Label: Animals Nobody Loves

October 29, 2014

Happy Halloween from the misunderstood animals in my book ANIMALS NOBODY LOVES!



Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, Halloween   •  Permalink (link to this article)

October 15, 2013

Jim Arnosky’s exciting story about running into a dangerous crocodile while paddling in the Florida mangroves is the focus of today’s Writing Wednesday.

Jim is a wonderful science writer - a true naturalist who writes and paints from what he experiences in nature. 

  In the excerpt below, from his new book WATER STORIES: ADVENTURES AFLOAT, Jim tells about a day spent exploring in a kayak with his wife, Deanna. He describes the boat as sitting very low in the water - just a couple of inches off the surface - which makes it ideal for sliding under branches hanging over the water. It is not so ideal, however, if there is a dangerous animal in the water. Here’s how Jim Arnosky describes the moment when they came upon what appeared to be a floating, rough-barked log:


For your Writing Wednesday activity, I want you to imagine that you are in that kayak and come upon a dangerous croc. What are you thinking? How would you feel? What would you DO? Look closely at all the details in Jim’s painting, and describe the scene as powerfully as you can.

When you are finished, you can click on the yellow "comments" button below to post your writing for others to read.

Happy (scary!) writing!

Note to Educators: Jim Arnosky and I have been friends and colleagues for a long time, and I am so pleased that he has written this new book, WATER STORIES: ADVENTURES AFLOAT for my digital publishing company, StarWalk Kids Media. If you have not checked out our exceptionally high quality and very affordable streaming eBook collection, I hope that you will soon.


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Animals Nobody Loves, Animals, Exploration   •  Permalink (link to this article)

October 15, 2013

I love the fact that these tiny yellow-billed oxpeckers and the huge Cape buffalo live their whole lives together - so I made them our Cool Photo of the Week.

The Cape buffalo and the oxpeckers live together in what is called a "symbiotic relationship," meaning that each of them benefits from being with the other. These birds live their entire lives on their hosts, except when they are nesting in the cavities of trees.

The birds keep the Cape buffalo clean, removing ticks and other insects that are burrowing into its hide. Oxpeckers also hiss when something frightens them, a useful warning to the buffalo, who is prey to other African animals.

The birds have a constant source of food in the insects they eat off the buffalo, and they are also relatively safe from predators when they are on their host animal.

Photographer Marsha Williams, who snapped these shots while on a photo safari in Kenya (Africa), told us: "I love that they are bold enough to go inside his ear and his nose. Kinda gross, but funny!"

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, Animals, Cool Photo   •  Permalink (link to this article)

May 15, 2013

Using Rich Vocabulary is the goal of today’s Writing Wednesday. Look at this funny-looking creature, commonly known as the "piglet squid."

Could I have used richer vocabulary to describe this photograph? What if I described it as a "roly poly, rubber-nosed Cephalopod"? Do you hear the difference in these two descriptions, "funny-looking creature" and "roly poly, rubber-nosed celephod"? Both describe the animal in this photograph, but the second description uses much richer vocabulary to help the reader understand what I am seeing.

Click on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog and write your own description of this cute animal. Take your time and come up the richest vocabulary you can to help your reader imagine the animal in this photograph. Happy writing!


Photo: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium/Gary Florin

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(10) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Animals Nobody Loves, Animals, Cool Photo   •  Permalink (link to this article)

May 2, 2013

It is easy to see that there is a big Seymour Simon school visit week coming up - we have been getting so many comments from new readers on the Seymour Science blog. Students in Lower Gwynedd Elementary School in Ambler, Pennsylvania - this contest is for you!

Two lucky winners are going to receive personally autographed copies of Seymour Simon’s new book, EXTREME OCEANS. Here is what you have to do to enter:

1.    Write a comment on this blog post and tell Seymour three fascinating facts about sharks.

2. Tell us your name (first name only), your grade, and your teacher’s name. This will let us contact you if you are the winner.

3.    Be sure to post your entry by midnight, Friday, May 17, because the contest ends then.

Two winners will be chosen randomly from all the correct entries. Older students may enter individually, and we will pick one winner. Students in grades K-2 may enter as a class and work with their teacher to enter the contest; there will be one classroom winner.Students who are not in the

Students who do not attend Lower Gwynedd Elementary may also enter this contest. The rules are the same as above, but for #2 please include your first name, your grade, your teacher’s name, the name of your school, and the city where your school is located. If we have at least 20 entries from other schools, we will randomly choose a third prize winner from the non-Pennsylvania entries. 

What if you don’t know any cool facts about sharks? You can start right here on the Seymour Science blog. Look at all the entries under the label "Sharks." We guarantee you that you will find some fascinating information in these stories! It is also ok if you use other sources for your information, such as books in your library, or a reliable Internet source like an encyclopedia, National Geographic Kids, or the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week website.

So, get to work and send us your entries today! Seymour will see you soon, and then you can all talk about sharks and Extreme Oceans together!



Posted by: Liz Nealon

(85) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, School Visits, Sharks, Contests   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 18, 2013

This is an "animals nobody loves" story. After hanging around underground for 17 years, billions of flying bugs known as cicadas (sih-KAY-duhs) are going to arrive in the East Coast of the United states sometime in the next month.

"For entomophobes, this is the season of despair. For the entomophiles, this is the season of joy," says University of Maryland entomologist Michael Raupp. I bet you’ve already guessed that an entomopobe (EN-toe-moe-fobe) means a bug hater, and entomophile (EN-toe-moe-file) is a bug lover. Love them or hate them, we’re going to have to get used to them for about a month.

The 17-year cicadas are expected to arrive in the Carolinas in late April or early May, and will work their way up northward to Washington, Philadelphia and New York by early June. The amazing thing is that these larvae have been living underground since their parents laid their eggs 17 years ago. When the temperature of the ground reaches 64 degrees, the insects will wiggle out of their shells andbegin to dig "escape chimneys," tunneling out into the spring air where they take flight, searching for a mate.

The sound of millions of insects flying is stunningly loud. What I remember from their last appearance is that I heard a sound so loud and persistent that I thought there must be construction happening outside. Experts say the volume can reach 90 decibels - as loud as a rock concert. In some areas, the ground is covered so that you can’t walk without crunching cicadas, the sky seems to be filled with dark clouds, and the walls of some houses are covered, as if they are painted black. You have to shake the insects out of your clothes when you come into the house. It is a remarkable thing to experience.

If the 17-year cicadas come to your neighborhood, there is nothing to be afraid of. They do not sting or bite, and will not hurt you in any way. They will only be around for about a month while they find their mate and lay their eggs, which will then mature for 17 years underground. This is a truly amazing natural cycle. Try to set aside the "ick" factor and appreciate how lucky you are to observe something like this. If you are an 8-year-old third grader today, you will be all grown up - old enough to be a teacher instead of a student! - next time they emerge. Now that is an astounding thing to experience, isn’t it?


Photo: Mary Terriberry / Shutterstock 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, Insects, Earth Day 2013   •  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)

August 24, 2012


I just received this great photo of Finn R. from his dad, who reached out to me on Twitter (@seymoursimon) to say that this book is right up Finn’s alley! ANIMALS NOBODY LOVES has always been a favorite of many of my readers.


My niece, Annie N., wrote to me recently that she read my book GHOSTS right before bed, and although she liked it, that timing might have been a mistake. Next time, she’s going to read it in the morning!

What have you been reading this summer? Click on "Comments" at the bottom of this post and tell me about it. 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, Summer Vacation Science   •  Permalink (link to this article)

May 23, 2012

Good morning, and welcome to Writing Wednesday, where every week there is a new opportunity to publish your creative writing on the Seymour Science blog. This week, we are asking you to read an excerpt from Seymour Simon’s book ANIMALS NOBODY LOVES, and then do your own research about sharks!

From ANIMALS NOBODY LOVES, by Seymour Simon



The shark is the most feared animal in the sea. Some sharks are large and dangerous. Others are just a few feet long and eat small fish. Sharks come in many different sizes, shapes and colors. Hammerheads, tiger sharks, and mako sharks have powerful jaws and razor-sharp teeth. Some sharks can bite three hundred times harder than a human.

         The most dangerous shark is the great white shark. It usually swims in the open sea. But sometimes a great white shark may attach and kill swimmers with no warning. It may even attack small boats. Its large, saw-edged teeth can rip through wood and even metal. The great white shark has a huge appetite and will eat any animal or person that it finds in its path.

Your assignment: After reading about this misunderstood animal, do some research of your own. Decide whether you agree or disagree with the author’s point of view. Go to the library or use the Internet to find other sources that will help you learn about sharks. Are these animals worthy of love, or are they just a menace? Give details and solid evidence to support your opinion.

When you are finished writing, click on the yellow "Comments" at the bottom of this post to enter your writing!


Photo: Al Giddings

Note to Educators

Note to Educators: Today’s Writing Wednesday exercise is designed to use in support of CCSS standards RI.8: Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text; W.1: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons; and W.7: Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(9) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Animals Nobody Loves, Sharks   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 28, 2012

Today’s "Cool Photo of the Week" shows the caretaker at a crocodile breeding center in Nepal brushing the teeth of a narrow snouted crocodile. This endangered species is bred in captivity and released into the wild once they can live on their own.


Photo: Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(10) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, Animals, Cool Photo, Conservation   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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