Label: Animal Books

May 19, 2010

As you may have read previously in this space, we are creating free, downloadable TEACHER GUIDES to go with all 26 of Seymour’s Collins/Smithsonian books.

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 CATS, and we thought you might like to preview what Seymour wrote about the genesis of this book.

 

 When I wrote the book on cats, my family had two feral cats that had been born in our back yard and that we took into our house when they were a few weeks old. They became tame and we named them Mittens and Sir Isaac Newton (aka Newty Frewty). You can guess the reason for naming a cat Mittens but let me tell you about Newty.  Sir Isaac Newton was one of the greatest scientists of all time and he had a mind that was “forever voyaging through strange seas of thought,” according to the poet Wordsworth. My cat Newty was always wandering into strange places in my house so that is how he got tagged with the name of the great scientist, Newton.  

 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

(3) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Animal Books, Cats, Pets   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 22, 2010


Photo Credit: Liz Nealon


The next book that I’m writing for my Smithsonian/Collins series is a book on butterflies. This is a photo of a monarch taken when we were visiting the monarch butterfly trees in Pacific Grove, California. The trees were filled with monarch butterflies; they looked like autumn leaves rustling in the wind. It was magical-realism, something like a scene out of Marquez’s A HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE (the book is for adults and may not be appropriate for children). Sad to say, but the population of Monarchs is way down probably due to a number of reasons, not the least is the fact that milkweeds (whose leaves the monarch caterpillars eat)  are being destroyed as a weed alongside some state highways around the country.

Maybe it’s time for butterfly lovers to begin planting a few milkweed plants in butterfly gardens?

Here’s a link to the story (similar to one sent to me by my friend, the cat lady, Carrie Smelser): Female monarch butterflies on 30-year decline in eastern North America 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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

March 16, 2010



Last week, I shared 6 things every family should know before deciding to get a puppy, and promised a followup about how to train your new pet. So,  here we go!

The first thing that you can teach your puppy is its own name. Always reward a puppy when you call its name and it comes running, either by petting and praising it or by giving it a tidbit.  After awhile, just use praise to reward an older puppy. You don’t want to teach it to come only when you have food.



Photo: 
Simon, Seymour. DOGS. New York:  Collins/Smithsonian, 2009, pg 13.



Don’t use baby talk with a puppy. Keep your commands short, clear and consistent (everyone in the family should use the same words, in a similar tone). A puppy learns by the tone of your voice as well as by the words.

One of the first things you will need to do is paper train your puppy, as soon as it comes home. Spread newspapers on the floor of the room where the puppy is kept, but leave part of the floor bare. Your puppy should be placed on the newspapers as soon as it wakes up from a nap and after each meal. Watch the puppy carefully. As soon as it shows that it wants to squat to relieve itself, rush it over to the newspapers. When it wets the paper, praise it by saying "Good dog, good dog." As you praise your puppy, pet it and make it feel good.

When you see the puppy wet the bare floor, say "Bad dog," in a stern tone. Push its nose to the wet spot and let him know you are unhappy by the tone of your voice.  Then place the puppy on the paper and pet it. Clean up the mistake on the floor very thoroughly; you may want to use a few drops of vinegar to disguise the odor of the spot. If the scent of urine remains, it will attract the puppy and it will tend to wet there again. It’s useless to scold a puppy for mistakes a long time after they have been made, so you will have to spend a lot of time watching your puppy in the beginning to get good results. An 8-week-old puppy doesn’t have much control over its bladder and bowel movements, so it will learn much quicker if you watch it so that you can praise it when it goes on the paper.

Then,  when you first start to take your puppy outside for walks, take a piece of newspaper with you and repeat the process out of doors. Before long,  your puppy will be housebroken.

Other kinds of training should really be started only after your puppy is housebroken. You teach a puppy any new behavior in the same way. Remember that directions should be simple and always in the same tone. Always reward your puppy when it is successful.

Don’t try to teach your puppy too many things at once. Wait until your puppy has learned one thing before you go on to the next. A good command to learn from the beginning is the word "no."  Say this firmly and make the puppy stop whatever it is doing. If the puppy stops by itself after you say no, praise and pet the puppy.

"Sit"  is the command you will give when you wan your puppy to sit down and be still. Push down...

read more

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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

October 21, 2009


Spiders are one of the most familiar animals in the natural world, but many people don’t know much about them. Lisa McPherson’s Class at Cold Water Elementary in Missouri is learning all about spiders from Seymour’s book. Did you know that spiders can be found less than twelve feet from where you are, right now! They live all over, in gardens, in the ground,  in leaf litter, under tree bark, in freshwater streams, and… right in your house.

Welcome to the world of spiders!
 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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

October 21, 2009

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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

October 21, 2009

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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

October 21, 2009

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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

September 1, 2009

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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July 30, 2009

How much do you know about your favorite feline friend? Cats are fascinating, complex creatures. Since cats were first tamed more than 100,000 years ago, they have enchanted people with their elegant beauty and mysterious manner. But cats can also be playful and affectionate pets, death-defying acrobats, or ruthless hunters.

This is an updated introduction to these beloved and beautiful pets. Would you like to vote on which is your favorite pet? Drop me a note and vote for 1. Dogs 2. Cats 3. Another kind of animal. I’ll report your preferences on here. 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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

July 30, 2009

It’s easy to see why dogs are the most popular pets in the world. For a run in the park or a cozy snuggle on the couch, a dog is the perfect companion! But dogs are much more than loyal pets. For thousands of years, these amazing animals have helped people herd sheep, hunt for food, and keep warm.

This is the new updated edition of my introduction to a human’s best friend. (Anybody know the name of the breed of dog shown here on the jacket? Hint: The owners of this kind of dog make news all the time and have a dog just like this named BO.) 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Animal Books, Dogs, Pets   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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