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The Picture Book Buzz

The Picture Book Buzz - August 2023 Interview with STEAM Team Books Members Part 2

Whether you're here to support the STEAM Team authors, curiosity, or because you love nonfiction books, I hope you read to the end because you'll discover some amazing authors and spectacular books!

Today I have the pleasure to introduce you to four authors from the STEAM Team Books – a group of authors who joined together to celebrate and help promote their STEAM books. I hope you enjoy this peek at these delightful books and fascinating creatives.


"STEAM Team Books is a group of authors who have a STEM/STEAM book releasing in 2023. It includes fiction & nonfiction, trade or educational books.”


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?...)

Carrie A. Pearson – Virginia Wouldn't Slow Down! The Unstoppable Dr. Apgar and Her Life-Saving Invention (Norton Young Reader 8/7/2023) – STEAM-related topics often have a common denominator of the unknown or little known, and I’m drawn to sharing them. Call me kooky, but I love it when I think, “I didn’t know that!” about some tidbit I bump up against. If I get the same response from someone else after sharing my tidbit, the story lightbulb in my brain clicks on. If I get that response from many people, I’ve found my next project.


[Author of 5 books, including Real Princesses Change the World , illustrated by Dung Ho (2023), Stretch to the Sun: From a Tiny Sprout to the Tallest Tree on Earth, illustrated by Susan Swan (2018), A Cool Summer Tail, illustrated by Christina Wald (2014), and A Warm Winter Tail illustrated by Christina Wald (2012).]

Sue Heavenrich –– The Pie That Molly Grew (Sleeping Bear Press 8/15/2023) – I started writing lists in notebooks when I was a kid: animals and plants I saw, names of star constellations. I told my high school English teacher that I would never be a writer … and then I spent a lot of my life writing articles for papers and magazines – and now, books for kids! I have a desk and a computer, but my favorite place to write is leaning against pillows, with a hot cuppa coffee, scribbling into one of those marble-covered notebooks.


[Author of Funky Fungi: 30 Activities for Exploring Molds, Mushrooms, Lichens, and More w/ co-author Alisha Gabriel (2022), 13 Ways to Eat a Fly, illustrated by David Clark (2021), Super Science Are Ants Like Plants?(2019), Super Science Sky Spies (2019), How Muscles Work (The Human Machine) (2019), and Food as Fuel (The Human Machine) (2019), and Diet for a Changing Climate: Food for Thought w/ co-author Christy Mihaly (2018).]

Stephen Swinburne – Giraffe Math (Christy Ottaviano Books 8/22/2023) – I’ve been a full-time children’s book author since July 1994, when I walked away from a corporate job at the largest electric utility company in Vermont. They offered a severance package and I took it.


I’ve always been drawn to the outdoors and nature. I got a degree in biology and English. After college, I worked as a park naturalist in Vermont and then as a park ranger in a couple of national parks. Those jobs allowed me to talk about my passion and share my love of wildlife, nature, conservation, and the environment.


Passion and curiosity. I’ve always felt these are the two things that drive the subjects I write about. Wolves, sea turtles, giraffes, sharks. I love taking a deep dive into researching these animals and the scientists that study them.


[Author of 33 books, including Run, Sea Turtle, Run: A Hatchling's Journey (2020), Safe in a Storm, illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell (2016), Sea Turtle Scientist (2015), Whose Shoes?: A Shoe for Every Job (2011), Turtle Tide: The Ways of Sea Turtles, illustrated by Bruce Hiscock (2010), and Ocean Soup: Tide-Pool Poems, illustrated by Mary Peterson (2010).]

Sue Lowell Gallion – Our Underwater World: A First Dive into Oceans, Lakes, and Rivers (Phaidon Press 8/24/2023) - Nonfiction is where my writing journey started, as a journalism major and then working as a writer at non-profits and corporations. But after I had kids, I fell back in love with children’s books, and my elementary school dream of being an author returned. I’m not on a deck of Author cards yet (part of my grade school goal), but you never know! I began seriously working on the craft of writing for kids more than 15 years ago. Since I sold my first fiction picture book in 2013, I’ve been so fortunate to sell fiction picture books, a fiction early reader series, and nonfiction novelty board books.


What’s my favorite type of book to write? I love the feeling of making words fit together, no matter the genre. But I do like having a variety of projects to work on. When I’m stuck on a plot or character, it’s good to jump into nonfiction research or writing and use another part of my brain. I love encouraging kids’ curiosity about nature, the environment, and geography. Those subjects fascinate me. History does, too.


[Author of 11 books, including Our Seasons: The World in Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn), illustrated by Lisk Feng (2022),Pug & Pig and Friends, illustrated by Joyce Wan (2021), Tip and Tucker Paw Painters co-written with Ann Ingalls, illustrated by André Ceolin (2020), All Except Axle, illustrated by Lisa Manuzak Wiley (2020), Our World, A First Book Of Geography, illustrated by Lisk Feng (2020), Tip and Tucker Hide and Squeak co-written with Ann Ingalls, illustrated by André Ceolin (2019), Tip and Tucker Road Trip co-written with Ann Ingalls, illustrated by André Ceolin (2019), Pug & Pig: Trick-or-Treat, illustrated by Joyce Wan (2017), Pug Meets Pig, illustrated by Joyce Wan (2016), and Rick and Rachel Build a Research Report, illustrated by chi Chung (2014).]


What is the most fun or unusual place where you’ve written a manuscript?


Carrie A. Pearson – I wish I had an exciting answer for this (“inside a dirigible!” “in a rainforest tree fort during a monsoon!” etc.). However, my manuscripts aren’t written quickly enough to take advantage of an unusual place. Instead, they are an exercise in dogged perseverance written digitally on my home computer or travel laptop. Boring, I know.


Sue Heavenrich –– There was a year or so when one of the bridges in town was closed to traffic (for repairs) and I noticed it getting weedy. So one day I took a “nature walk” to draw sketches of the plants growing on the bridge. There was an aspen tree seedling growing in one of the cracks! I sat on the curb and wrote there for a while.


Stephen Swinburne – For two years I worked as a backcountry wilderness ranger on Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia. Part of my job was to monitor and report sea turtle nesting. On so many occasions, as I watched loggerhead females clamber out of the surf to lay their precious eggs in sandy holes, I took notes that led to my first book about sea turtles called Turtle Tide – The Ways of Sea Turtles. There’s nothing like being out there, in the field, getting first-hand observations.


Sue Lowell Gallion – I spent a wonderful writing day at the Breckenridge, CO, library while my family was skiing (and I was recuperating from knee surgery!) with snow falling outside the giant windows. And of course, I had my coffee. I came up with a story idea that day that hasn’t turned into a full manuscript, but it’s still percolating. On another tangent, I went to a memorable workshop with poet Sonya Sones long ago where she talked about how your brain is working on solving writing puzzles in the night. She encouraged us to let those thoughts slowly crystallize in the early morning as you wake up. That works for me. I make notes on my phone of those thoughts. Too often when I scribble something down in the middle of the night, I can’t read my writing in the morning!


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

Carrie A. Pearson – Virginia Wouldn't Slow Down! The Unstoppable Dr. Apgar and Her Life-Saving Invention (8/7/2023) – I first learned about the APGAR Score eons ago in college in my field of study (early childhood education with minors in social and natural science). I was interested in pursuing neonatal (newborn) psychology for a time, and APGAR Scores were referenced. When our three daughters were born, the APGAR Score took on a whole new relevance, but this was before I started writing children’s books and my antennae weren’t up yet. Then, in 2015 with my author mindset, I read that the APGAR Score was invented by a woman – Dr. Virginia Apgar – during a historical timeframe when there were few women physicians, and that she was a powerhouse of energy, intellect, and moxie. I was hooked.

Sue Heavenrich –– The Pie That Molly Grew (8/15/2023) – I get some of my best ideas from my garden – but surprisingly, not this time. I think it might have been a Storystorm challenge, or maybe it was National Pie Day (Jan. 23 if you’re curious), but Susanna Leonard Hill challenged folks to write a story about pie. I got to thinking of pies I have known and loved: apple, blueberry, pecan, key-lime. I detoured for a brief consideration of pizza (pepperoni, please) … but settled on my favorite, pumpkin. Within seconds a line came to mind and got stuck, like an earworm, until I finally wrote it down: This is the seed that Molly sowed. It bugged me until I finally sat down one morning with a mug of coffee and slapped words on the page.

Stephen Swinburne – Giraffe Math (8/22/2023) – Some books take years and years to evolve, mature, unfold. And some books are born out of spontaneity. For example, the idea for one of my new books, Big Truck Super Wash, came to me by pure serendipity. A few years ago, we visited our daughter and her husband living in New York City. As you do, we went out for coffee and bagels one morning and we happened to pass Brooklyn’s Famous Car Wash. Watching the cars go in and out, a thought popped into my head, “Where do trucks get washed?” I think all stories are born from curiosity. What if a shark played the ukulele? What do sperm whales eat? How large were T Rex eggs? Where do trucks get washed?


While the idea for Big Truck Super Wash came out of the blue, Giraffe Math was another matter. I’ve been trying to write a book about giraffes for over a decade because I think they are ridiculously cool and one of the most unique creatures on the planet. My Vermont buddy, Peter Lourie, and I first proposed The Giraffe Scientist for the Scientist in the Field series with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2009. Pete would take pictures and I would write. After HMH and others rejected our project, we tried a new hook, Tall Beauty-Desert Giraffes of Africa. This was to be an adult coffee-table-style book about giraffes living in the Namibian desert. After a year or so of submitting, we realized it was not to be.


I couldn’t shake my obsession with giraffes so I tried writing a very simple and short nonfiction manuscript about giraffes. It flopped. About the time Giraffes Can’t Dance came out, I thought I’d try a funny book about giraffes. No go. Then I played around with a giraffe joke book. My manuscript was a joke! I even tried a young nonfiction book that I thought might work as a board book. My ingenious title for that one was Giraffes Are Tall.


After over a decade of giraffe book trial and error, I hit the pause button. Shortly thereafter I was invited to Kenya for an author visit. After the school visit, my wife and I went on a 3-day safari. Seeing giraffes in the wild reignited my fascination for this creature.

When I got back home, I sat down with a blank yellow pad and began making a list of things I knew about giraffes. How tall they were. How long was their tongue. Their weight. How long they sleep. I looked at the page and realized it was all numbers. It was math! It wasn’t long before I connected Giraffe with Math and I had my title, Giraffe Math.


Moral of the story: some ideas take a very, very long time to congeal, to crystallize. Be flexible. Be patient. Never give up.

Sue Lowell Gallion – Our Underwater World: A First Dive into Oceans, Lakes, and Rivers (8/24/2023) - This book grew out of a spread that got cut out of another book. That happens, doesn’t it! It started with an idea for a nonfiction board book shaped like a globe that would be an introduction to geography for a range of ages. When I was working on that book, Our World: A First Book of Geography, with Phaidon Press, I was intrigued with showing kids that the landforms under the oceans are every bit as varied as on land through a spread showing underwater mountains and trenches. These books are only 13 spreads, so we ended up deciding not to introduce that concept. I proposed doing an underwater book next. My editor wanted a book on seasons around the world first, that one came out in 2024.


I love that there are so many ways for authors to be inspired. What do you like to do outdoors by yourself or with your family and friends?


Carrie A. Pearson – We live on the shore of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This lake is more like an ocean because it is so big and deep. I’m in awe of its power and the impact on our weather. When not writing or revising, I’m skiing or snowshoeing in the winter, wave surfing, paddleboarding, and beach walking in the summer, and hiking all year round. Being outdoors centers me, and the grandeur of Nature reminds me that small human concerns are truly small things.


Sue Heavenrich –– I like to spend time in my garden, planting things and watching bugs. I also like walking, and take photos of flowers and small creatures I see while out and about. When there’s enough snow, I’ll strap on my skinny skis for a loop around the hayfields.


Stephen Swinburne – My wife loves to tend our veggie and flower gardens. I love to walk and play tennis. We hiked Hadrian’s Wall in England last year from coast to coast. It took 8 days and we walked nearly 100 miles. A pint of beer in a pub never tasted so good after 12 miles of walking! We’ve fallen in love with long-distance walking and hope to do a long hike in Scotland or Ireland next year.


Sue Lowell Gallion –I researched and wrote Our Underwater World during the pandemic. I live in landlocked Kansas City, so it was tantalizing to be thinking of underwater habitats all over the world, especially the coral reefs! I love exploring the creeks and parks in my area, with my dog or my young grandkids. The Midwest has its own beauty. I love to travel, and I go to any ocean any time I get a chance. I haven’t been snorkeling since I wrote this book, but that is high on my travel agenda.


That all sounds like fun. Is there anything special you want your readers to know about your book?

Text © Carrie A. Pearson, 2023. Image © Nancy Carpenter, 2023.


Carrie A. Pearson – Virginia Wouldn't Slow Down! The Unstoppable Dr. Apgar and Her Life-Saving Invention (8/7/2023) –Dr. Virginia Apgar was a revolutionary woman who was successful in spite of setbacks and bias. She identified problems and worked tirelessly to fix them using intellect, humor, and respect for others. She gave voice to the voiceless which, to me, is a worthy ambition for all of us, even from a young age.

Text © Sue Heavenrich, 2023. Image © Chamisa Kellogg, 2023.


Sue Heavenrich –– The Pie That Molly Grew (8/15/2023) – My book is about more than pie. It’s about more than the seed that grows into the vine that flowers and ripens into pumpkins for that pie. It’s about connections – with family, with community, with the earth that sustains us.

Text © Stephen Swinburne, 2023. Image © Geraldo Valério, 2023.


Stephen Swinburne – Giraffe Math (8/22/2023) – I would love young readers to remember at least three outstanding giraffe facts: they are the tallest mammal (16’-20’) on earth; that they have the longest tongue (20’) in the world for a land animal; and those cool things on their heads are not horns or antlers but are called ossicones.


Besides the cool facts about giraffes, readers will notice the amazing end pages with a giraffe ruler illustrated by Geraldo Valerio in paper and paint collages. I love the surprise vertical spread (I’ll let readers discover this) and the book case covers. I also love that my editor/publisher, Christy Ottaviano, made it a big book (10 ¼ x 12 ¼) Giraffes are big animals, and I feel like they have room to breathe on the page.

Text © Sue Lowell Gallion, 2023. Image © Lisk Feng, 2023.


Sue Lowell Gallion – Our Underwater World: A First Dive into Oceans, Lakes, and Rivers (8/24/2023) - Our Underwater World is for a variety of ages, not just littles. There’s a lot of great information packed into the brief secondary text and our goal was to make that interactive for kid readers and listeners (adults, too!) I love the physical format of these books, and teachers and librarians have told me they like to have them on display where kids can handle them. The paper engineering by Phaidon, with the magnets embedded in the front and back covers, is fantastic and fun to fiddle with. Also, each spread is an actual location. They aren’t always identified in the text, but we worked to highlight lesser-known habitats, like the Congo River. The illustrator, Lisk Feng, is amazing. I just wish we had room for back matter!


What was the hardest, or most challenging, part of writing or researching your book? Was there a bit of your research you didn’t get to include?


Carrie A. Pearson – Virginia Wouldn't Slow Down! The Unstoppable Dr. Apgar and Her Life-Saving Invention (8/7/2023) – Wrapping my arms around health care and medical politics several decades ago was challenging but distilling the core of the biography posed a greater challenge. Virginia Apgar accomplished more in her lifetime than most could dream of no matter what gender. However, I wanted to shine a light on Dr. Apgar’s life-saving invention and the pushes and pulls that led to it. I had to remind myself of that goal every time I worked on the manuscript! This meant leaving out her groundbreaking work with the March of Dimes nonprofit organization, academic leadership, fundamental scientific medical research, etc.


Sue Heavenrich –– The Pie That Molly Grew (8/15/2023) – Writing a rhyming book while keeping the science accurate – that was a challenge sometimes. I created lots of word banks to find the right ones to put into the book. It was fun, though.


Stephen Swinburne – Giraffe Math (8/22/2023) – The wonderful experts at the Giraffe Conservation Foundation have an ongoing and remarkable giraffe reintroduction program throughout many countries in Africa. Giraffe conservation translocations can be highly beneficial for (re-)establishing new or bolstering small existing giraffe populations.


They also conduct a program called Twiga Tracker. Merging cutting edge technology with the best available scientific analyses, GCF is spearheading this groundbreaking study of giraffe movement ecology. To date, GCF has tracked nearly 300 giraffe – representing all four species – across 12 different countries.


It would have been fun to explore these programs. Perhaps another time, another book.


Sue Lowell Gallion – Our Underwater World: A First Dive into Oceans, Lakes, and Rivers (8/24/2023) - Because this book is so short, there is SO much I couldn’t include! I hope to come up with other book ideas out of this research.


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


Carrie A. Pearson – I’m currently researching and writing an unannounced book for middle grade readers in the animal biology area. It’s a big puzzle at the moment but the project is filled with my crucial “I didn’t know that!” tidbits. More soon!


Sue Heavenrich –– You know that feeling when you’ve got tons of ideas but they’re all tangled up like a ball of yarn that fell out the window and rolled down the street and then someone rolled it back to you but they leaned heavy on one side and didn’t pay attention to the loops hanging out? Yeah – that’s me right now.


Stephen Swinburne – Here’s your hint: it might have something to do with hammers and heads and math. [Hmm.....sharks or woodpeckers?]


Sue Lowell Gallion – I’m finishing revisions on another nonfiction book that hasn’t been announced yet, I’ll just say my research has been out of this world fun!


We'll have to keep our eyes open for these projects. What’s something you can’t do without either for your writing or for yourself?


Carrie A. Pearson – For writing, I can’t do without Rhymezone.com and my crit groups/partners/agent for pushing me in all the best ways. For myself, my family, and friends for reminding me to play.


Sue Heavenrich –– Besides chocolate? Quiet time with no constraints. A notebook and a smooth-writing pen. Wait! Was I supposed to limit myself to one?


Stephen Swinburne – As the dedication in Giraffe Math says, “To the many conservationists working to save giraffes. And to my home team – Heather, Hayley, Devon, Willy, Essie and Gus. You keep me, like giraffes, standing tall.”


Most of all, I couldn’t do what I do without the love and support of my family. As a side note, my daughter, Hayley, had twins as the book was going to print but it was too late to add them. So, I promise boys – Otto and Rupert – the next book is yours.


As for writing tools, I need my on-line dictionary and thesaurus. I also love Rhymezone.com if I am working on a rhyming manuscript. We live along the West River in southern Vermont, and if I am stuck in a manuscript or searching for an idea, I’ll often take a walk. Walking and writing. Writing and walking. They go hand in hand.


Sue Lowell Gallion – I can’t do without my critique partners and the kidlit community for either my writing or myself. Having others who are in this same crazy craft/business to celebrate, empathize, and commiserate with is so important to me.


Great answers. Okay, last question, what is the best advice you’ve ever gotten - whether it’s regarding writing/ illustrating or not ?


Carrie A. Pearson – This pearl was given to me years ago by a former boss when I wrote business plans instead of children’s books. She told me to ‘trust myself and trust my process.’ She was right; whenever we create anything public facing, we set ourselves up for critique, requested or otherwise. It’s easy to let the possibility of judgment gobble up the space that our intuition and experience should hold. Don’t let it.


Sue Heavenrich –– To have fun with the writing. Otherwise, I may as well be flipping burgers.


Stephen Swinburne – A few writing pearls stand out, such as,


- Fine tune your idea. Find your focus. I love what William Zinsser says in On Writing Well, “Don’t write about the entire city block, but just the corner store.”


- Neil Gaiman says, “Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.”

- In your manuscript, don’t forget to include DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS; the colors of things; sounds and smells; dialogue; and strong, lively verbs. Make word pictures.


- Make an emotional connection with the reader. Find a suitable hook. Read everything you write out loud. Zoom in on the small parts. Get it down, fix it up.


- And read these three books: Bird by Bird by Annie LaMott; On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King; and On Writing Well by William Zinsser.


Sue Lowell Gallion – Here’s a great piece of writing advice on story beginnings that I got from Bob Morrow at a Highlights workshop years ago. I use it on every project. He suggested we look at our draft story like a house. How long does it take to get into your story/house? Does it have an elaborate entry way or a crowded front porch? Do you need that, or can you just walk right in the front door? Focusing on story structure, rather than getting too attached to my own words, makes my work tighter.


Thanks, Maria, for this opportunity!


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

Virginia Wouldn't Slow Down! The Unstoppable Dr. Apgar and Her Life-Saving Invention by Carrie A. Pearson, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter (Norton Young Reader 8/7/2023) – A fascinating biography of the woman whose dedication, determination, and medical prowess created a test - administered to babies around the world - to ensure that all babies get any assistance they need on delivery. From a child, her loud, active, inquisitive, and pragmatic nature would drive her to buck the norms and ultimately become one of the nation's first female anesthesiologists. Great illustrations capture her compassion and enthusiasm. It includes a wonderful author's note and "professional timeline. "


Synopsis: A delightful and distinctive picture book about Dr. Virginia Apgar, who invented the eponymous test for evaluating newborn health that’s used worldwide every day.


The Apgar Score is known the world over: a test given to babies to determine their health moments after they are born. Less well-known is the story of the brilliant, pioneering woman who invented it.


Born at the turn of the twentieth century, Virginia “Ginny” Apgar soared above what girls were expected to do―or not do. She wasn’t quiet, she wore all sorts of outfits, she played the sports she wanted to―and she pursued the career she chose, graduating near the top of her class at Columbia University and becoming only the second board-certified female anesthesiologist in the United States. The simple five-step test she created―scribbled on the back of a piece of paper in answer to a trainee’s question―became the standard and continues to impact countless newborn babies’ lives today.


Ginny adored science, hated cooking, drove fast, made her own violins, earned a pilot’s license, and traveled the world. Here, Carrie Pearson’s jaunty storytelling and Nancy Carpenter’s playful illustrations capture the energy and independence of a woman who didn’t slow down for anything―and changed newborn care forever.

The Pie That Molly Grew by Sue Heavenrich, illustrated by Chamisa Kellogg (Sleeping Bear Press 8/15/2023) – Like the pumpkin itself, the rhyme grows from the simple line - "This is the seed that Molly sowed." - twisting through roots and leaves, vines and blossoms with just the right amount of variation to prevent weariness from a cumulative poem, while also maintaining a fun refrain. The illustrations of Molly and her brother as they wait and wait and then interact with various stages of the pumpkin's growth are wonderful visual additions as is the note on "American Pie," the recipe for pumpkin pie, and a shout-out to pollinators. This is a wonderful STEM book for budding scientists on the plant life cycle and pumpkins, as well as a celebration of community.


Synopsis: Using "The House That Jack Built" rhyme scheme and beginning with the planting of a single seed, the journey of bringing a pumpkin to harvest comes to life for young readers. Under Molly's watchful eye and care, each stage of growth--from the seed to the sprout to the leaves to the final fruit on the vine--is showcased. And at the end, Molly's lovely pumpkin is turned into a delicious pie for one and all to share in a celebration of gratitude. All from the seed that Molly sowed. Back matter includes fun facts about pumpkins, the important pollinators who help them grow, as well as a pumpkin pie recipe.

Giraffe Math by Stephen Swinburne, illustrated by Geraldo Valério (Christy Ottaviano Books 8/1/2023) – The narrator Twiga, a Reticulated giraffe, explores some of the amazing measurements unique to giraffes - including the size of their vertebra, hooves the size of pizza pans, and the weight of their hearts - comparing these numbers to other animals, kids, and objects. In addition, Twiga relates numerous facts about their collective nouns, poachers, predators, diet, social interactions, habitat, and the functions of their individual spot patterns. It's a fun informational STEM book on giraffes and includes a glossary, giraffe quiz, metric conversions, and further resources.


Synopsis: A picture book that introduces math concepts through the artful sharing of giraffe facts, for fans of Ten Magic Butterflies and Zero the Hero.


Twiga the giraffe introduces young readers to fascinating facts about giraffes and their relationship to other creatures—all by using math concepts such as measurements, graphs, shapes, word problems, and more.


This interactive picture book explores these spectacular animals through a STEM lens as everything from their speed and size to their intricate camouflage patterns (which act as internal air conditioning) and other body characteristics are featured. It’s an in-depth look at the animal kingdom’s most beloved gentle giants.

Our Underwater World: A First Dive into Oceans, Lakes, and Rivers by Sue Lowell Gallion, illustrated by Lisk Feng (Phaidon Press 8/24/2023) - This book follows the amazing format of their first two 'globe' books - Our World and Our Seasons - and takes young readers on a fun exploration from rivers and streams through mangrove and kelp forests to the deep dark ocean. The main text is a succinct rhyming verse and the secondary text discusses unique features and some of the inhabitants in each of these watery areas. Gorgeous illustrations and the cool globe format makes this an engaging and enticing read for all ages.


Synopsis: A poetic read-aloud celebration of our planet’s underwater worlds, that opens up to create a freestanding globe.


The youngest readers are invited to explore and experience our blue planet’s amazing underwater ecosystems through rhyming verse and lush illustrations: from freshwater ponds to the deepest depths of the ocean, streams, and rivers, to coral reefs and polar waters. Secondary text offers more detailed, curriculum-focused facts and encourages readers to learn about different plants and animals found in various watery habitats across the globe. This informative homage to our blue planet is sure to inspire readers to go outside, explore the water worlds around them, and to learn more about our planet. This sturdy and gorgeous book, which, like others in the same series (Our World and Our Seasons), opens out into a 3D freestanding globe, is the perfect gift for young readers, encouraging them to explore our globe's vital water ecosystems through its artful and engaging pages.

Thank you all for giving us a little peek into yourselves and your books. Wishing you all enormous success.


To learn more about these writers, or to contact them:


Carrie A. Pearson – Virginia Wouldn't Slow Down! The Unstoppable Dr. Apgar and Her Life-Saving Invention (Norton Young Reader 8/7/2023) –


Sue HeavenrichThe Pie That Molly Grew (Sleeping Bear Press 8/15/2023) –


Stephen Swinburne – Giraffe Math (Christy Ottaviano Books 8/1/2023) –


Sue Lowell Gallion – Our Underwater World: A First Dive into Oceans, Lakes, and Rivers (Phaidon Press 8/24/2023) -

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Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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