A group of about 30 authors of nonfiction books for children have written "minutes" (more like 2 minutes plus) about a diversity of fascinating topics. Many fit very nicely with seasonal events or school curricula. Each selection (170 for the school year) is accompanied by an audio of the author reading the text of about 400 words. Most also include photos or brief videos that enrich the experience. The Nonfiction Minute is a kid-friendly way to expose students to nonfiction text. And it is FREE.
Six of these Nonfiction Minutes are mine. The first to be posted was "Tiny Frogs Are Big News", then "Did the Hero Dog Survive?," "In Your Great Grandmother's Kitchen"--about ice and ice boxes, Taz in Big Trouble," "Here Come the Cicadas!," and "Watch a Web Master at Work." You might enjoy these, and others!
Click on the titles to the left to read stories and details about the creation of each book