Label: Dogs

October 9, 2013

It’s Writing Wednesday and today we would like to hear from readers about what they named their pets, and why.

  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. I loved her so much that years ago, when I did a book called DISCOVERING WHAT PUPPIES DO, I asked the illustrator Susan Bonners to come to my house to use Nova as a model for one of the illustrations in the book! I was looking at the book today for the first time in a long time, and smiled seeing the dedication I wrote back then: "For Nova. Always a Puppy." She was a great dog and faithful friend.

My stepdaughter Jules had a Golden Retriever whom she named "Lyra," after the adventurous female character ‘Lyra Silvertongue’ in a book that she like very much, called The Golden Compass.

What did you name your pet, and why did your choose that name? Does it refer to something you love, like I love science or like Jules loved that fictional character? Or does it have something to do with the way your pet looks? How it behaves?

Write a paragraph or two about your pet, what its name is, and why you named it that. Include details that will help us understand why you love that name and how you feel about your pet. You can click on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of this page if you would like to share your writing for others to read.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(17) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Animals, Dogs, Pets   •  Permalink (link to this article)

September 24, 2013

These adorable male cheetah cubs, brothers named Winspear and Kamau, are our Cool Photo of the Week. When they reached 8-weeks-old, zookeepers at the Dallas Zoo gave them their own black Labrador retriever puppy!

Since Labs are relaxed when there are a lot of people around and the puppy will grow with the cubs, zoo experts hope he’ll help keep the cats calm when they join the zoo’s Animal Adventures program, where visitors learn about their highly endangered species.

These cute little cubs will grow fast, eventually weighing about 140 pounds and standing three feet tall (about the size of a four-year-old human).The cheetah is Earth’s fastest land mammal, and can go from 0 to 60 mph (96 kph) in just three seconds!

Even though eventually the adult cheetahs will be much bigger, faster and stronger than the grown Labrador retriever, raising them together from the time they were babies means that these animals will always consider themselves to be part of the same pack, and will remain friendly to each other.



Photos: AP/Dallas Zoological


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(8) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Cats, Dogs, Cool Photo, Conservation   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 20, 2013

This is Banana Joe. He is the top dog in America this week - the first affenpinscher to ever win ‘Best in Show’ at the historic Westminster Dog Show.

  Some people think that the affenpinscher’s face looks more like a monkey than a dog. What do you think? 




For today’s Writing Wednesday, we want you to write about whether you think Banana Joe’s face looks like a dog or like a monkey. Give reasons that support your opinion, and if you can, use linking words like because, since, or for example to help explain your opinion.

Have fun!


Note to Educators: Today’s Writing Wednesday exercise is designed to use in support of CCSS Writing Standard #1: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(4) Comments  •   Labels: Common Core, Writing Wednesday, Animals, Dogs   •  Permalink (link to this article)

May 30, 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 WHY DO PUPPIES DO THAT?, and then write a convincing letter about why you want to have a dog.

From WHY DO PUPPIES DO THAT?, by Seymour Simon



Getting a puppy is a big decision. Taking care of a puppy takes a lot of time and attention. When puppies grow into adult dogs they still need love and attention from their owners. 

         Puppies offer so much in return for your affection. They are great fun to play with and always are ready to be your companion. They can cheer you up when you feel sad or lonely. They have helpful barks that can let you know someone’s at the door, or even warn you of danger. Perhaps best of all, caring for a puppy teaches you the value of loving and being loved.



Your assignment: Do you agree that dogs are more than just pets, but friends too? Have you ever wanted a pet dog, but you are not allowed to have one? Write a letter to an adult asking them to get you a dog. Think about several reasons why dogs make great pets, and decide what kind of dog you would want. Be sure to give plenty of solid facts about dogs in order to make a great case for yourself. You might also want to explain how to care for a dog, and the responsibilities that come with being a dog owner. Who knows, maybe you will have a canine friend before you know it!

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


Photo: Kai Chiang

Note to Educators: Today’s Writing Wednesday exercise is designed to use in support of CCSS standard W.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(12) Comments  •   Labels: Common Core, Writing Wednesday, Dogs, Pets, Puppies   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 9, 2012


Today’s Cool Video of the Week is the cutest puppy dance we have seen in a long time. Our friend Henry, from Connecticut, has been videotaping his corgi, Sparky, doing his kibble dance at feeding time.

What do you think? Cute or Not?


You can read and hear more about the cute things that puppies do in Seymour Simon’s award-winning eBook, WHY DO PUPPIES DO THAT?

Click here to go to iTunes and download a free sample for your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad.


Posted by: Liz Nealon

(5) Comments  •   Labels: Dogs, Video   •  Permalink (link to this article)

January 21, 2012




One of our readers, 11-year-old Cassidy, uploaded this photo of her puppy this week. Cassidy wrote: "My puppy GiGi was an amazing puppy and was soo lovable!" Knowing how many dog lovers there are among my readers, I suspect others of you are going to agree! 





Have you tried Seymour’s FREE eBook, FUN FACTS ABOUT PETS? Barnes & Noble asked Seymour to create it for everyone who buys either a Nook Color, Nook Tablet, and anyone who downloads the "Nook Kids for iPad" app. If you love pets, we guarantee you will LOVE this book!


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(11) Comments  •   Labels: Dogs, Pets, Kids Photos   •  Permalink (link to this article)

January 9, 2012

The latest development in locating people trapped in the rubble after disasters like earthquakes is called PAWS - rescue dogs equipped with a camera, microphone and speaker.


PAWS stands for Portable, All-terrain, Wireless System. An inventor in England has developed a harness that holds a very lightweight camera, mounted on the dog’s head. The dogs are trained to play a game - "Go find your toy!" When they race through the rubble and come to a stop in front of a human, the rescuers are able to see on video places that they would otherwise be unable to reach.

Want to see what it looks like? 

This is a border collie’s view of his owner through the Paws head camera. 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(4) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Dogs   •  Permalink (link to this article)

December 17, 2011

I received a letter this week from a school librarian friend, Donna Smalley at Eagle Spring Elementary in Humble Texas. I still have very fond memories of all the kids I met in my visit there last year!

"Every year for the last 3 years, the library at Eagle Springs Elementary in Humble ISD hosts a food/toy drive for the animals at the Houston SPCA.  The students and their families are so generous, and this year they donated over 400 pounds of food and treats for the animals! 

In addition to these donations, Girl Scout Troop 9390 decided to make this effort their Community Service ProjectThey collected toys and food, but they did something else very special.  Last Saturday, they baked over 100 homemade, fresh dog biscuit treats for the dogs.  A spokesperson at the SPCA said the biscuits would be used to make friends with the new animals that come into the shelter during the holidays."

What a great story. Instead of just thinking about what they want to receive, these scouts thought about giving - and they remembered the animals. Way to go, girls!

This story also gives me a chance to remind everyone about the many animals that are given as gifts and then abandoned after the holidays. Don’t give an animal to someone unless you are certain that the family you are giving it to is willing and able to take care of it and be its family for life. An animal is not a toy, it is a living being that deserves to be cared for and loved. 

For those of you receiving iPads or Nook Color/Tablets this season, Seymour Simon has many quality eBooks available for purchase, some discounted as much as 50% for the holidays. If you are adding reading material to a tablet, please consider making Seymour Simon’s exceptional nonfiction for children part of your collection. Happy holidays to all!


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Dogs   •  Permalink (link to this article)

December 1, 2011

A student named Nequira wrote last night with a good question that I often hear when I speak in schools. 

Nequira asked: How do you come up with what you want to write, what pictures you are going to use, and what title you’re going to put on the cover?

          I have loved nature since I was a young child. Although I grew up in the Bronx – a very crowded part of New York City – the natural world was all around me. There is weather in the city, just as there is in the country. You can see the sun, moon and stars from a rooftop in the city. And I explored a vacant lot on my street, which wasn’t exactly a park, but still had birds, earthworms, small plants, and trees. When I grew up I became a science teacher, so it was natural that when I started to write books, I was writing about science and nature topics that interest me.

Then, the hard part starts! Whenever I want to write about a subject, I need to study. I start by looking at research that other people have done. What experiments have they run? What animals have they observed? By studying all the work that others have already done, I learn about the subjects that I write about in my books. 

Readers often ask about how I get the photographs for my books. Sometimes I travel to places myself and take the photographs. I have photographed glaciers in Alaska, volcanoes in Hawaii and wildfires in California. Other times, I arrange to use other people’s photographs. Often these are specialists - like a scientist who has been living in Antarctica and observing penguin behaviors. Someone like that has photographs that I could never get in a single, short trip.


In the case of my newest book, BUTTERFLIES, we searched long and hard for the perfect photograph for the cover. We finally found this one from photographer Kha Dang, who also raises butterflies for the Butterfly Magic Exhibit at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

When it is time to decide on the title, I talk with my editor, who works at the company that publishes and sells the book. The editor gives me notes, suggestions and corrections on my writing (much as your teacher would), and also makes the final decision about the title.

Sometimes it is easy to pick a title (like BUTTERFLIES), but sometimes...

read more

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, Teacher Guides, Dogs, Teachers and Librarians, Pets, Awards   •  Permalink (link to this article)

October 21, 2011

A Labrador retriever suffering from smoke inhalation was saved this week by firefighters who carried him out of a burning house and gave him "mouth-to-snout" resuscitation.

When firefighters arrived at the fire in Wasau, Wisconsin, the owners told them that their dog was still inside. The rescuers rushed into the house and carried out the unconscious dog, named Koda. Firefighter Jamie Giese, who owns two dogs himself, said he told the other firefighters: "We’ve got to work this dog. (We) laid him down in the front yard, and we started assisting breathing.’‘

When Koda eventually regained consciousness, 

firefighters placed a human oxygen mask over his snout and rushed him to an animal emergency center for medical treatment.

The rescue was successful….Koda was returned safe and sound to his owners on Wednesday morning.

 Photos: Dan Young  /  Wausau Daily Herald

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(13) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Animals, Dogs   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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