Label: Earth Science Books

April 10, 2014

Seymour Simon’s new book, EARTH’S MOON: A SHIPMATE’S GUIDE to OUR SOLAR SYSTEM, has just been published by StarWalk Kids Media. It is available as an eBook right now, and we hope to publish it as a print book in the next year.

The Moon is our closest shipmate in space, and as Seymour Simon writes in the book, we travel together on our journey through the Milky Way galaxy. This fascinating book answers questions like: Why does the Moon change shape in the night sky? Why does it look as though there is a face on the Moon’s surface? And will we ever visit there again?

This is the second installment in Seymour Simon’s important new space series, A Shipmate’s Guide to Our Solar System. The first book, EARTH: A SHIPMATE’S GUIDE came out last year, and received an excellent review from Kirkus.

You can view a video trailer of Seymour Simon’s newest book and find out how the Moon was formed - it was a dramatic event! 

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, eBooks, space books, Video, moon, space, Earth Science Books, Space Travel   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 2, 2013



Hooray! SEYMOUR SIMON’S EXTREME OCEANS is being published today by Chronicle Books.


In honor of publication day, we decided to choose our "Cool Photo of the Week" from this amazing book. This is a photograph of the biggest fish in the ocean, the whale shark. Do you see, at the top right in the photo, the size of the human snorkeler compared to the whale shark?

A whale shark can grow to be 50 feet (15 meters) long and can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds (36,288 kilograms). It has a huge mouth and approximately 3,000 very small teeth. Fortunately, the snorkeler has nothing to fear from this huge fish, which does not have much use for its tiny teeth. The whale shark swims with its mouth wide open to collect seawater, then pushes the water out through its gills and eats the small sea animals that are trapped inside its mouth.

Barbara A. Ward, writing in IRA’s Reading Today wrote of EXTREME OCEANS: "The text and photographs in this engaging nonfiction title are sure to appeal to middle grade readers, especially those attracted to anything extreme, in this case, ocean extremes. The book contains twelve short chapters that explore oceans that are extremely warm and those that are extremely cold as well as the life-threatening enormous waves and tides that sweep in from the ocean’s depths so swiftly. In his usual straightforward style replete with interesting details, this nonfiction maven also covers tsunamis, hurricanes, and sea creatures so incredibly dangerous that no diver wants to encounter them, even briefly. Even those who know plenty about the world’s oceans will still be able to add to that knowledge after reading this photograph-filled book. It has an ocean of interesting facts for readers to share with others."

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, New Books, Oceans, Cool Photo, Earth Science Books, Earth, Earth Day 2013   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 6, 2013

Good morning, and welcome to Writing Wednesday!

Today, we’re going to compare and contrast two pieces of writing by Seymour Simon. In each of these excerpts he is writing about Earth’s atmosphere, but the way he writes each of them is quite different.

Your Assignment: Read both of the pieces of Seymour Simon writing below, and then write a paragraph or two about how these pieces of writing are alike and how they are different. Some questions you might ask yourself as you read:

  • Who is the audience for each piece of writing?
  • What facts does he include in each piece to describe the atmosphere?
  • What kind of descriptive words does he use in each piece? How are they the same, or different?
  • Is the tone of voice the same or different in each of them? (Try reading each of them aloud to think about this)
  • What photographs did he choose to illustrate each piece of writing? Is one more effective than the other?
  • How about the design of the pages? Do they look similar? Different? In what ways?

If you would like to post your writing for others to see, you can click on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of the article. Happy writing!




From EARTH: OUR PLANET IN SPACE. Simon & Schuster, 1984/2003. 

























Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Earth Science Books, Earth, CompareContrast   •  Permalink (link to this article)

October 5, 2012


If you haven’t yet had a chance to read my new book, SEYMOUR SIMON’S EXTREME EARTH RECORDS, you can check out some of the powerful photographs and extreme facts in this new slideshow on the Huffington Post Book Blog. 

Which of the seven Extreme Earth Records in this slideshow do you think is the most interesting, beautiful or surprising? 

Click here to view!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, Cool Photo, Earth Science Books, Earth, Extreme Earth   •  Permalink (link to this article)

September 5, 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’s newest book, SEYMOUR SIMON’S EXTREME EARTH RECORDS, and then help other readers of this blog learn more about the Hottest Place on Earth.



Your assignment: Do research, using Seymour Simon’s Extreme Earth Records, other books in your library or the Internet, to find out why the hottest place on Earth is called "Death Valley." Write two or three paragraphs telling other readers of the Seymour Science blog how the hottest place on Earth, Death Valley, got its name. Use action verbs and strong adjectives to help your readers understand what it might feel like to be in the Hottest Place on Earth.

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

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

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Earth Science Books, Extreme Earth   •  Permalink (link to this article)

August 29, 2012

Imagine exploring the most extreme parts of our amazing planet - trekking through the driest desert, climbing the snowiest mountaintops, and diving to the deepest regions of the ocean floor.

Published today by Chronicle Books, Seymour Simon’s newest book, EXTREME EARTH RECORDS, investigates Earth’s biggest, smallest, deepest, and coldest environments, animals, plants and most severe weather. These mind-bending facts and photographs invite readers on an exciting and sometimes unbelievable, scientific exploration of Earth’s most amazing records!

Here’s an excerpt from a section in the book, about the Highest Place on Earth: Mt. Everest.



More than 4,000 people have tried to climb the mountain but fewer than 700 have actually reached the summit. Mt. Everest is dangerous; approximately 150 people have died on the slopes of the mountain. Besides the lack of oxygen and the winds, Everest is also very cold. Temperatures often drop to -100 degrees F. Even on a nice summer day, temperatures are well below zero. The climb is also very difficult because men and women lose their footing on the unstable snow and ice. Climbers often use aluminum ladders to go up and down the icy sides. 

Look for Seymour Simon’s EXTREME EARTH RECORDS in bookstores, and on and, starting today!

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, Cool Photo, Earth Science Books, Earth   •  Permalink (link to this article)

June 5, 2012



Today’s "Cool Photo of the Week" is something that you do not see very often - a rainbow in the sky as lighting strikes after a storm in Haikou, China. 


Photo: China Daily via Reuters


Read all about LIGHTNING in Seymour Simon’s Smithsonian-Collins book of the same name.



Posted by: Seymour Simon

(11) Comments  •   Labels: Cool Photo, Earth Science Books, lightning   •  Permalink (link to this article)

November 16, 2011

Today’s Cool Photo of the Week is a wonderful shot of a "volcano cake," which a parent made when I visited a school several years ago. Isn’t it wonderful?!

The photograph reminds me that I recently received a letter about volcanoes from Andrea G., a fifth grade student at Witch Hazel Elementary School in Oregon. "I love how you wrote the Volcano story.  I love how you added all those different kinds of volcanoes.  I wish you will come to my house and write a story, have an adventure, or go to a restaurant.  It’s very cool that you wrote two hundred books in thirty years.  Do you know a lot about the moon?  How do you know a lot about volcanoes? Thank you for your time."

One of the things that I love about Andrea’s letter is that she called the book my "Volcano story." 

That is exactly how I think about writing my books. Even though they are about real (nonfiction) subjects, I always try to write a story that is fun and exciting to read. It makes me very happy that Andrea sees it that way.

Over the years, both while teaching Science and writing my books, I have indeed come to know a lot about both the moon and about volcanoes. Of course, I studied science in school, both at New York’s Bronx High School of Science and continuing on into college. But it takes more than that. Being interested in science means that you are always learning. There are new discoveries being made all the time, and scientists are constantly testing theories to keep increasing our knowledge and understanding of our planet and the universe in which we live.

So, when I write a book, I have to do research and find out as much as I can, just as you would if you were writing a report for school. For VOLCANOES, I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Hawaii, where I talked to vulcanologists (scientists who specialize in volcanoes), as well as observing and photographing active volcanoes. 

In fact, the subject is so interesting to me that I’ve written TWO different books about volcanoes! I think they are one of the most awe-inspiring and beautiful sights in our natural world, don’t you?




Posted by: Seymour Simon

(3) Comments  •   Labels: Volcanoes, Becoming a writer, School Visits, Cool Photo, Kids Write, Writing, Earth Science Books   •  Permalink (link to this article)

September 14, 2011

I was so pleased to receive a letter recently from Cam P, who just started second grade in New Jersey. Cam’s favorite book is one of mine - TORNADOES. So, he decided to write his own book on the subject, called TWISTERS. Nice job, Cam, and thank you for your letter!

What Cam did - writing a book inspired by one of his favorite authors - is something that writers often do. One of my favorite authors is named Rachel Carson, and when I read her book THE SEA AROUND US, I realized for the first time that I could be a writer.

So, Cam (and other students who love to read and write about nature) - keep writing! You, too, might turn out to be a published author one day.


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Becoming a writer, Kids Write, Tornadoes, Earth Science Books   •  Permalink (link to this article)

September 7, 2011

Wildfires are forces of nature like hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes. But unlike most other natural disasters, wildfires can sometimes be prevented or at least controlled more easily. Strangely, fire fighters sometime start fires instead of putting them out. Using a fire starter called a drip torch, fire fighters set small blazes on purpose. These small fires help to control fires already burning or prevent large wildfires from starting by burning away undergrowth and dead wood in the path of a raging fire.

For many years, fire fighters put out natural fires as quickly as possible. But the more that fuel on a forest floor or a dry grassland builds up, the worse a wildfire is going to be. Lack of rain and intense days of high temperatures also contribute to wildfires. That’s what is happening in parts of Texas and California right now. It will take lower temperatures and plentiful rains to finally control these huge blazes.

In the future though, preventative fires need to be put to use before a wildfire even starts. Most scientists say that wildfires are part of nature. The only question is when they will happen and how we deal with them. In areas with people and houses, wildfires have to be brought under control as quickly as possible. But in wilderness areas, wildfires are different. Allowing small fires to burn naturally may be one way to prevent tragedies where human lives are lost and houses burned out. Some states such as Florida burn many acres of grassland in the everglades each year to prevent out-of-control future wildfires. 

Photograph from Seymour Simon’s book WILDFIRES.


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Earth Science Books, Wildfires   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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