Label: Animal Books

May 2, 2011

       

Are you a fan of Seymour Simon’s 3D books? If so, you’ll want to know that CREATURES OF THE DARK :: 3D is in Scholastic’s Lucky Book Club starting today. The book comes with 3D glasses, and it is 24 pages chock full of right-in-your-face views of fascinating animals that live their lives in the dark.

This book is only available to order for the month of May, so ask your teacher for a flyer and get it while you can!

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, Animals, Animal Books, Teachers and Librarians   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 15, 2011

I had a great "double Skype" session today with third and fourth graders in two schools in Durham and Middlefield, Connecticut. They have been studying my books and skyping with each other, and today all three of us did a Skype session together.

  The students were very well-prepared with questions about my books. They particularly love the very close up photographs in books like ANIMALS NOBODY LOVES, and wondered: how does the cameraperson get so close to a dangerous animal without getting hurt?

This is a very good question, and one that I am asked quite often. For a shot like this one, of a rattlesnake’s mouth and fangs, the photographer uses a bit of trickery called a "telephoto lens." That lens takes a picture that seems as though you are very, very close, when in fact, you are safely far away. Nobody is going to get THAT close to a poisonous snake!

 

The round area with a dark slit (at the bottom of the rattlesnake’s mouth) is a duct for releasing the venom. You can learn more about that and see a diagram at this link

Thanks to Mrs. Kohs and everyone who helped to organize today’s Skype session. I really enjoyed talking with you all!

 

Photograph by Anup Shah/Dembinsky Photo Associates

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(4) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, Animals, Animal Books, School Visits, Teachers and Librarians, snakes, Photography   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 13, 2011

What animal can . . .

  • run so fast, its feet don’t always touch the ground? 
  • weigh more than 2,000 pounds?
  • sense people’s emotions by their smell?
  •  . . . and wear shoes?
 

A horse, of course! Horses are some of the most fascinating - and historically important - creatures on Earth. Are you, or your class, interested in horses? We received this letter last week from a teacher:

"Your books are awesome and so engaging for elementary school, middle, and high school students.  I am a 4th grade English Language Arts Teacher and I plan to get your book, HORSES, to use as part of a unit.  Does your book discuss the impact of horses on Native Americans for hunting buffalo?"  

Our answer was "yes," Seymour Simon’s book HORSES includes the role of horses in American history, including their role in making Native Americans "the mounted buffalo hunters and warriors of the Great Plains."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we realized that we had never uploaded the free Teacher Guide which you can download from Seymour’s website and use with HORSES. We have added it now now, and it is quite extensive, with Questions for Before and After Reading, Activities, Additional Resources, and a Student Activity page.

If you haven’t yet tried one of Seymour Simon’s Teacher Guides (which are suited for either classroom or home use), try this one today!

 

All photographs from Seymour Simon’s HORSES (HarperCollins, 2006)

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(3) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Animal Books, Teacher Guides, Teachers and Librarians, Horses   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 1, 2011

As our regular readers know, there is a new SCIENCE JOKE or RIDDLE every Friday on the homepage of SeymourSimon.com. This week’s joke: Did you hear about the dog that could do multiplication? Click here to see the rest of the joke.

 

 

 

And since it’s New Joke Friday, we thought we’d let you in on some exciting news. Seymour Simon and his very funny illustration partner, Dennis Kendrick, are almost finished with a new eBook! Readers who are fans of the SILLY DINOSAUR RIDDLES book will want to be on the lookout for this one. It is more of your favorite animals jokes and riddles, this time about animals that you might find in a zoo.

 

 

 

 

 

You will be able to buy this exciting new book, and lots of other exclusive Seymour Simon eBooks when you download Seymour Simon’s free mobile app for your iPhone, iPod Touch or Android device. And, there will be a new, enhanced version just for the iPad in the coming weeks.

SILLY ZOO ANIMAL JOKES AND RIDDLES should be available in early May.

Posted by: Liz Nealon

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

March 21, 2011

A reader named Sam uploaded this picture over the weekend, and asked some good questions about dogs. Here is what Sam wrote:

 

Hi, Mr. Simon, 

I found this and I thought IT was the cutest thing ever!  It reminds me of your book DOGS.  My favorite book of yours is DOGS.  How many types of dogs are there?  What is the most dog bought?  If you can answer these, you’ll be my life’s (favorite) answerer!   Hope you like it!      - Sam T.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) lists 185 official dog breeds. This does not account for the many mixed breeds (some people call them "mutts") that exist, and many of those are beloved companions and great pets.

As to which dog is the most popular, the AKC rankings of most popular dogs (determined by which breed is registered most often) has had the same number one for the past twenty years - Labrador Retrievers.

This puppy appears to be a toy breed - perhaps a Maltese, or a Shih Tzu. Anyone out there able to identify it?

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(5) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Animal Books, Dogs, Kids Write, Puppies   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 23, 2011

       

Seymour Simon has cats on his mind, and he wants to know if you can find this little known fact: WHAT DO YOU CALL A GROUP OF CATS?

Hint: Seymour has written about this somewhere on the Seymour Science blog.

Prize: Post your comment here, and one person who has given the right answer will be selected in a random drawing to win a personally autographed copy of Seymour Simon’s book, CATS!

Enter today for your chance to win!

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(11) Comments  •   Labels: Animal Books, Cats, Contests, Kids comments   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 5, 2011

            penguin chick

I recently received a letter from a mother which reminded me of my own experience when my kids were growing up. She wrote:

“I have a seven year old that I read your penguin book to. Now she wants to have a pet penguin. I’ve explained to her that she can’t own one as a pet at home, but she wants to know if there are any organizations that care for penguins that she, and/or her class could sponsor and call her/their own.

Her school mascot is the penguin and she was thinking about wanting to start a penguin club. Can someone adopt a penguin, and if so, how? Is there a place that we can contact? Is there a place that takes contributions to help care for them? Your book is terrific. It really moved her.”

  

Penguins book cover

This letter really touched me because my own son, Michael, also loved penguins when he was in elementary school. In fact, I dedicated my book PENGUINS to him, writing: “For my son Michael, who was President of the Penguin Club in elementary school.” When Michael (who is now an adult) read the dedication, he objected, saying “Dad, that was an appointment for LIFE!” Funny guy, my youngest son.

We’ve done some research and found an organization called the International Penguin Conservation Work Group (www.seabirds.org) which allows one to adopt a penguin!

Why should kids be concerned about the welfare of penguins? Well, like many marine animals, commercial fishing practices endanger penguin colonies, particularly when overfishing depletes the food sources near their breeding grounds. Governments, conservation groups and the fishing industry worldwide are working together to develop safe and responsible practices that will protect our precious marine wildlife, including penguins.

Parents and Educators can download a free, 5-page Teacher Guide that we’ve created to use with my PENGUINS book. It includes Questions to Ask Before and After Reading, Suggested Activities, Additional Resources, and a child activity page. Download it from my website and use it with your kids to help them get even more out of the experience of reading the book.

Photo: Lyn Irvine

 

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Animal Books, Penguins, Conservation, Kids comments   •  Permalink (link to this article)

November 10, 2010

       

I am speaking in schools throughout the Dallas/Arlington area this week, and as always, I am delighted to be with the kids, and to meet such dedicated teachers, librarians and principals.

I know fellow authors share my view that a school gets the most out of an author visit when the kids have been prepared by reading my books, going on my website, even doing research on topics that interest them. I’ve seen some great examples of that this week.

At Christ the King School in Dallas, librarian Leslie Garnett had all the fourth graders do research projects based on my book, ANIMALS NOBODY LOVES

Leslie told me that she was amazed to see every kid dive into research about the animal they had chosen. I guess that’s what a book about gross, yucky, and misunderstood creatures will do for you!

Another librarian, Jennie Jackson at Lynn Hale Elementary School in Arlington, had arranged for two kids in every class (chosen randomly) to win a copy of my book EARTHQUAKES. I loved what she said to the kids before the drawing started. "Now, no groaning. I want you all to share in the happiness of the people who win." And indeed, every winner was loudly applauded by these students, who were also very enthusiastic participants in my talks - many hands in the air and great answers, all around!

I am also pleased to see that both educators and kids had prepared by coming to my website and using the resources that we have created here. As long as people keep using the free Teacher Guides, Project Ideas and other supplemental resources to extend the learning from my books, we’ll keep putting them up there. It is all free, so if you haven’t already, register as a member of the website in the Educators & Families section. We respect your privacy and will never sell or misuse your personal information - we simply ask you to register to ensure that it is adults - not kids! - using these educator resources.

People often ask as I miss teaching, and my answer is always that I’ll never stop teaching, as long as I’m writing for and speaking to kids.  And I don’t intend to stop anytime soon. It’s too much fun!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Animal Books, School Visits, Teachers and Librarians   •  Permalink (link to this article)

June 7, 2010

I surprised myself with the answer to a question I was asked at a recent conference. The question was: What is your favorite animal? My initial instinct was to say that it’s impossible to say which is my favorite animal…..it’s like having favorites among your own children.

Then I realized, to my surprise, that I do have a current favorite animal. It’s the BUTTERFLY! And why are butterflies my favorite? Because I’m writing a new book on butterflies. The manuscript is finished, I’m now researching the accompanying photos, and the book will come out early in 2011 as part of my Collins/Smithsonian series. My editors really pushed me to write about butterflies, and I must confess that at first I resisted. But, as I started to learn about them I became fascinated by these gorgeous creatures that children can observe in the wild, right in their own neighborhoods.

So I suppose the answer to the question regarding "what is my favorite animal" depends on what I am writing at the time. The truth is, the more I learn about a particular species, the more interested I become. That’s the fun of being a science author and also a science reader- constant exploration!

                                                                                   —-Seymour

   

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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

May 26, 2010

We’ve been writing a lot this month about the work we are doing to develop free, downloadable TEACHER GUIDES to go with all 26 of Seymour’s Collins/Smithsonian books (plus some other perennial favorites like ANIMALS NOBODY LOVES, EARTH, THE MOON, THE PAPER AIRPLANE BOOK, etc).

 

One of the nice features at the start of each Guide is a brief piece of first person writing from Seymour entitled "Why I Wrote This Book." It’s designed for teachers or parents to read aloud with kids before starting to talk about the book together. Today we are working on the Guide to accompany DOGS. Here is a preview of what Seymour wrote about the genesis of this book.

 

My first dog was a Springer Spaniel named Nova. Nova means "a new star" and that’s what NOVA was: a new star in our family. Then my son Mike got a dog and he named it Riley (who was then the coach of the New York Knicks). He eventually got another dog named Dizzy (you can guess why) and I dedicated this book to all three (but I misspelled the name of one of my son’s dogs-check the dedication to see which one).

 

We have completed a prototype Teacher Guide - for EARTHQUAKES - and are currently testing it in classrooms.  If you would like to give us your feedback you can download a copy by clicking on this link. We would love to hear from you!

   

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, Animal Books, Teacher Guides, Dogs, Teachers and Librarians   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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