Label: Animal Books

July 5, 2016

Happy Publication Day to @Seymour Simon for his new book, INSECTS!

Cover of Seymour Simon's book INSECTS

The photographs are amazing, and you will learn some fascinating things in this book:

  • All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs. 

  • There are at least four times more kinds of insects than all other animals combined.

  • The number of insects alive at any given moment is approximately 10 quintillion (that is 10 followed by 18 zeros!)

    Available on Amazon



    Posted by: Liz Nealon

    (0) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, Animals, Animal Books, Insects   •  Permalink (link to this article)

    September 10, 2013

    How about this shot of a frog nabbing its lunch as our Cool Photo of the Week? What a great action shot! 

    I’m looking at lots of photographs of frogs this week because I am writing a new book about these fascinating amphibians. Do you see how the frog’s eyes bulge out of the side of its head? That enables them to see in nearly all directions, and they will snap at any small, moving object they see.

    It’s not that easy to see a frog catching its prey. If a frog spots a large object (like a human) moving nearby, it will immediately leap away to a safe, hidden spot. You must be very still and very sneaky to observe a frog close up.


    Photo: Cathy Keifer / 123RF

    Posted by: Seymour Simon

    (1) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, Animals, Animal Books, Cool Photo, Frogs, CollinsSmithsonian books   •  Permalink (link to this article)

    September 4, 2013

    Zebras are the topic of the first Writing Wednesday of the new school year. The writing below is an excerpt from ZEBRA, a lovely book by my friend and StarWalk Kids author Caroline Arnold.

    Here is what we would like you to do today. Read the section below from Caroline Arnold’s book and as you read, jot down the main ideas on this page. Then think about which one of those points is the MAIN IDEA. Look at the other thoughts you have written down. Are these "supporting details" that help to explain the main idea?

    Finish up by writing a short summary (one or two paragraphs) of what you think Caroline Arnold was trying to say on this page - you can use the main idea as your first sentence and your supporting details as evidence to back up your thinking.

    We would love to read what you write! You can publish your writing for others to read by clicking on "Comments" at the bottom of this blog post.

    Posted by: Seymour Simon

    (1) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Animals, Animal Books, StarWalk Kids   •  Permalink (link to this article)

    May 13, 2013

    I received a lovely letter from a second grader named Maya this weekend. She asked very good questions, so I thought I would answer it here for everyone to read. Here is what she wrote:

    My name is Maya. I am in second grade. I am 8 years old. My birthday is May 22nd. I love writing books. That is my favorite thing to do in school. I have 2 brothers. My school is Maugham Elementary School. I am writing to you because you are my favorite Author.

    It was interesting to learn that you have been writing for more than 40 years. Why did you write for more than 40 years? I love writing books! It was surprising to learn that you have written more than 250 books.  Have you written any Dolphin books? I have written an "All About" book about school.  I learned that the first book that you wrote was Space Monsters.  Was it hard to come up with that idea?  It was hard when I wrote my first book.  I love that you read "The Sea Around Us" to come up with the idea.  Did you have to think a lot? I had to think a lot when I written my first book. Can you please write back to me?

    Your fan,

    Maya B.

    Dear Maya,        

    Thank you so much for writing! It is always a pleasure to talk about my work as an author with a fellow writer.

    I suppose it does seem as though 40 years is a long time to write. However, writing is my job, so just like other grownups you know, I have done my writing job for most of my adult life.

    Of course, I am very lucky to have such an enjoyable profession. Even if it were not my job, I think I would write just because I love to do it. Writing books gives me the opportunity to explore new topics and think about how and why things fit together in the natural world. When I am writing, I am always learning.


    In answer to your second question, I have indeed written a book called DOLPHINS. They are magnificent creatures of great intelligence.

    It is also true that the first book I wrote was called SPACE MONSTERS, when I was in second grade. I loved reading science fiction when I was in elementary school, and I was making up my own stories like the ones that I loved to read in the science fiction magazines of that time. I wish I had a copy of that little handwritten book, but unfortunately it was lost many years ago.

    I wrote it again when I was first being published as an adult. This time it was called SPACE MONSTERS FROM MOVIES, TV and BOOKS, and it described all my favorite fictional aliens.

    Then last year I wrote a third version, called SILLY SPACE MONSTER JOKES AND RIDDLES. Are you getting the idea that I really, really like space monsters?!

    Your last question is probably the most critical one from a fellow writer, as you wonder whether I had to think a lot to write my first book. Of course I did, and in fact, I do a lot of thinking when I write every book. Writing involves a lot of thinking before you start - that helps me get to an outline, which I always do before I start writing.

    Then I write a first draft and set it aside for a while....

    read more

    Posted by: Seymour Simon

    (0) Comments  •   Labels: Animal Books, Becoming a writer, Kids Write, Seymour Simon, Space Monsters   •  Permalink (link to this article)

    November 14, 2012

    Good morning, and welcome to Writing Wednesday! Today we’re going to look at a portion of a book called A PINKY IS A BABY MOUSE, written by Pam Muñoz Ryan and illustrated by Diane deGroat. 



    In this book, the author is talking about the names for the babies of all different animal species, and she asks a question: What is a baby bat called?

    Your Assignment: Read the excerpt below and do some research. Find out what a baby bat is called, and then work with other students or friends to write a few more sentences about what you think is interesting, beautiful, or NOT beautiful about a baby bat. When you are finished, click on the yellow "Comments" link below to post your writing, or share it with your class.





    Note to Educators: Today’s Writing Wednesday exercise is designed to use in support of CCSS Writing Standard #7: Participate in shared research and writing projectsA PINKY IS A BABY MOUSE is one of the exclusive, recorded eBooks available in the StarWalk Kids digital collection. Click here for more information about signing up for a free, 60-day trial for your school.

    Posted by: Seymour Simon

    (1) Comments  •   Labels: Common Core, Writing Wednesday, Animals Nobody Loves, Animals, Animal Books, eBooks, StarWalk Kids   •  Permalink (link to this article)

    November 12, 2012

    Yesterday was a very special day, because I went to the memorial service for the great writer Jean Craighead George. She died this year at age 92, and her daughter Twig told me that her mother had still been writing up until four days before her death. Isn’t that wonderful?

    Jean grew up in a family of naturalists, in a house full of rescued wild animals. She once told an interviewer that when she started kindergarten she was shocked to discover that she was the only child who had a turkey vulture for a pet! She wrote in an essay for "Children’s Books and Their Creators": "I have discovered I cannot dream up characters as incredible as the ones I meet in the wilderness."

      Jean was an outdoorswoman her whole life, and many fellow authors and editors who spoke about knowing her yesterday described trips they made with Jean to visit the wolves in Yellowstone National Park, to the great aquarium in New Orleans, and to observe whales migrating in Alaska. Amy Kellman, a librarian from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a longtime friend of Jean’s, quoted a line from one of Jean Craighead George’s books in which she was describing a peregrine falcon named Oxie, who "did things her own way." Kellman said that she always thought Jean was describing herself when she wrote about the independent falcon.

    Her son, Dr. Craig George, is a Senior Wildlife Biologist in Barrow, Alaska, working with bowhead whales. Craig told the gathering that just a few years ago his mother camped with them on unstable ice, at minus 20 degrees, during the bowhead census. "She was absolutely fearless," he said.


    Jean Craighead George wrote more than 100 books. The most famous one was JULIE OF THE WOLVES. Have you ever read it? It is a wonderful story about a girl known as Miyax in her small Eskimo village; to her friend in San Francisco, she is Julie. When Miyax runs away from her village, she finds herself lost in the Alaskan wilderness. In danger of starving to death, Miyax survives by copying the ways of the wolves. She is soon accepted into their pack, and when she finally returns to her old life, she struggles to decide who she is - Miyax of the Eskimos—or Julie of the wolves? 


    Here is a passage from the story:

    Miyax stared hard at the regal black wolf, hoping to catch his eye. She must somehow tell him that she was starving and ask him for food. This could be done she knew, for her father, an Eskimo hunter, had done so.


    Jean Craighead George was a great supporter of the Wolf Conservation Center near her home in Chappaqua, New York.

    At the end of yesterday’s memorial service, stories, we all sang "This Land is Your Land"......and then Twig asked for a minute of silence.

    As we sat quietly, the doors in the back of the auditorium opened and a trainer leading a white wolf entered the room. We all rose to our feet as this gorgeous creature, from the wolf sanctuary that Jean Craighead George loved, took the stage and looked at us all. It was magical.


    I admired Jean as a writer and a person. She was, and still is, an inspiration to my own writing. She will always remain one of the towering figures in children’s literature, one of the inspirational models for the rest of us in her field.



    Photo: Rocco Staino / School Library Journal

    Posted by: Seymour Simon

    (0) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Animals, Animal Books, Author Study, nature   •  Permalink (link to this article)

    October 31, 2012

    Good morning, and welcome to Writing Wednesday. Today, we’re going to share an excerpt from a lovely book by Caroline Arnold and Richard Hewett, called WILD GOAT. Once you have read this and enjoyed the photograph of these adorable kids, you can write about it and post your writing for others to read! 


    Your assignment: Tell us what you learned from the words in this selection. What did the pictures teach you? How did the words and pictures work together to help you understand the world of these baby goats?

    When you have finished, click on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog to post your writing.


    Note to Educators: Today’s Writing Wednesday exercise is designed to use in support of CCSS Reading/Informational Standard #6: Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and information provided by the words in a text.


    WILD GOAT is one of the exclusive, recorded eBooks available in the StarWalk Kids digital collection. Click here for more information about signing up for a free, 60-day trial for your school.


    Posted by: Liz Nealon

    (1) Comments  •   Labels: Common Core, Writing Wednesday, Animals, Animal Books, eBooks, StarWalk Kids   •  Permalink (link to this article)

    March 5, 2012

    I am going to visit a school in Menands, NY later this week, and in preparation for my visit, Ms. Sposito and her first grade class have been reading my books. What a nice surprise to find the lovely photographs and notes that they have been uploading today!

    Abbi and Sabrina wrote: We loved your KILLER WHALES book Seymour Simon. We liked the part about the blowhole.  The picture of the pod looks like a group of whales huddling together to have a meeting. How did you get the photo under the water?


    Toby and Varun are fans of AMAZING BATS: We like how you added all the facts about the different kinds of bats. How do you know this much about the gigantic flying fox?


    Leilah and Mady learned some surprising things from BABY ANIMALS: We loved your Baby Animals book. We were amazed when we read that a humpback whale is 12 feet long at birth.  We were also surprised to find out that baby garter snakes don’t live with their mothers. 



    Alicia, Roshni and Brody wrote: We read your book AMAZING BATS. We loved it! There were some parts we really liked. We thought it was disgusting but cool when we read that the ghost bat eats rats. We wondered, does the little brown bat’s stomach hurt when it eats 600 bugs an hour? We think it is silly to sleep upside down!



    LaTrell and E-Sonne wrote: We loved your book KILLER WHALES. Whales are cool because they swim really fast and are so huge! We learned that killer whales eat fish. 



    Jayden, Lyam and Alyssa liked the same book: We think the Killer Whale book was amazing! We did not know that whales can breathe on top of the water. We think it is cool that whales use flippers to steer and turn. How did you make the book? 


    Alexa and Reem wrote: Hi Seymour Simon. We are glad that you are coming this week because we love your Seymour Simon books! We love to read your BABY ANIMALS book. We liked learning about ducklings. We hope you make more books. See you on Thursday. 



    Aditi, Shafe, Alexis and Kamellia like BABY ANIMALS, also. They asked: How do you know so much about baby animals? We are so amazed by your books! We want people to read your books. We found out that baby animals are surviving all over the world. They are living things. Have a nice trip coming all the way to Menands. 

    Posted by: Seymour Simon

    (8) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Animal Books, School Visits, Kids Write, whales, SeeMore Readers   •  Permalink (link to this article)

    March 2, 2012

    One of the really special things about being a children’s author is that you receive many letters and notes from readers who love your books. Yesterday I received a note that was so sweet and wonderful, I decided to publish it here for others to read. Thank you, Lilly in third grade!

    Hi. i’m Lilly. I am nine and in third grade. I love your non-fiction books especially BIG CATS. My favorite animal is a big cat, it is the cheetah. I am kind of obsessed with cheetahs. I would love if you could answer some questions I ask you…what’s your favorite animal, How many pets do you own, What city do live in. Could you please send me a few pictures of animals. Have you ever encountered a cheetah? You are so inspiring to me… you inspire me to do what i love. You say we should protect wildlife which i agree. I have an acrostic just for you…




    You have a beautiful heart


    On my mind every time I see an animal

    U r awesome

    Rescuing animals in words


    Somebody to know



    One of my favorite authors

    Notice how wonderful you are at writing


    Thank you SO much for your lovely letter and wonderful acrostic. I’m so touched and pleased at what you wrote, Lilly. Cheetahs are great big cats and they are fascinating. I’ve only seen cheetahs in zoos and I’m afraid that I don’t have pictures of the animal to send to you. I only use photos of wild animals that are taken in the wild (not in zoos) in my books, so I get the photos from scientists who study the animals in nature.

    I’m not sure I have a single favorite wild animal, but I do enjoy reading and writing about them. The first book I wrote and that was published when I was an adult was a book about animal behavior and I’ve written dozens of books about all kinds of animals since then. 

    I live near New York City, and although I don’t have pets any more, I do miss my dog Nova and my two cats, Mittens and Newty Fruity. In fact, I have been reading about aquariums all week. I always used to keep and breed fish, and I think I’m going to start again because I miss it!

    Thank you, again, Lilly, for making my day very happy, indeed. 


    Posted by: Seymour Simon

    (7) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Animal Books, Cats, Kids Write, Conservation   •  Permalink (link to this article)

    December 11, 2011



    If your family has either an iPad, Nook Color or Nook Tablet, you can have a free Seymour Simon eBook called FUN FACTS ABOUT PETS!

    Last year, Barnes and Noble wanted to create a bonus for people who bought their new Nook Color. They asked Seymour to write an eBook that they could give away free as a gift to all their customers. That was Seymour’s first eBook, and the title is perfect - the facts are really fun! For example, did you know that dogs’ feet sweat? Or that a pot-bellied pig can open the refrigerator?!


    Here is a sample page from the book, which also has "Read to Me" narration.


    FUN FACTS ABOUT PETS is free not only for the Nook Color and Nook Tablet, but you will also receive it when you download the "Nook Kids for iPad" app. So, if you have any of these devices, be sure to check out this 48-page book. It is a gift to you from Barnes and Noble and Seymour Simon!

    Posted by: Liz Nealon

    (1) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, Animals, Animal Books, eBooks, Pets   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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