Label: Earth Day 2013

April 30, 2013


 As April 2013 comes to a close, so does our month-long celebration of Earth Day on this blog. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts about what we all can do to help care for and protect our home planet.

In honor of Earth Day, today’s "Cool Photo of the Week" is of the Northern Lights over Iceland. Can you imagine a more magnificent sight than this? 



Photo: Iurie Belegurschi     


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Cool Photo, Earth Day 2013, Northern Lights   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 29, 2013

Here’s the recipe for one last tasty, simple vegetarian meal as we celebrate the final "Meatless Monday" of Earth Day 2013.

It’s called Curry Roasted Butternut Squash and Chick Peas, and it’s delicious! Click here to download the recipe so that you can print it out.

And in case you’ve forgotten why Meatless Mondays can make a difference for our environment, you can re-read our infamous "Burping Cows" post!

Posted by: Liz Nealon

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April 25, 2013

Look at the amazing rooftop garden atop the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas, where I’m attending the annual Texas Library Association meeting. This is the view outside my window!


The hotel’s chef supervises this garden, where they grow a wide variety of peppers (a critical ingredient in southwestern food) and herbs to be used in preparing food for the hotel restaurant.

There are more than 20,000 square feet of landscaped rooftops on the hotel, which filter rainwater and conserve energy by helping to reduce the effect of the Texas summer heat.

They have also installed motion-sensor lighting which shuts off during quiet hours and use all hybrid vehicles for shuttling guests. I am so pleased to be staying in such an environmentally conscious hotel.

Texas Librarians - please come say hi at the StarWalk Kids booth #2236. I want to show you our beautiful streaming eBook collection of great kids’ literature for your libraries! 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Conservation, Environment, Earth Day 2013   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 24, 2013


For our final April Writing Wednesday in April of 2013, we’re going to ask you to write six words that describe this magnificent photograph of Earth.

The electric lights outlining the continents show you that we’re seeing our own Western Hemisphere. What do you think about when you see this photograph? What words come to mind when you think about the millions of tiny lights visible from space when darkness falls? What does seeing our Earth at night inspire you to write?

Click the yellow “Comments” button below and give us your six best, most descriptive words to describe our home planet as April, the Earth Day month, comes to a close.



Photo: NASA Earth Observatory Image by Robert Simmon



Posted by: Seymour Simon

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April 23, 2013


 Today is publication day for Seymour Simon’s latest book from HarperCollins, CORAL REEFS. Hiding on the floor of Earth’s tropical oceans are magnificent and colorful coral reefs. Did you know that coral reefs…..

are actually living beings?

can grow to be taller than a skyscraper?

provide a home for a vast number of other living creatures?


Here is a sample page from this exciting new book:



A giant moray eel grows to more than six feet (1.8 meters) long. It hides within cracks and openings in a reef, perfectly blending in with the surrounding coral.




Colorful parrotfish use their chisel-like teeth to scrape coral for algae. While eating, the parrotfish grinds the coral into the fine white sand found on tropical beaches.


Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, Coral Reefs, Earth Day 2013   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 23, 2013

Have you ever created a "mood board"? A mood board is a collection of photographs, drawings, graphics, or other images that all work together to create a specific feeling - kind of like a collage.

You can make a mood board to demonstrate to people how you feel about Earth Day and why it is important.

Here is an example. This is my Earth Day mood board. 


I made my mood board using Powerpoint, but you could also cut out photographs from magazines, paste them onto a piece of cardboard and take a photograph.

Would you or your class like to make an Earth Day mood board? We celebrate Earth Day for the entire month of April here, and I would love to see what you do. Click on "Upload a Photo/Video" in the yellow bar at the top of this page to send us a jpeg or other digital picture of your Earth Day mood board. 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

Labels: Earth Day 2013   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 22, 2013

The commander of the International Space Station, astronaut Chris Hadfield, sent down an Earth Day greeting from the International Space Station this morning. "Good Morning, World, and Happy Earth Day from orbit!" he wrote from his Twitter account (@Cmdr_Hadfield) on Monday. "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."


He also sent this photograph, which he says is the robotic arm of the space station giving us a "thumbs up" for Earth Day.

The first Canadian commander of the space station loves taking photographs and videos of Earth. Commander Hadfield says that life on the ISS has changed his view of the Earth.

"If anything my respect and my concern and my love for the Earth has only been deepened by [having this] new perspective on the planet." 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: space, Earth, Space Travel, Earth Day 2013, ISS   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 22, 2013



Happy Earth Day to all our readers (and writers)!

Seymour Simon spoke on the National Mall in Washington, DC on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day (2010). The speech is a classic statement of his beliefs about teaching, and our roles, both collectively and individually, as shipmates on planet Earth. We traditionally reprint this speech on Earth Day. If it moves you, please share it with your friends.



There is a Native American proverb that powers and informs the reasons and ideals of our approach to the problems of climate change and global warming. The proverb is one you may have seen before:


Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents;

it was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors;

we borrow it from our Children.


I was a teacher in the New York City School System for nearly 25 years. I’ve written over 250 books for children about animals and the wonders of Earth and Space. Each year, I speak to thousands and thousands of children in schools in all parts of the country, in the South to the North, from East to West. I tell them about butterflies and polar bears, I talk to them about lightning and tornadoes; I take them on a journey from Earth to the ends of the universe using the words and images in my books. I’ve written books about nearly every science and nature subject you can imagine.

The Earth is so big and the subject is so vast, that you might think that kids get overwhelmed. "What does all this mean to me?" you might think that they respond. Well, you might be surprised at what they really do say. Here’s what many of them ask me: "Where do I fit in? What’s my place in the universe? What is it all about? And what about me?"

That’s what inspired me to write my book GLOBAL WARMING. This is a book for kids and their families. It tells what’s happening in the world of climate change and it tells how those changes affect all of us. Then the book tells what kids and their families might do to make changes in their own and their family’s lives that affect everybody on Earth.

Knowledge empowers people with our most powerful tool: The ability to think and decide. There is no power for change greater than a child discovering what he or she cares about.

Seymour Simon

April 22, 2010 / Washington, DC 

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day? Click on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of this story, and tell us about your promise to protect our planet. Who knows? You may inspire other readers to do the same!


Posted by: Liz Nealon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Earth Day 2013   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 19, 2013


My Earth Day resolution is to create a safe haven for bluebirds in my neighborhood. ‘Really?” you might ask. ‘With everything that is going on with our environment, Seymour Simon decides to make a difference by putting up a blue bird box?’

It’s a fair question, but let me tell you why one small act like this one is important. The existence of the Eastern Bluebird, our New York State bird, has been threatened in recent years by the loss of open land and the presence of European starlings, a non-native species that was introduced to NY in the 1890’s. These birds are are strong and aggressive, and they have taken over the little hollows in trees where bluebirds commonly lay their eggs. And where previously the lovely bluebird was a common sight, in recent years it was rare to see one at all.

Last summer, I noticed that there was a bird that perched nearly every morning at the very top of the spruce tree in my front yard. I didn’t recognize its song, so one day I pulled out my binoculars and saw to my surprise that it was a bluebird!

So this spring, the time of year when bluebirds lay their eggs, I have put a bluebird box right next to that tree. (Thanks to my friend Jody Soules at the Wild Birds Country Store in Great Barrington, MA for introducing me to the ways of bluebirds). The hole is similar to the size that the birds used to look for in the tree hollows, and the copper “sleeve” around the hole will prevent those pesky squirrels from chewing their way in to steal the eggs. I am hopeful that the bird that visited last summer will return with his or her mate and start a family!

I am telling this story because the everyday choices that we each one makes have an impact on the neighborhood where we live, whether we live in the city, in a suburb, or far out in the country. No one of us can solve all the problems facing our environment. But each one of us can make a difference with the choices we make every day.


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, birds, Conservation, Earth Day 2013   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 18, 2013

Poem in My Pocket

When I was a kid, the poem that meant the most to me was called "When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer," by Walt Whitman. It really captured the feeling I had when I looked at the night sky and wondered about my place in the universe. Where did I fit in? And what else is out there?

Today is "Poem in my Pocket" day, so this is the poem I am carrying in with me in my pocket today. For kids like me, who love to look at the stars and wonder, here is how it goes:



When I heard the learn’d astronomer;

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;

When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;

When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,

How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;

Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.


Photo: The Milky Way viewed from the Kofa Mountains in Arizona (credit Richard Payne)

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Astronomy, Earth Day 2013, Stars, Poetry   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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