Label: Facts And Fables

March 28, 2011

This week I received letters from Chonlatorn S. and Alejandro D., both students at Rue Elementary School in Council Bluffs, Iowa. They had just read my book, ANIMALS NOBODY LOVES, and they were writing to defend the octopus, coyote, and other animals they think should not be in this book because they are not dangerous to humans. Chanlatorn wrote: "When skunks are in danger they will spray on you. They don’t bite you." I agree with both of these readers that no one needs to be afraid of these animals. In fact, that is one of the reasons I wrote the book!

Let me tell you about two Texas students I met last month who really go to extraordinary lengths to teach other students about "animals that nobody loves." Courtney (14) and Erik (12) are homeschooled, and I met them when they came to one of my presentations at a local school. This sister and brother work with an entomologist (pronounced en-toh-MAH-loh-gist, a scientist who specializes in the study of insects) and have started their own business, called NOT SO CREEPY CRITTERS. 












Courtney and Erik, pictured above, told me that this all started because they wanted to help other kids get over feelings of arachnophobia (ah-RACK-no-FO-bia, meaning "fear of spiders"). Spiders do much more good than harm, eating insects that damage crops and other plants. And as Courtney and Erik have learned, some of them even make interesting pets!

This brother and sister team do presentations in classrooms and at kid events, and they introduce their audience to a wide variety of "not so creepy creatures." Their traveling menagerie of live creatures includes 4 colorful tarantulas, 2 different scorpion species, Bearded Dragon, centipede, a snake, Leopard Gecko, Blue-Tongued Skink, Peppered Roaches and Madagascar Hissing Roaches! Last summer they wrote a book, and they are working hard to continue growing their business. They tell me that fainting goats and chickens are next on their list!

Courtney and Eric are well-mannered, dedicated defenders of creepy critters, and they have also built a very informative and interesting website. Check out the section called Arachnids for lots of fascinating spider photographs, and Critter Facts, where you are challenged to decide whether a statement is a fact, or simply an opinion.




Posted by: Seymour Simon

(4) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, Animals, School Visits, Kids comments, Insects, Spiders, Facts and Fables   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 14, 2011


So many of our readers have questions following the terrible events in Japan over the weekend. This excellent website, from the US Geological Service, separates fact from fiction, and is full of good information about earthquakes.


Parents, Teachers and Librarians: There is also a detailed Teacher Guide for my EARTHQUAKES book, which you can use with kids to use to stimulate discussion and answer questions. It is a free, downloadable resource that we provide on my website for you to use, at home or in school.


Photo: A man rides a bicycle through a debris-strewn street in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture in northeastern Japan March 12. (Kyodo/Reuters)



Posted by: Seymour Simon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Earthquakes, Facts and Fables   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 2, 2011


It’s Groundhog Day. You have probably heard the fable that says that if the groundhog sees his shadow on February 2nd, then we will see an early spring. He’s unlikely to see his shadow today, as the historic winter storm cuts a 2000-mile path across the US, from New Mexico to Maine.

There is no scientific basis for Groundhog Day, of course - it’s just a story. But it does give me an excuse to show you this photograph of four incredibly cute groundhog babies who were born under our garden shed last summer!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Seymour Photographs, Facts and Fables   •  Permalink (link to this article)

January 27, 2009

How about you trying to make up your own Animal Fact or Animal Fiction?

Do you know if everything you ever heard about snakes is fact or fiction?

Read Seymour’s book SNAKES and make up your own puzzle! Send it to Email SEYMOUR SCIENCE! 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, Animals, Animal Books, Facts and Fables   •  Permalink (link to this article)