Label: Kids Comments

February 5, 2011

            penguin chick

I recently received a letter from a mother which reminded me of my own experience when my kids were growing up. She wrote:

“I have a seven year old that I read your penguin book to. Now she wants to have a pet penguin. I’ve explained to her that she can’t own one as a pet at home, but she wants to know if there are any organizations that care for penguins that she, and/or her class could sponsor and call her/their own.

Her school mascot is the penguin and she was thinking about wanting to start a penguin club. Can someone adopt a penguin, and if so, how? Is there a place that we can contact? Is there a place that takes contributions to help care for them? Your book is terrific. It really moved her.”


Penguins book cover

This letter really touched me because my own son, Michael, also loved penguins when he was in elementary school. In fact, I dedicated my book PENGUINS to him, writing: “For my son Michael, who was President of the Penguin Club in elementary school.” When Michael (who is now an adult) read the dedication, he objected, saying “Dad, that was an appointment for LIFE!” Funny guy, my youngest son.

We’ve done some research and found an organization called the International Penguin Conservation Work Group ( which allows one to adopt a penguin!

Why should kids be concerned about the welfare of penguins? Well, like many marine animals, commercial fishing practices endanger penguin colonies, particularly when overfishing depletes the food sources near their breeding grounds. Governments, conservation groups and the fishing industry worldwide are working together to develop safe and responsible practices that will protect our precious marine wildlife, including penguins.

Parents and Educators can download a free, 5-page Teacher Guide that we’ve created to use with my PENGUINS book. It includes Questions to Ask Before and After Reading, Suggested Activities, Additional Resources, and a child activity page. Download it from my website and use it with your kids to help them get even more out of the experience of reading the book.

Photo: Lyn Irvine



Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Animal Books, Conservation, Penguins, Kids comments   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 4, 2011


We certainly have a lot of dog lovers at! Last week we had a whole class take a poll and upload the results of their question about "kids’ favorite dogs." Today, Cassidy from Pennsylvania uploaded this photo. She wrote:

"This is a picture of a dog I saw online and want SOO bad! It’s so cute and I thought you would like it too because you write about animals and all KINDS of different interesting stories! Nice job Seymour! Keep it up."

This is a photograph of a Labrador retriever puppy….which interestingly is also the breed that came in number one in the class poll last week.

So what do YOU think? Are Labradors number one? Is there another breed of dog that you think is the absolute best? Click on COMMENTS (below), and let the world know about a dog that you love.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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

February 3, 2011

I’m in Round Rock, Texas (outside of Austin) all week, and it is very cold! It is not snowing here so far, but it is very cold for this part of the country - 19 degrees as I write this! There have been rolling power outages throughout the state, as the grid tries to cope with the amount of electricity required to heat homes and businesses. The Round Rock school district has decided to do their part to take some pressure off the grid, so we’re starting two hours late this morning.

Several kids in the schools have asked me to remind them how you write your entire address as a citizen of the universe. Here is how you can do it yourself:

Your name

Street Address

City, State, Zip Code


Planet Earth

Milky Way Galaxy

The Universe

Who can tell me what the symbol after "The Universe" means, and why it is the perfect zip code for the universe? The first person to comment on this blog and give the correct answer will get a signed, autographed photo! I will mail it to you, using your "whole" address, because you are truly a citizen of the universe.

Stay warm!


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(5) Comments  •   Labels: School Visits, Kids comments, Universe   •  Permalink (link to this article)

January 26, 2011


I’m going to be speaking later in February at Churchville Elementary School in Pennsylvania and it sounds like they have been doing lots of preparation! Today I received a "favorite dog breed" survey from Gail Gorgol, the librarian at the school. The student’s in Mr. K’s 5th grade class chose my book DOGS to read and share with the class, and then they decided to survey the class to find out the favorite dog breed of their classmates. My favorite breed is the English Springer Spaniel, because that’s what my dog Nova was.



Here’s what the kids had to say about their favorite dogs. Nice work creating the graph!







I’d be curious to see if the results are similar across the country. Write and tell me: which is your favorite dog breed? Maybe you would like to send me a photo of your dog in an email? Be sure to send me the name of your dog and anything that makes him or her special!



Posted by: Seymour Simon

(14) Comments  •   Labels: School Visits, Dogs, Kids comments   •  Permalink (link to this article)

January 17, 2011



I received this charming note from a San Antonio 4th grader named Alicia. She had been reading my book BIG BUGS, and did this drawing on which she wrote that the insect was supposed to be a cricket, but “I don’t know how to draw a cricket.”

Actually, Alicia, you’ve made a pretty good start. Although we casually refer to “bugs,” bugs actually include two different species – insects and spiders (Arachnids). All insects have 6 legs, but spiders have 8 legs (they are not insects). A cricket is an insect, and you have definitely drawn an insect.

To make it look even more like a cricket, you could give it very long back legs, as you see in this photograph. Crickets use their four front legs for walking, and their two back legs are long and strong, so that they can make big leaps.

The very regular chirping of crickets is a common night sound in many places. As the temperature drops, their singing becomes slower and the pitch of the chirp gets lower. Some people use the chirp rate of crickets to estimate the temperature. I wrote about this in my book ANIMAL FACT, ANIMAL FABLE. Crickets are pretty interesting insects!














Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, School Visits, Insects, Kids comments   •  Permalink (link to this article)

January 14, 2011




What a great surprise arrived in the mail this week - three big envelopes full of thank you cards from every 3rd and 4th grader in San Antonio’s Highland Park School. I am absolutely delighted!







There was lots of excellent artwork, like this drawing by Ashley A. It pictures our entire Solar System, even the Asteroid Belt. This is a very accurate, detailed drawing.



Many writers asked about how I get the photographs that are in my book. Sarah wondered, "Were you nervous when you took pictures of volcanoes?" Alejandro (who drew the cover of my BIG BUGS book) and Wesley (who drew this scary black widow spider!) both wanted to know if I take all of my own photographs. In fact, Wesley asked, "How do you not die while taking these pictures?"



 Good questions. I take some of the photographs in my books, but not all of them. Great spider shots like these are taken by photographers who are also arachnologists (that’s what you call a scientist who specializes in spiders). They use a special lens on their camera that allows them to get a very close-up picture of a spider without getting bitten (and without scaring the spider away). I did take many of the volcano photographs myself, but only from safe spots that were nowhere near hot lava!





Look at this great drawing of a volcano and the hot lava by Jasmin.


And finally, some of you Highland Park writers wanted to know how I feel when I write all of these books. "Do you feel happy or excited?" Analisa sounds as though she worries that it might be a lot of work. "Do you enjoy writing all these books?"


The answer is: I LOVE writing my books! It is a lot of work, because I have to research each subject very carefully, be sure that I am getting all the facts right, find great photographs, and work with my editor, who corrects my work just as your teacher does with yours. But the subjects are so interesting that my work is fun every day. And yes, I do feel very happy and excited when a new book comes out, after all that work.

Thank you again to every student, teacher and librarian who took the time to send me all the beautiful cards. ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

- Seymour Simon

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: School Visits, Kids Write, Teachers and Librarians, Seymour Photographs, Kids comments, Writing   •  Permalink (link to this article)

June 9, 2010

We received a photo from last Saturday’s appearance at the New York Aquarium, along with this note from his mother:

"Conor met his favorite author at the NY Aquarium for the special events.  He was shy,  but he was glad to meet him.  He learned so much about sharks and other creatures from him. It was a great experience."

Thanks to Conor and everyone, children and adults, who came out to the FISH TALES day at the Aquarium. I enjoyed meeting all of you! Happy Fish Tales!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Sharks, Kids comments, User Uploads   •  Permalink (link to this article)

May 5, 2010

I received this great letter today from Miranda in Maryland. She didn’t tell me what grade she is in, but her Elementary School teacher is using my books in the classroom.

Here’s what Miranda wrote about GLOBAL WARMING.

Before I read your book, I did not know anything about Global Warming. Now that I read your book I know a lot. I learned that coral reefs are in jeopardy. The photograph where the coral reef is bleached white surprised me a lot. In addition, I also learned that polar bears, walruses and the seals (sic) survival might be impacted by global warming. I am glad that you are telling kids like me and grownups some ways to help stop global warming. My family and I will be sure to help stop global warming, by turning off the lights when we are out of the room and by using fans instead of air conditioning in the summer. I want to help the earth.


I hoped, when I wrote this book, that children would be empowered by the facts and become stewards and protectors of our Planet Earth. I was so pleased to receive this letter from Miranda!


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Global Warming, Climate Change, Kids comments   •  Permalink (link to this article)

September 1, 2009


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Animal Books, Dolphins, Kids comments   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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