Label: New Books

April 30, 2012



Today is El Día Del Niño (Children’s Day), celebrated in many Latino cultures around the world. April 30th is also widely celebrated here in the U.S. as El Día de los Libros - Children’s Book Day.


I am so pleased to be able to tell you that in honor of El Día Del Niño, today I have published my first Spanish-language eBook for Kindle Fire. It is called LOS PLANETAS ALREDEDOR DEL SOL, and it is available for English language readers, too, as PLANETS AROUND THE SUN.

This book is one of my SeeMore Readers series, and it has been newly updated, since what we know about our solar system is constantly changing.

And, we have created great looking trading cards for both books, which you can download and print out. Click here to get yours!

¡Feliz Lectura! Happy Reading!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, eBooks, Holidays, En Espa, Trading Cards   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 18, 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, in honor of Earth Day, we are giving you a sneak preview of Seymour Simon’s upcoming book, SEYMOUR SIMON’S EXTREME EARTH RECORDS! After you read this excerpt, we’re going to ask you to do your own descriptive writing, and imagine what it would be like if you could visit the Coldest Place on Earth! 





     When you step off the plane onto the rocky ice, you will immediately struggle with challenges that will last anywhere from one to eight weeks, as you acclimate yourself to the coldest place on Earth, Vostok Research Station in Antarctica.

     Vostok Station is a lonely, windblown outpost 621 miles (1,000 kilometers) from the South Pole. It holds the record for the lowest recorded temperature on Earth, -128.6ºF (-89.2ºC), recorded in July 1983. Twice a year, tractor-train (a train of tractor trucks) expeditions take as long as a month to crawl dangerously over the cracked, icy landscape carrying food and supplies to about a dozen Russian, American, and French scientists who live there during the winter conducting a variety of experiments.


Your assignment: Read the excerpt above from Seymour Simon’s new book, and think about what it would be like to be at the Vostok Research Station. How would you feel? What would you see around you? Or hear all around you? Write at least three sentences that use your own words to describe a visit to the Coldest 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 #9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.


Posted by: Liz Nealon

(3) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, New Books, Common Core, Earth, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 4, 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 new book BUTTERFLIES, and explain in your own words what he is saying and how he uses details to express his idea more powerfully.


From BUTTERFLIES, by Seymour Simon:

     Throughout human history butterflies and moths have been the subject of stories, myths, poetry, art, drama and dance in many cultures. The Hopi Native Americans perform a ceremonial dance in homage to the butterfly. An Irish saying goes: "May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun and find your shoulder to light on, to bring you luck, happiness and riches today, tomorrow, and beyond." For many of us, butterflies are symbols of the wild loveliness and wonder of nature.


Your assignment: Write a paragraph or two explaining the main idea that Seymour is trying to express on this page. Use your own words to express his theme. And, give examples of telling details that he uses to support his theme.

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 Reading Anchor Standard #2: Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.


Posted by: Liz Nealon

(6) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Animals, Butterflies, New Books, Common Core, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 24, 2012

On a recent blog post about Snakes, I received this very smart comment from one of our readers:

Dear Seymour Simon,

I read your SNAKES book and I found a mistake! Snakes are venomous, not poisonous. Venomous means to inject venom and poisonous means to touch or absorb it. I learned this at Lake Pleasant in Arizona. It was my field trip. My name is Jack R. I’m a student at Wildfire Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona. I still love snakes and reptiles.

Thank you, Jack, for taking the time to write. You clearly learned a lot on your field trip!

In fact, I have received several letters lately because one of my old favorites, a book called POISONOUS SNAKES, has just been re-published. Since it is a book for kids and almost all kids (as well as adults) refer to snakes as ‘poisonous’ or ‘non-poisonous’, we decided to use that term in the title of the book when I wrote it years ago. These are also the words used in searches by kids. So, my intention was not to deceive anyone or use incorrect words, only to make the book easier for kids to fine, and to plainly label what the book is about if they were to look it up.

Jack is correct, though. Venom is injected by snakes and other animals, and poison is ingested (eaten), like when birds eat some kinds of butterflies. So technically, snakes are not poisonous or non-poisonous….they are either venomous or non-venomous.

Here are two examples, to help you understand the difference.




This is such a beautiful photograph of a lionfish, but you can’t always trust your eyes. This lionfish is venomous and dangerous to humans as well as other marine animals, because it uses those sharp spines to inject paralyzing venom.



A monarch butterfly, on the other hand, is poisonous because its larva eats milkweed, which contains a poisonous chemical. If a bird or other predator eats a monarch, it eats the poison. But you can touch a monarch without any danger - you’re safe as long as you don’t swallow it!




Notice that both the lionfish and the monarch have bright colors and patterns on their bodies. These are known as "warning colors," which keep predators away.


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, New Books, snakes, Kids Write   •  Permalink (link to this article)

January 27, 2012

Thank you, Center Moriches students, for all your thank you notes and great comments after my visit this week. I loved meeting you all, too.

Makayla, Claire K., Richie and the kids in Room 30 all wrote to ask the same question, so I thought I would answer it here. The question is: WHAT IS MY FAVORITE OF ALL THE BOOKS THAT I HAVE WRITTEN?

I have written so many books that I am not sure of the exact count….but I know it is getting close to 300! I can never say which is my favorite book - it is like a parent picking his favorite child. If I say which one is my favorite, all the other books will be mad at me!

Actually, whatever book I am working on at the moment is my "favorite," because I get caught up in how fascinating each topic is. I’ve just finished a book on CORAL REEFS, and I learned so much about these busy "cities under the sea" - you would be amazed at the diversity of life that thrives in a coral reef. So at the moment, that is my "favorite book."

If you click on "play" in this photograph, you can see a little bit of video of all the living creatures in a coral reef. Isn’t it magnificent?

Makayla added a few other questions which I will answer for you here, too.

1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?  Since I was a kid I have had two favorite colors, and they are both the colors of nature. One is almost indescribable - the warm, pumpkin-like, mix of orange colors that you see in autumn. My other favorite color is the deep purple that you sometimes see in sunset clouds.

2. DO YOU HAVE ANY CHILDREN?  My two sons are both grown - one is a television director, and one is a college professor, in Computer Sciences. My stepdaughter is still in college, studying Literature and History. And I have four grandchildren whom I try to visit as often as I can.

3. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BE AN AUTHOR?  I read a book called THE SEA AROUND US, by Rachel Carson. She is a wonderful writer, I absolutely loved the book, and by the time I finished it, I had realized that I wanted to write about the natural world. I started writing for children because that is where my area of expertise was - I was a middle school science teacher for many years.

Thank you to all the book lovers at Clayton Huey Elementary School for your very warm welcome. I loved your caution to "Drive Safely!" when I left. What a warm, caring group of students and teachers. Keep reading, and please click on "Comments" and write to me any time to tell me what you are reading and thinking about.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Becoming a writer, New Books, Coral Reefs, School Visits, Seymour Simon   •  Permalink (link to this article)

December 11, 2011



If your family has either an iPad, Nook Color or Nook Tablet, you can have a free Seymour Simon eBook called FUN FACTS ABOUT PETS!

Last year, Barnes and Noble wanted to create a bonus for people who bought their new Nook Color. They asked Seymour to write an eBook that they could give away free as a gift to all their customers. That was Seymour’s first eBook, and the title is perfect - the facts are really fun! For example, did you know that dogs’ feet sweat? Or that a pot-bellied pig can open the refrigerator?!


Here is a sample page from the book, which also has "Read to Me" narration.


FUN FACTS ABOUT PETS is free not only for the Nook Color and Nook Tablet, but you will also receive it when you download the "Nook Kids for iPad" app. So, if you have any of these devices, be sure to check out this 48-page book. It is a gift to you from Barnes and Noble and Seymour Simon!

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Animal Books, New Books, eBooks, Pets   •  Permalink (link to this article)

December 2, 2011

As our regular readers know, there is a new SCIENCE JOKE or RIDDLE every Friday on the homepage of This week’s joke: Why is a dog’s tail like the inside of a tree? Click here to see the rest of the joke.




And since it’s New Joke Friday, we thought we’d let you in on some exciting news. Seymour Simon and his very funny illustration partner, Dennis Kendrick, have just published a funny, new eBook called SILLY ZOO ANIMAL JOKES AND RIDDLES! It is available right now for the Nook Color, Nook Tablet or the "Nook Kids for iPad" app, and it will be in the iBookstore before the holidays.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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

November 21, 2011

Did you ever wonder why kittens are always climbing things? Or digging up your mother’s favorite flowerpot? Or why they love to purr and snuggle?

You can find the answers to all these questions, along with more adorable kitten photos than you can possibly stand, in Seymour Simon’s new eBook, WHY DO KITTENS DO THAT? It was published this week in the iBookstore (for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch), and it also works on your Nook Color.

If you try it, be sure to let us know what you think!

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(7) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Cats, New Books, eBooks   •  Permalink (link to this article)

August 23, 2011

Well, it’s not officially Butterfly Day, but we have declared it here at, because today is the publication day of his beautiful new book, BUTTERFLIES.

One of the reasons I love butterflies and moths so much is that, unlike other wild animals, you can see them right in your own yard, park, or vacant lot! Next time you head outside early in the morning, look and see if there is something that looks like a piece of dead leaf stuck to one of your window screens. If you look closely, you will probably discover it is a cleverly disguised, slumbering moth!

We have created lots of great support materials for BUTTERFLIES. Educators and parents can go to their section of the site and download a free Teacher Guide with lots of supplementary information and activities, as well as a guide to starting your own butterfly garden.

Kids - click here to download your own Butterfly Observation Log, and record your sightings like a real lepidopterologist (that’s a scientist who studies butterflies).

Seymour has also blogged a lot this year about butterflies, because as he often says, his "favorite animal" is whichever one he is writing about at the time! You can read all the butterfly posts here.

Celebrate "Butterfly Day" with us by getting outside and seeing these beautiful creatures for yourself!

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Animal Books, Butterflies, New Books, Insects   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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