The Picture Book Buzz

The Picture Book Buzz - August Interview with STEAM Team Books Members


Today I have the pleasure to introduce you to five authors from the STEAM Team Books group with books releasing around August.

[Note that STEAMTeam 2020 has changed their name to STEAMTeam Books.]

I do hope you enjoy this look at some great books and fascinating creatives. "STEAM Team 2020 is a group of authors who have a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math books releasing in 2020. It includes fiction & nonfiction, trade or educational books.”

Welcome everyone,

Tell us a little about yourself. (Where/when do you write? How long have you been writing? What is your favorite type of book to write? What drew you to STEAM books?...)

Linda Rose Zajac - The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Maps (8/1/20), The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Redstone (8/1/20), The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Enchantments (8/1/20), & The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Creative Mode (8/1/20) - My absolute favorite place to write is outside in the Adirondack chair on my deck. Early in the morning, the songbirds are singing, the air is cool, and the flowers are in bloom. It’s so peaceful and inspirational. Sometimes I watch in amazement as hummingbirds hover in my face. When the temperature drops, I’ll grab a fleece blanket and sit outside wearing a hat and a winter jacket. I’ve been writing since 2002. I love a challenge and I also like to be a voice for the underdog. So, I write about animals that can’t speak for themselves, climate change, and high-tech science. I’m drawn to technology because I used to program computers. I graduated with a minor in computer and information sciences (no major was available). For fifteen years, I worked as a computer programmer, systems designer, and consultant.

[Author of 5 books, including Robo-Motion (9/2021)]

Marie-Therese MillerTeens and Cyberbullying (Teen Problems) (8/1/20) - I am an English teacher at Marist College and have five adult children and a grandson. I started writing 20 years ago. I have a home office, but I can usually be found, pen in hand, hunched over a notebook on my bed-- books and articles strewn around my floor. I enjoy all aspects of creating nonfiction books for kids, from the research and interviews to the writing and editing. I write about all sorts of topics, but my most recent books have been focused on social science subjects. My undergraduate degree is in psychology and all things psychological still interest me.

[Author of 20 books, including - Rock Climbing (8/1/2020), Many Ways series: Families Like Mine/ Feelings Like Mine/ Homes Like Mine/ Parents Like Mine (8/1/2020), Dealing With Psychotic Disorders (Dealing With Mental Disorders) (2020), How to Deal Feeling Good About You (2019), How to Deal Understanding Friendship (2019), Racing and Lure Coursing Dogs/Herding/Agility/& Sled (Canine Athletes) (2018), Rachel Carson (2011), & Dog Tales Series - Distinguished Dogs/ Search and Rescue Dogs/Police Dogs/Helping Dogs/Hunting & Herding Dogs (2007).]

Ruth Bernstein SpiroBaby Loves Taste! (The Five Senses) (8/18/20), Baby Loves Smell! (The Five Senses) (8/18/20), Baby Loves Touch! (The Five Senses) (8/18/20) - I started writing about twenty years ago when my two daughters were very young. It was something I squeezed in when time allowed, so my career didn’t start to pick up until they were older and I had the time and mental energy to really focus. Now, one works full-time and lives in her own apartment and the other is off to graduate school, so as an empty-nester I’m thankful to have my work to keep me busy!

I guess I’m writing the kind of books I wish were available when they were little. We’re a reading family and I’m happy to say that as young adults my daughters still enjoy reading. STEM/STEAM wasn’t really a “thing” back then, though I’m glad it is now.

[Author of 17 books, including - Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever (2021), Baby Loves Political Science: Justice! (Baby Loves Science) (2020), Baby Loves Political Science: Democracy! (Baby Loves Science) (2020), Baby Loves the Five Senses: Hearing! (Baby Loves Science)(2019), Baby Loves the Five Senses: Sight! (Baby Loves Science)(2019), Baby Loves Scientists (Baby Loves Science)(2019), Baby Loves Green Energy! (Baby Loves Science)(2018), Baby Loves Structural Engineering! (Baby Loves Science)(2018), Made by Maxine (2018), Baby Loves Coding! (Baby Loves Science)(2018), Baby Loves Gravity! (Baby Loves Science)(2018), Baby Loves Thermodynamics! (Baby Loves Science)(2017), Baby Loves Quantum Physics! (Baby Loves Science)(2017), and Lester Fizz, Bubble Gum Artist (2008).]

Linda (Elovitz) Marshall The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine (8/18/20) - My favorite time for writing is when I just wake up. I like to lie in bed, computer on my lap, lean against my pillow, listen to the sounds of the new morning, and write. It’s generally a time when no one bothers me…and I can comfortably stretch out my legs. I can also reach for a cup of coffee (often, my husband brings me one) and, well, I feel like a queen. In all, it’s quite lovely. I’ve been writing in the morning like this for about 30 years. I try to – at the very least – write a poem a day. I love, love, LOVE writing picture books – fiction, non-fiction, silly, serious…

[Author of 16 books, including - Anne Frank: The Girl Heard Around the World (9/20), Have You Ever Zeen a Ziz? (4/20), Shalom Bayit: A Peaceful Home (3/20), Saving the Countryside: The Story of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit (1/20), Good Night, Wind: A Yiddish Folktale (2019), Mommy, Baby, and Me (2017), Good Stuff Cheap!: The Story of Jerry Ellis and Building #19, Inc. (2017), Kindergarten Is Cool! (2017), Talia and the Haman-tushies (2017), Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del Arcoiris (2016), and Shh . . . Shh . . . Shabbat (2016)]

Jenna Grodzicki Wild Style: Amazing Animal Adornments (9/1/20) - I am the author of both fiction and nonfiction picture books. I live on beautiful Cape Cod with my husband, two children, and three fur babies. After spending 15 years as an educator, I now focus on writing full time. Nothing gets me more excited than a new story idea. I especially love researching and writing about weird animals. I don’t have a favorite time of day to write, but I do my best work while drinking iced coffee.

[Author of 5 books, including – Harmony Humbolt: Perfect Pets Queen (2021), I See Sea Food: Sea Creatures that Look Like Food (2019), Finn Finds a Friend (2017), and Pixie’s Adventure (2017).]

What is something no one (or few) knows about you?

Linda Rose Zajac -I won concert tickets in a Halloween costume contest. I made the costume. My husband and I dressed as a BLT. I was the lettuce and tomato. He was the bacon. [How cute!]

Marie-Therese Miller – For most of my life, I have eaten Jif peanut butter on crackers for lunch every day. [Oh my!]

Ruth Bernstein Spiro – Many people who know me for my current work don’t know about my first book, Lester Fizz, Bubble Gum Artist. It was the first manuscript I ever wrote, the first I submitted and was acquired by the first editor who read it. (I don’t share this story often because it’s a rare occurrence!) I sold it as a result of a manuscript critique at the 2003 SCBWI Annual Conference. I patiently waited five years for it to come out in 2008, just as the bottom dropped out of the publishing industry. Needless to say, sales were disappointing. It’s since gone out of print but still has a bit of a cult following among educators and librarians. [This business is so strange & unpredictable.]

Linda (Elovitz) Marshall – I have a hard time with things that are long: long books, long projects, long movies, long meetings. That said, some of the most satisfying books I’ve ever read have been very long. Recently, a writer-buddy told me she’s using this Stay-at-Home time to read War and Peace. I’ve just finished reading a very short – and wonderful book (Tinkers by Paul Harding) and am about to begin reading something else. Hmmm….maybe it’ll be something long, very long. By the way, I recently finished reading The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish. Long…and quite wonderful. Highly recommended! [Thanks for the recommendations.]

Jenna Grodzicki – I’m a huge fan of the TV show Survivor. I’ve actually applied to be on it twice, but I was never chosen. My entire family loves it, as well. Our favorite time of the week is when we’re sitting and watching Survivor together. [That's interesting.]

Now that we know a little more about all of you, what inspired you to write your story?

Linda Rose Zajac - The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Maps (8/1/20), The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Redstone (8/1/20), The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Enchantments (8/1/20), & The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Creative Mode (8/1/20) - My publisher contacted me and asked if I wanted to write this 4-book series. I worked with them before on The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Survival and The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Mods, so they were familiar with my work and my background. [What a great opportunity.]

Marie-Therese MillerTeens and Cyberbullying (Teen Problems) (8/1/20) - I care about young people and how they interact with online technology in their everyday lives. Being online has many positive aspects, such as keeping connected to friends and family and helping teens access information for education. However, cyberbullying is a negative side of the digital world. I wanted to give my readers methods to avoid being the target of cyberbullying and ways to navigate if they are cyberbullied. [This is such an important book.]

Ruth Bernstein SpiroBaby Loves Taste! (The Five Senses) (8/18/20), Baby Loves Smell! (The Five Senses) (8/18/20), Baby Loves Touch! (The Five Senses) (8/18/20) - Back in 2010, The New York Times ran the article “Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children” (www.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/us/08picture.html). It attributed a drop in overall picture book sales to the misguided choice some parents were making to bypass picture books for their very young children in favor of more “sophisticated” reading material. I was discussing the article with friends and wondered aloud, “What do these parents want, quantum physics for babies?” The more I thought about it, I realized this was an idea with potential.

But while it seemed like a good idea, I knew that my books would need to be accurate and age-appropriate if they were going to have value. I decided that the best way to make the concepts less abstract would be to relate each topic to a familiar real-world experience or observation. I spent several months researching the science, in search of the best “story” for each book. Then, once I had a thick folder full of research and notes I began researching child development to learn more about my intended audience. I’d previously written picture books, but I envisioned these as board books for babies and toddlers. So, I read scholarly articles about the acquisition of language and early literacy, as well as piles and piles of board books.

My goal with these books isn’t to “teach” babies about complex concepts. We know that through simple activities such as watching a bird fly or dropping crackers just to watch them fall, babies are gathering information about the way the world works. By creating a connection between these familiar experiences and the science behind them, I hope to help parents and caregivers turn everyday moments into fun learning opportunities for their little ones. [I love this stated purpose. The game of "dropsy" or gravity was certainly entertaining for my babies.]

Linda (Elovitz) Marshall The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine (8/18/20) - I remember the polio epidemic. I was little, maybe five years old, and living in Boston. My mother was so terrified that my younger brother or I might catch the dreaded disease that she moved us to Connecticut to live with her parents for part of the summer. When we returned to Boston – and for many years afterwards - we were not allowed to go to the movies or swim in a local pond for fear that we would become sickened with polio. Dr. Salk was my hero. He and his team developed a polio vaccine. They made the fear go away…and they saved summer for me. [WOW! Covid must bring back all sorts of memories. I know a lot of kids (and adults) who can't wait for something to "save summer."]

Jenna Grodzicki Wild Style: Amazing Animal Adornments (9/1/20) - In 2018, I came across a National Geographic article entitled Natural Bling: 6 Amazing Animals That Decorate Themselves. It was a total OMG moment. Which animals decorate themselves? Why do they do this? Why didn’t I know about this? I needed to know more. And I knew if I found these animals intriguing, kids would, too. [Inspiration truly is everywhere.]

I love all the different ways all of you found inspiration. Who was a favorite/special author, illustrator, and/or favorite book as a child?

Linda Rose Zajac -I loved mysteries like Nancy Drew and The Three Investigators series.

Marie-Therese Miller – I had so many, but E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web was a favorite of mine. Serendipitously, White became a research subject of mine when I wrote my dissertation about his best friend and colleague at The New Yorker, James Thurber.

Ruth Bernstein Spiro – I was a big fan of Judy Blume. I regularly checked the shelf at my school library every week, just hoping to find a new book had been added to the collection!

Linda (Elovitz) Marshall Nancy Drew. I wanted to be Nancy Drew, to have adventures and solve mysteries.

Jenna Grodzicki – My favorite picture book when I was a child was Miss Nelson is Missing . When I was a little older, I loved The Babysitters Club books.

That's a wonderful list of books. Is there anything special you want your readers to know about your book?

Linda Rose Zajac - The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Maps (8/1/20), The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Redstone (8/1/20), The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Enchantments (8/1/20), & The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Creative Mode (8/1/20) - These books are illustrated with screenshots. I took all of them except for a couple that my daughter created. Like photography, I considered color, composition, and vantage points. So, when they asked for about 30 screenshots per book, I gave them about 200. It was fun.

I tried to sneak something into each book that was specific to the person I dedicated it to. In the Maps book I added a waypoint called “Zach’s House.” Zach is my daughter’s dog. There’s a giant “A” made out of redstone lamps in the Redstone book. “A” is the first initial of my niece’s name. In the Creative Mode book, there’s a giant jack-in-the-box with my other daughter’s initials in red blocks. The angle makes it a little challenging to see, but I can assure you it’s there. [It sounds like a lot of fun to find these 'Easter eggs'.]

Marie-Therese MillerTeens and Cyberbullying (Teen Problems) (8/1/20) - I really love that the book includes practical advice from experts who work with young people daily. The experts offer insightful tips about being careful online and what to do if you become a target of cyberbullying. These professionals stress that empathy is a key element in ending all types of bullying, including cyberbullying. The experiences of those who have been cyberbullying targets are recounted in the book. These true stories allow the readers to appreciate the toll that cyberbullying takes and how individuals can triumph over cyberbullying. [This is definitely eye-opening.]

Ruth Bernstein SpiroBaby Loves Taste! (The Five Senses) (8/18/20), Baby Loves Smell! (The Five Senses) (8/18/20), Baby Loves Touch! (The Five Senses) (8/18/20) - I should mention that at several stages of the process both the text and illustrations are reviewed for accuracy. Our main consultant is Dr. Fred Bortz, a physicist, but depending on the topic we may bring in additional experts to review. The Baby Loves Science books may be small, but a tremendous amount of research and effort is packed into each one. [Interesting. I imagine they are as hard or harder than a picture book, at times.]

Linda (Elovitz) Marshall The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine (8/18/20) - In 2017, when I began researching what eventually became The Polio Pioneer, I had no idea that the book would be released in the middle of a global pandemic. I had no idea how much the world would be hoping, desperately, for another vaccine – this time for COVID-19. I pray that a safe, effective vaccine is developed and available to people throughout the world very soon. I hope that, in some way, this book will help people realize the importance of vaccines and that everyone – everywhere – will get their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. [It is an amazing coincidence. I totally agree with you there!]

Jenna Grodzicki Wild Style: Amazing Animal Adornments (9/1/20) - Wild Style features 11 animals that decorate themselves. Some of the accessories they wear might seem silly to young readers. Others might seem gross. But every animal in the book decorates itself in order to survive. I hope children who read this book start to think critically about why animals do the things they do. [I think you'll accomplish that goal. It definitely makes the reader ask questions.]

What was the hardest, or most challenging, part of writing, or researching, your book?

Linda Rose Zajac - The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Maps (8/1/20), The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Redstone (8/1/20), The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Enchantments (8/1/20), & The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Creative Mode (8/1/20) - Definitely the deadlines. I started working on this series in mid-October and book four was due on January 8th. As if that time frame wasn’t short enough, I also had two holidays and a 5-day vacation to contend with. It was nonstop work. I brought work with me on vacation and submitted the last book shortly before noon on January 8th.

I wanted to include impressive screenshots in the books. In the Creative Mode book, they asked me to submit a screenshot of a structure. I ended up recreating the Mark Twain House out of Minecraft blocks. Not only is it a beautiful house with interesting architecture, it’s also a place I’ve gone to for a couple of writing workshops. For the Redstone book, I built a working rollercoaster.

Since the Redstone book has a lot of sidebars that incorporate coding concepts, I made a couple of other videos of redstone devices that players can build. They can use a loop to shoot a whole bunch of arrows or launch a fireworks display. They can use logic gates to create an Iron Golem boxing ring. (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6G4ISUdMeIehw-hl6lG3mhnz0PSu3zE0).

[Sounds like a lot of work, and a bit of fun, went into creating these books.]

Marie-Therese MillerTeens and Cyberbullying (Teen Problems) (8/1/20) - Teens and Cyberbullying includes many true stories of teens who have overcome cyberbullying and have even become anti-cyberbullying advocates. The difficult part of writing this book was retelling cyberbullying stories that had tragic outcomes. Those stories haunt me and motivate me to try to make a difference. [Since younger kids are getting online, this might be a good resource for parents before they have teens.]

Ruth Bernstein SpiroBaby Loves Taste! (The Five Senses) (8/18/20), Baby Loves Smell! (The Five Senses) (8/18/20), Baby Loves Touch! (The Five Senses) (8/18/20) - Can I say, “All of it?!” I do extensive research for each topic, enough to understand the science well enough to determine the most important points I want to include. I then need to come up with an everyday experience that relates to the topic, because that’s how I scaffold the information, making it accessible to little ones. When I’m writing I imagine I’m explaining the idea to a three-year-old; but while I need to make the language clear I don’t shy away from using correct terminology. The more words a child hears, the richer their vocabulary will become.

[I think you've done a great job making STEM concepts accessible and fun.]

Linda (Elovitz) Marshall The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine (8/18/20) - Some concepts – specifically, those dealing with viruses and vaccines – are complicated to explain. To give clear and easily understandable explanations, I consulted many experts, including Dr. Peter Salk, one of the late Dr. Jonas Salk’s sons. All of the experts I consulted were wonderfully helpful. I am much appreciative of their assistance. [That must have been quite a treat to talk with one of Dr. Salk's sons.]

Jenna Grodzicki Wild Style: Amazing Animal Adornments (9/1/20) - I had so much fun researching and writing this book. The biggest challenge for me was determining which animals to include. There are a surprising number of crab species that decorate themselves. I could have written this entire book just about crabs! But I wanted to include a variety of animal species that decorated themselves for a variety of reasons. So, I had to do some picking and choosing. [Littering the cutting floor with 'darlings' is such a tough part of this process.]

Are there any upcoming projects that you are working on now that you can share a tidbit with us?

Linda Rose Zajac - I’ve got a number of projects brewing in various stages. I’m currently working on a picture book about engineering, a middle grade book about an explorer, and another middle grade book about an animal I encountered while on vacation last summer. [Tantalizing. I'll have to keep my eyes out for them.]

Marie-Therese Miller – I am thrilled to have partnered with Sesame Street for three social emotional learning books slated for Jan. 2021 publication by Lerner: Everyone Has Value with Zoe: A Book About Respect, Caring With Bert and Ernie: A Book About Empathy, and Me Love to Share with Cookie Monster: A Book About Generosity. In April 2021, Lerner will also publish my book about military deployment called Parents Here and There: A Kid’s Guide to Deployment.

[Wow! what a great opportunity and really important books!]

Ruth Bernstein Spiro – I’m happy to report I’ll have five new books out in 2021. Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever, the follow up to Made by Maxine, releases in February. Readers will be happy to see Maxine use her making and tinkering skills to create an amazing garden, and also navigate an important friendship when things don’t go as planned. In April, books #3 and #4 in the Baby Loves Political Science collection come out, Congress and The Presidency. Two additional science books arrive in the fall, just in time for the holidays. [WOW! I am so in awe of your skill and proficiency!]

Linda (Elovitz) Marshall –– I’m working on a middle grade novel set on a small, hobby-type farm, similar to the farm where I raised my own children. The father in the story lost his job and the children want to save their farm from repossession by the bank. In many ways, the father’s loss of his job and the fears that the family will lose their home reflect my experiences as a child. I have four additional picture books forthcoming, including Anne Frank: The Girl Heard Around the World (Scholastic, 2020). [Amazing. Your MG is another book that hits at the heart of what our country/world is experiencing right now. Unfortunately, history really does repeat itself.]

Jenna Grodzicki – I have a fiction picture book coming out in 2021. Harmony Humbolt: Perfect Pets Queen (Clear Fork Publishing) follows a little girl who learns that her special Perfect Pets stuffed animal collection is even more special when it's shared with friends. This book was inspired by my daughter and her massive collection of Beanie Boos. I also have some titles for the educational market releasing in 2021. I have several other nonfiction manuscripts in various stages of completion and two currently out on submission. And I’m about to dive into research for a new idea I’m especially excited about. [Sounds like a fun book. I'll have to watch for it.]

Those are a lot of cool projects coming soon! If you could meet anyone (real or literary), who would that be?

Linda Rose Zajac - Willy Wonka. I love chocolate, especially dark chocolate and coconut. This recipe is fabulous (https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/coconut-almond-candies-recipe)--not that I would know. Wonka is an intriguing character, a man of magic and mystery with a twinkle in his eye. The fact that he’s opening his factory is an opportunity I’d seize upon. I’m not one to pass up opportunities. [This is a new one! I'd be very tempted to tour his factory, too!]

Marie-Therese Miller – Winnie-the-Pooh. I believe I could benefit from his insightful bear philosophy, while we share some honey and Jif. [I love this choice.]

Ruth Bernstein Spiro – A few years ago I did get to meet someone from my “Literary Bucket List” – Jane Yolen. Because I’ve always been a fan of her work, it still feels surreal to recall that I spent a long weekend at her home while attending her inaugural Picture Book Boot Camp. It was three days of pure magic, as she shared insights about the writing and publication process and gave me personal feedback on some of my work. One of the highlights of my weekend was a late-night excursion into the woods in search of owls with Jane’s daughter Heidi Stemple. Heidi is also an author, as well as the small child in the red coat pictured in Owl Moon! [These are two of my favorite kidlit people.]

Jenna Grodzicki – I would love to meet Lin Manuel Miranda. I’m a *little* obsessed with Hamilton , so I’d love to talk to him about his writing process. [Who wouldn't!]

I'd love to be at this great gathering. What is your favorite animal? Or one you are enamored with right now. Why?

Linda Rose Zajac - My favorite animals are definitely Lola and Twinky, my dog and cat. Aside from them, this is a tough question. Animals are fascinating. I love watching them. They have such amazing adaptations. Some animals glow, change color, regrow body parts, survive temperature extremes, build incredible structures, make venom and electricity, and much much more. I’m enamored by all of them. [Okay, how much did they pay you? *smile*]

Marie-Therese Miller – I am definitely a dog person. As a child, I badgered my mother relentlessly for ten years to let me have a dog. She finally acquiesced, and I have had dogs since. I even wrote six nonfiction books about dogs.

Ruth Bernstein Spiro – I have always been fascinated by flamingos. I have fond memories of childhood vacations in Florida, and flamingos remind me of sunshine and warm weather.

Linda (Elovitz) Marshall – That depends. Really, I don’t have a favorite. Except that, well, I’ve always wanted a horse…That’s the real reason we bought the farm in the first place, but I never got a horse. It just seemed, well, impractical. When I realized that I’d have to hire a babysitter to stay with the kids while I went to the backyard to care for the horse or take it for a ride, it seemed dumb. And expensive. So, it never happened. And my interests changed. Truth is, for the past many years, when I blow out the candles on my birthday cake, I no longer wish for a horse. Of course, I won’t say what I wish for…Then it won’t come true.

Jenna Grodzicki – I love all of the animals in Wild Style . But if I had to pick a favorite, I would choose the pom-pom crab. I was a cheerleader in high school and college, so I have a lot in common with this little guy.

NOW, let me take a moment to introduce you to these amazing STEAM books!

Synopsis: Redstone - Discover the different uses for redstone ore in the hit game Minecraft. Readers will learn all kinds of tips and tricks! STEM sidebars connect game play to real-world applications.

Enchantments - Enchanted tools, weapons, and armor in the hit game Minecraft make playing more fun. Learn how to create them in this overview. Sidebars highlight elements of game play related to STEM and coding concepts.

Maps - Explore the ins and outs of making and using maps in the super popular game Minecraft. Tips and tricks help game-lovers master the craft while sidebars that highlight STEM and coding round out the experience.

Creative Mode - Flying around and building without having to worry about zombie mobs? It's all fun and games when you play Minecraft in Creative mode! Fun tips, STEM content, and a fun coding feature will have players enthralled.

For those into Minecraft, or interested in STEM, coding, and game theory, these four books offer a wealth of information and fun.

Synopsis: The internet and social media have changed the way teens experience bullying. Though the bullying takes place in cyberspace, it can have real physical and mental effects on teens' health. Teens and Cyberbullying explores why cyberbullying is so prevalent, the impact it has on society, and methods for preventing cyberbullying.

Nearly 50% of teens report cyberbullying. With non-nonsense, accessible text, interspersed with images and graphics, this book defines cyberbullying and why it's such a problem. It details the numerous forms and offers ideas for avoiding or dealing with cyberbullying. An important book to share with teens and perhaps pre-teens.

Synopsis: Accurate enough for experts, yet simple enough for baby, these three clever board books explore the science of taste., smell, & touch. Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby's sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two as well.

A trip to the store, time in the kitchen, and laundry time provide great frameworks for turning everyday experiences into explorations of the senses of taste, smell, and touch. Simplified text and large images make these perfect STEM board books.

Synopsis: Dr. Jonas Salk is one of the most celebrated doctors and medical researchers of the 20th century. The child of immigrants who never learned to speak English, Jonas was struck by the devastation he saw when the soldiers returned from battle after WWII. Determined to help, he worked to become a doctor and eventually joined the team that created the influenza vaccine. But Jonas wanted to do more. As polio ravaged the United States--even the president was not immune!--Jonas decided to lead the fight against this terrible disease. In 1952, Dr. Jonas Salk invented the polio vaccine, which nearly eliminated polio from this country. For the rest of his life, Dr. Salk continued to do groundbreaking medical research at the Salk Institute, leaving behind a legacy that continues to make the world a better place every day.

This great STEM picture book biography follows Dr. Jonas Salk, from an observant, bookish child to a young man determined to combat Polio. It highlights the research, experimentation, hard work, and testing involved in creating his groundbreaking vaccine.

Synopsis: What do a crab waving pom-poms, a bug with a backpack of dead ants, and a mud-spattered vulture have in common? They all have wild style! Meet animals including crabs in sponge hats, caddisfly larvae wearing suits of armor, lacewing larvae dressing up with jewelry to hide themselves from ladybug predators in this fun and fascinating photo book! Check out these cool critters and learn how their wacky adornments help them survive!

This is a great STEM book for kids you love animal photos and strange (and even slightly gross) true facts about animals. It examines a number of ways that animals employ natural camouflage or adorn themselves to attract a mate.

Thank you all for giving us a little peek into you and your books. Wishing you all great success with your 2020 releases and upcoming books.

To learn more about these writers, or to get in touch with them:

Linda Rose Zajac - The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Maps (8/1/20), The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Redstone (8/1/20), The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Enchantments (8/1/20), & The Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Creative Mode, Lerner Publications (8/1/20) -

Website: https://lindazajac.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Linda-Zajac-Science-Writer-189550007735908/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaZajac

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/linda.zajac/

Marie-Therese MillerTeens and Cyberbullying (Teen Problems), Referencepoint Pr Inc. (8/1/20)

Website: http://www.marie-theresemiller.com/5001.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marietherese.miller

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarieThereseMlr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/doctorteri/

Ruth Bernstein SpiroBaby Loves Taste! (The Five Senses) (8/18/20), Baby Loves Smell! (The Five Senses) (8/18/20), Baby Loves Touch! (The Five Senses), Charlesbridge (8/18/20) -

Website: https://ruthspiro.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RuthSpiro.Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RuthSpiro

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/RuthSpiro?reload=9

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Linda (Elovitz) Marshall The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine, Penguin Random House (8/18/20) -

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Jenna Grodzicki Wild Style: Amazing Animal Adornments, Millbrook Press TM (9/1/20) -

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