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The Picture Book Buzz

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with August STEAM Team Authors

Today I have the pleasure to introduce you to five authors from the STEAM Team Books – a group of authors who joined together to celebrate and help promote their STEAM books. I do 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 2022. 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?...)

Marie-Therese Miller –– Social Media Addiction (Bright Point books 8/1/2022) – I teach Children’s and YA Literature at Marist College and have five adult children and a grandson. I started writing professionally 22 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 am a night owl, and I work into the wee hours of the morning. 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 28 books including, Sly as a Fox: Are Foxes Clever?(2022), A Dog’s Best Friend: A Sesame Street Guide to Caring for Your Dog (2021), It’s All Art: From Drawing to Dress-Up With Sesame Street (2021), Crayola Our Colorful Earth: Celebrating the Natural World (2021), Handling Depression (2021), Parents Here and There: A Kid’s Guide to Deployment (2021), Me Love to Share with Cookie Monster: A Book About Generosity. (2021), Everyone Has Value with Zoe: A Book About Respect, (2021) Caring With Bert and Ernie: A Book About Empathy (2021), Teens and Cyberbullying (2020), Rock Climbing (2020), Many Ways series: Families Like Mine/ Feelings Like Mine/ Homes Like Mine/ Parents Like Mine (2020), Dealing With Psychotic Disorders (2020), Feeling Good About You (2019), Understanding Friendship (2019), Racing and Lure Coursing Dogs (2018), and Rachel Carson (2011).]

Sophia Gholz – A History of Toilet Paper (and Other Potty Tools) (Running Press Kids/Hatchette 8/2/22) – I’m a music lover, magic seeker, and avid reader. I’ve always loved stories and escaping into a great book. As a child, I dreamed of becoming a writer one day. But it took me a long time to figure out how to get there. It wasn’t until I reached adulthood that I eventually worked up enough courage to pursue writing. I love to write both fiction and nonfiction. I feel very lucky that I’ve been able to write both quiet and heartfelt stories, as well as rowdy and humorous ones. For me, a great story is a great story whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, or if it’s quiet or loud. A good book is hardbound magic.

[Author of 5, including Bug on the Rug (2022), Jack Horner, Dinosaur Hunter! (2021), This Is Your World: The Story of Bob Ross (2021), and The Boy Who Grew a Forest: The True Story of Jadav Payeng (2019).]

Nancy Castaldo – The Wolves And Moose Of Isle Royale: Restoring an Island Ecosystem (HMH/Clarion 8/9/22) – I’ve been writing books about our planet for over 20 years. I studied biology and chemistry in college and later in grad school, children’s literature. I’m an environmental educator and National Geographic Certified Educator. As an author I strive to inform, inspire, and empower my readers with each book. STEAM subjects allow me to share my passion and who I am -- a nerdy naturalist -- with readers. I write whenever and wherever. Research is my jam and I always carry a notebook. .

[Author of – 25 books, including When the World Runs Dry: Earth’s Water in Crisis (2022), The Farm That Feeds Us (2020), The Story of Seeds (2020), DK Life Stories: Ada Lovelace (2019), Back from the Brink: Saving Animals from Extinction (2018), Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (and Their Noses) Save the World (2017), Beastly Brains: Exploring How Animals Think, Talk, and Feel (2017), School of Dragons #2: Greatest Inventions (DreamWorks Dragons) (2016), The Race Around the World (Totally True Adventures): How Nellie Bly Chased an Impossible Dream (2015), This or That? 3: Even More Wacky Choices to Reveal the Hidden You (National Geographic Kids) (2015), and National Geographic Kids Mission: Polar Bear Rescue: All About Polar Bears and How to Save Them (2014).]

Laura Perdew – Biome Explorers - Aquatic Adventures, Destination Desert, Footsteps in the Forests, Grassland Globetrotting, Tour the Tundra (Nomad Press 8/15/22) - I wrote one of my first stories in elementary school and it was clearly Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets the Candyland game; of course I was the main character and got to enjoy chocolate rivers and gumdrop flowers. In college I was the dork who didn’t mind the writing assignments (please, a writing assignment instead of an exam!). As an adult I dove into writing for children when my own were small; it was my creative outlet and something to call my own. Eventually I began writing for the education market which is what led me to writing STEAM books. I’ve also always been somewhat of a conservationist and I love being outdoors; writing STEAM books has allowed me to combine two of my greatest passions!

[Author of 44 books, including The Earth: One-of-a-Kind Planet (2021), The Moon: Small-but-Mighty Neighbor (2021), The Sun: Shining Star of the Solar System (2021), and The Stars: A Gazillion Suns(2021), Mammals (A Field Guide for Kids) (1/2021), 5-book Picture Book Science Series: Animal Adaptations (2020), Animal Conservationists (2019), Crazy Contraptions: Build Rube Goldberg Machines that Swoop, Spin, Stack, and Swivel (2019), Race to Renewable Energy (2019), Race to Discover Energy Independence (2019), Biodiversity: Explore the Diversity of Life on Earth (2019), and 23 books with Educational Publishers.]

Jennifer SwansonFootprints Across the Planet (Reycraft Books 8/22/22) - I have been writing almost all of my life. I started creating books when I was in kindergarten. Throughout my life, I’ve kept journals. Mostly observations of things that have happened to me in my life and things I’ve found interesting. I started writing professionally about 12 years ago.

I typically write on my laptop or my desktop in my office. I feel most at home writing and researching there as that is where I’ve written almost all of my books. My writing day consists of getting up, having breakfast, and being in my office by around 8:30am. I work pretty much all day consistently until 5pm. I may stop to exercise or walk my dogs, but that is how I work for most of the week.

My favorite type of books to write are the ones about engineering and technology. I love learning! I have loved science my whole life. After all, I started a science club in my garage when I was 7 years old. My goal when I’m writing is to find a unique and exciting way to present my topic. Something that is natural, but unusual, like my book Save the Crash-test Dummies, which is the story of car safety engineering told through the lens of a crash-test dummy.

[Author of 47 books, including - Outdoor School: Rock, Fossil, & Shell Hunting (2021), Everything You Need to Ace Chemistry in One Big Fat Notebook (2020), Beastly Bionics: Rad Robots, Brilliant Biomimicry, and Incredible Inventions Inspired by Nature (6/2020), Spies, Lies, and Disguise: The Daring Tricks and Deeds That Won World War II (2019), Save the Crash Test Dummies! (2019), Absolute Expert: Dolphins (2018), Pearl Harbor (American Girl: Real Stories From My Time)​ (2018), Building With Poop (Power of Poop) (2018), Astronaut Aquanaut (2018), Environmental Activist Wangari Maathai (2018),and Dr. E’s Super Stellar Solar System: Massive Mountains, Supersize Storms, Alien Atmospheres, and Other Out-of-This-World Space Science (2018).]

So what’s your favorite thing to do outside?

Marie-Therese MillerI am a water woman. I am happy near a body of water—whether it’s the ocean or a pool. In the cooler seasons, I like to walk or ride a bicycle.

Sophia Gholz – I suppose this depends on my mood and where I am at the time. I love water, so swimming is always great fun for me. But I also love hiking. Mostly, however, I just want to take in the scenery and all of Mother Nature’s splendor whenever I can.

Nancy Castaldo – Hike! I love to carry my camera with me while I’m exploring. You just never know what you are going to see. When I travel for work or pleasure I always make time to get outside at a nearby national park. I went to ten in 2019, including the Grand Canyon, Isle Royale, Saguaro East and West, Rocky Mountain, and the Everglades. And as you can tell from my latest book, The Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale, they inspire my work and my life.

Laura Perdew – I love to do just about anything outside! And, of course, it depends on the time of year and where I am. I live in Colorado, so I always look forward to summer hikes to high alpine lakes surrounded by craggy peaks and fields of wildflowers. If I’m lucky, I’ll even get to see a marmot or two. But I also love the ocean and the desert. No matter where I am, there’s always something amazing to see and wonder about. So if I had to boil it down to one word, I would say my favorite thing to do outside is EXPLORE.

Jennifer Swanson – Anything! I just love being outside. But if you want me to be specific, I love to ride my bike, walk, hike, and just walk along the ocean. Being outside is calming to me because nature is so amazing.

I wonder if all writers like to be outside? 😊 Now that we know a little more about all of you, what inspired you to write your book?

Marie-Therese Miller –– Social Media Addiction (8/1/2022) – I found myself spending too much time scrolling on social media. And I knew I wasn’t alone in this. I wanted to explore the way social media companies manipulate users and to find strategies to avoid social media overuse.

Sophia Gholz – A History of Toilet Paper (and Other Potty Tools) (8/2/22) – I talked about this a little bit in a recent interview I did with Betsy Bird on her SLJ Fuse#8 blog. I’ve always been a history fan and I like to watch the How It’s Made television series. I mean, who doesn’t love a great origin story? This love of odd origin stories mingled with my interest in the toilet paper hoarding during the beginning of the pandemic. I recall looking at a store shelf that was empty of toilet paper, only to turn around and discover all the baby wipes and tissues were still there. I thought to myself, who needs toilet paper anyway? One thing led to another, and this book was born. It was one of those subjects where the more I researched, the more obsessed and fascinated I became.

Nancy Castaldo – The Wolves And Moose Of Isle Royale: Restoring an Island Ecosystem (8/9/22) – I learned about the wolf and moose predator /prey study on Isle Royale in college and have followed the ongoing research over the years. When I discovered the latest wolf introductions I believed it was time to tell the story to a new group of young readers. I’m excited to have this book in the Scientists in the Field series. It’s a treat to turn some of the attention over to so many dedicated researchers and scientists who have worked on this unique island national park over the years. Plus, wolves and moose are two of the animals I enjoy writing and learning about. I’ve written a chapter on wolf population recovery in Back from the Brink and a moose population study in Sniffer Dogs. There are always more stories to be told about these fascinating creatures.

Laura Perdew – Biome Explorers - Aquatic Adventures, Destination Desert, Footsteps in the Forests, Grassland Globetrotting, Tour the Tundra (8/15/22) - This series was actually assigned to me by Nomad Press, but I was given the latitude to develop it as I wanted. I spent a lot of time brainstorming and considering different ways to approach the topic. Ultimately though, I decided to invite readers on a journey with me through the different biomes because exploring is so important to me. And part of my inspiration as I researched and wrote was to not only introduce readers to the different biomes but also to try to inspire wonder and an interest in learning more.

Jennifer SwansonFootprints Across the Planet (8/22/22) – I was inspired by a combination of events--the first March for Science and the Women's March in 2017, watching young Greta Thunberg make a difference, and also being able to listen to the amazing Ruth Bader Ginsberg speak at the National Book Festival. I thought- WOW- look at all of these people making a huge impact on the world just by showing their support for something they are passionate about.

THIS is what this book is about.

And yet, what better way relay this idea than to discuss the simplest way of making an impact—with a footprint. Everything on this planet, from animals, to erosion, to science to technology, and of course, people make an impact with every step they take. These steps mold and change our planet forming its past, present, and future.

I find it so fascinating how curiosity and discovery gets expressed in so many different ways. Who was a favorite or special author, illustrator, and/or book as a child?

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.

Sophia Gholz – I was a huge fan of Shel Silverstein and Madeleine L'Engle. My parents also read with me and my brothers every night. I loved that time the most. We read all sorts of things together from picture books to Shakespeare and everything in between. I think stories shared with friends and family are the best kinds of stories.

Nancy Castaldo – I had a favorite book as a toddler titled, What Shall I Put In The Hole That I Dig? Clearly, I loved nonfiction and seeds at an early age. In fact, I even attempted to write my own wonder book in second grade. Some things stick with you throughout your life.

Laura Perdew – I have a hard time naming favorites of anything (a trait that my children find annoying). With books, the ones I’m drawn to depend on my mood and my experiences. Among the books I remember as a kid, The Lorax was perhaps the only STEAM book I loved. Waaaaay back then there were so few STEAM books that were engaging or fun. As a child, I also enjoyed all the other books by Dr. Seuss (and still do!), the Berenstain Bears, and Curious George.

Jennifer Swanson – I was a HUGE fan of the Nancy Drew books. I read every single one of them, probably twice. I also loved Harriet the Spy. If it was a mystery, I read it. I read a lot of nonfiction books, too. I have this huge urge to learn things!

Such terrific books and authors. Is there anything special you want your readers to know about your book(s)?

Marie-Therese Miller –– Social Media Addiction (8/1/2022) – If you feel that your life is consumed with social media, this book has coping suggestions. It contains practical and concrete strategies to overcome social media overuse. The book also includes proven therapy paths to help you embrace your real life.

Sophia Gholz – A History of Toilet Paper (and Other Potty Tools) (8/2/22) – One of the things I love most about this book is how it showcases the evolution of a product through the culmination of global teamwork over time. Sure, a person can come up with a brilliant idea on their own. But creating in a vacuum doesn’t always lead to the best product. If we work together, we can often create so much more.

Nancy Castaldo – The Wolves And Moose Of Isle Royale: Restoring an Island Ecosystem (8/9/22) – People have strong feelings about predators, including wolves. Many of us have grown up reading about the big, bad wolf of fairytales. I hope that readers of The Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale: will see the value that they hold for our environment. My award-winning book, Back from the Brink, has a chapter on wolves that might interest readers who want to learn more about wolves in the United States.

Laura Perdew – Biome Explorers - Aquatic Adventures, Destination Desert, Footsteps in the Forests, Grassland Globetrotting, Tour the Tundra (8/15/22) - Probably the biggest thing I’d want readers to know is that the author loved researching and writing these books – there are so many amazing things to discover in each biome! I hope their journeys through the books inspire reader to go on journeys of their own to discover more.

Jennifer SwansonFootprints Across the Planet (8/22/22) – Can I - one person- make a difference? Is that even possible? YES! That is the idea of my new book, Footprints Across the Planet (Reycraft Books)

You are already making an impact on the planet, each time you take a step. Like you, every being on the planet leaves an imprint

with their feet

their words

their actions.

Whether human or animal, voices or activity, each mark has a purpose.

To remind us of our history, give us a glimpse of our future, and maybe even inspire us to change the world.

So how can YOU do this? How can we help kids to do this?

Start small.

When we try to tackle a big problem, that is the best way to start.

While no one can solve all of the problems, try taking just one step.

When taken in the right direction, it makes a world of difference.

What was the hardest, or most challenging, part of writing, or researching, this (these) specific book(s)?

Text © Marie-Therese Miller, 2022.

Marie-Therese Miller –– Social Media Addiction (8/1/2022) – The challenge of this book was applying what I learned to change my own social media habits. Now, I spend less time on social media by physically separating myself from my tech devices for hours.

Text © Sophia Gholz, 2022. Image © Xiana Teimoy, 2022.

Sophia Gholz – A History of Toilet Paper (and Other Potty Tools) (8/2/22) – The most challenging part of writing this book was narrowing down the facts. There are SO many interesting and wild facts surrounding the history of human hygiene. I wish I could have included all of them!

Text © Nancy Castaldo. 2022. Photograph © Morgan Helm, 2022.

Nancy Castaldo – The Wolves And Moose Of Isle Royale: Restoring an Island Ecosystem (8/9/22) – This book is set on a remote island in Lake Superior. When photographer Morgan Heim and I went to the island to research, write and take the photos our time was limited. In addition, the park is only open a few months of the year. That made some of the research a bit challenging. But it also gave us a concentrated time to get our work done. The time on the island was so valuable to this book. Like most park visitors to Isle Royale, I can’t wait to return and see even more.

Text © Laura Perdew, 2022. Image © Lex Cornell, 2022.

Laura Perdew – Biome Explorers - Aquatic Adventures, Destination Desert, Footsteps in the Forests, Grassland Globetrotting, Tour the Tundra (8/15/22) - The most challenging thing for me was that the topic of biomes is HUGE. I had to absorb a lot of information about each biome and then choose what went into the books and what got left out (and there was so much I had to leave out!). It was a challenge to decide where to take readers on the journey.

Text © Jennifer Swanson 2022.

Jennifer SwansonFootprints Across the Planet (8/22/22) – Writing it! So, how did I end up taking that rather large idea and turning it into a 150-word picture book? This story just wrote itself, actually while I was on a bike ride one day. It’s true! I was taking a break from work and started on my 5-mile bike ride. As I was enjoying being outside—and away from the computer for once—the words started forming in my brain. They just kept coming, line after line. They were so good, that I knew I had to stop and write them down. But I didn’t have paper or pen. So, I texted them to myself. We all know that if you don’t listen when your muse speaks and write it down, you’ll never remember them.

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

Marie-Therese Miller – I am so pleased to say that Let’s Talk About It: A Sesame Street Guide to Resolving Conflict is coming out with Lerner on September 6th. In addition, I wrote some cool Lerner/ Sesame Street science books and a book about feelings that will be available in early 2023. I am a dog person, so I am really excited to have a dog encyclopedia for young readers coming from Abdo, also in 2023!

Sophia Gholz – I have two new books (one fiction and one nonfiction) that I’m anxiously waiting to announce. A few other projects are also in the works. I wish I could share more, but my lips are sealed for now!

Nancy Castaldo – – For now, I can share two of my upcoming books. Be on the lookout in November for the release of Buildings That Breathe from Twenty-First Century Books. It’s a fascinating story of urban greening. In addition, I am at work on a middle-grade book with Holiday House – Hudson Riverkeeper – that was recently announced.

Laura Perdew – I currently have several books out on submission (nonfiction picture books and a middle grade novel). All of them have STEAM ties with a focus on nature, the environment, and environmental issues.

Jennifer Swanson – I am working a book for Charlesbridge about a group of Scientists at the Field Museum who go into the Amazon and take a rapid inventory—a counting of the number of plants, animals, the types of water, and terrain and more to give an overall view of the ecosystem. It is a thriving, viable ecosystem, then the team makes a recommendation to the government to set it up as protected land. This book, called Protecting the Amazon will release in summer 2025.

I can't wait to see these books and the projects you all have in the works! If you could meet anyone (real or literary), who would that be?

Marie-Therese Miller –– Winnie-the-Pooh. I believe I could benefit from his insightful bear philosophy, while we share some honey and my favorite, Jif peanut butter.

Sophia Gholz – Oh, man. This is an unfair question! How can I possibly narrow it down to one person? Hmm…I should probably pick someone important and brilliant here. But I’m currently on a Marvel Universe TV kick, so it might be fun to hang out with one of the Avengers for the day. You know, tag along while they save the world or something fun. 😊

Nancy Castaldo – Rachel Carson, hands down. Her book, Silent Spring, resides on my desk and provides me with endless inspiration.

Laura Perdew – Again, I can’t pick just one. My top 10, though, would most certainly include Michelle Obama and Jane Goodall. I also wouldn’t mind spending the day with Sir David Attenborough!

Jennifer Swanson – There are so many scientists, engineers, and experts that I’d love to meet, so this is a tough choice, but I would be honored to meet Dr. Sylvia Earle or Dr. Kathy Sullivan. They are hugely inspiring pioneers in both of the fields of ocean and space.

What is your favorite National Park or Forest, regional park, or city park? Or the one you’re longing to visit. Why?

Marie-Therese Miller –– I am a beach person and a Jersey girl, so I love Cape May Point State Park. It is a magical place to watch birds and search for Cape May diamonds, which are really pieces of clear quartz. The Cape May Lighthouse is part of the park and is fun to climb to the top.

Sophia Gholz – Over the past few years I’ve been lucky to explore the western United States more and more. But two places I have yet to visit and would love to go are Red Rock National Park and The Grand Canyon.

Nancy Castaldo – I was so fortunate to visit ten national parks in 2019, including Isle Royale, Rocky Mountain, Everglades, Saguaro, and Grand Canyon. It was a busy year and I was thrilled to add more stamps to my national park passport. Each one is so very special and beautiful. A favorite? That’s impossible to choose. However, the next on my list is Yellowstone.

Laura Perdew – No favorites! I’ve visited dozens of National Parks and Forests and regularly visit the parks near me. Each one is magical in its own way and offers something different to explore, experience, and learn.

Jennifer Swanson – I really want to go to Hawaii National Park and visit the volcano there. I think it would be amazing to see a real volcano. You know, science happening as it is in action. © USGS Photo

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

Synopsis: Social media services offer useful ways to connect with friends and stay in touch. But overuse of social media may have a negative impact on mental health. Social Media Addiction examines the science behind this addiction, how it affects people's lives, and how modern treatments offer hope. (MG, ages 13-17)

A concise look at the health and social effects that occur from too much social media. While scientists argue and study whether overuse of social media satisfies criteria for an addiction, Dr Miller presents a straight forward evaluation on the underlying reasons both positive - in perceived rewards and pleasant feelings - and negative - real world effects to mental and physical health, including a reduction in empathy - which occur in people who overuse social media. In addition to providing the science in a very understandable manner, the book offers ways to limit social media and ideas for getting assistance. As we all get sucked more and more into social media, the book reminds us to physically interact with others and nature.

Synopsis: People have been going potty since, well, since the beginning of people! Ever wonder what humans used before potties or paper? You might be surprised at the clever tools that humans came up with over the centuries. From the great outdoors to ceramic pots, bum brushes and bidets, prepare for an adventure as we explore the interesting and sometimes shocking history of human potty practices! Award-winning children’s author Sophia Gholz and illustrator Xiana Teimoy team up to put a humorous spin on the fun and fascinating facts surrounding the history of toilet paper (and other potty tools) in this delightful book. (Ages 4-8)

Full of puns and potty humor, as one would expect in a book on toilet paper, it offers a survey of the numerous and often hilarious ways people have dealt with poo and cleaning. With a slightly cartoonish feel to the colorful illustrations, the readers are drawn through time as facilities, scrub brushes, and wipes change and develop into what we know now. It's nice that Thomas Crapper gets a passing mention in the Author's Note as the inventor of - you guessed it the flushing toilet. This irreverent and appealing book is sure to draw snickers from kids.

Synopsis: In this exhilarating installment of the award-winning Scientists in the Field series, journey to the isolated islands of Isle Royale National Park where the longest predator/prey study in the world is being conducted along with a controversial genetic rescue to save not only the wolves and moose, but the entire island ecosystem.

On Isle Royale, a unique national park more than fifty miles from the Michigan shore and about fifteen miles from Minnesota, a thrilling drama is unfolding between wolves and moose, the island’s ultimate predator and prey. For over sixty years, in what has been known as the longest study of predator and prey in the world, scientists have studied the wolves and moose of Isle Royale and the island’s ecology to observe and investigate wildlife populations. But due to illness and underlying factors, the population of wolves on the island has dropped while the number of moose has increased, putting the Isle Royale ecosystem in jeopardy.

Now, for the first time ever, scientists are intervening. Join celebrated author Nancy Castaldo in this exciting journey to Isle Royale to document the genetic rescue experiment scientists there are embarking on. If they can successfully relocate twenty to thirty wolves from the mainland to Isle Royale, scientists can potentially restore the balance among wolves, moose, and trees of the island's ecosystem. Now the living laboratory experiment begins. (Ages 8-12)

Using a wonderfully conversational voice, Nancy Castaldo invites the reader along on her visit and exploration of Isle Royale. Sharing her discoveries of the history, ecological tragedies, research, landscape, and theories of management of these islands, Nancy and her photographer, Morgan Helm, present the unique and delicate balance which exists among the animals and plants who live on Isle Royale. In this contained National Park, Nancy shows the scientists as stewards (trying to protect and maintain the island ecosystem), ringmasters (observers of the show played out by nature), and ecosystem engineers (re-introducing the wolf to naturally limit moose, beavers, and snowshoe hares). It is a stunning, fascinating, and totally engaging book on the interconnectedness of nature and the role each piece plays within the puzzle.

Synopsis: In Tour the Tundra: Biome Explorers, science adventurers ages 5 to 8 visit the Arctic, the Antarctic, and the alpine tundras. In these beautiful, remote places, we observe migrating animals, waddle like a penguin, and witness wildflowers in bloom in the mountains above the tree line. Plus, we learn about the impact of human activity on this fragile biome and find innovative ways of helping the plants and animals of the tundra thrive, even with the challenge of climate change!

Tour the Tundra: Biome Explorers is part of a set of five books in the Picture Book Science series that explore the different biomes of Planet Earth. Other titles in this series include Grassland Globetrotting; Aquatic Adventures; Footsteps in the Forests; and Destination Desert. In this series - striking illustrations, photographs, fascinating facts, and a hands-on activity are all part of this foray into deeper learning about biomes. An introductory poem and glossary encourage language arts connections. Perfect as a real aloud or for beginning readers. (Ages 5-8)

Two energetic guides take the reader on an exploration of the three different regions - Arctic, Antarctic, and alpine - with tundra biomes (communities of plants and animals). Showcasing the ways a variety of animals and plants have adapted to live and thrive in these harsh conditions. Creating a sense of awe and wonder for these special regions and encouraging readers to help preserve them. A food web at the end offers a STEAM extension of the text. In the rest of this fun STEM series, these same guides enthusiastically explore the importance and fragility of other biomes - desert, forests, water, and grasslands.

Synopsis: Every footprint―from the physical to the digital and the permanent to the fleeting―leaves a mark on Earth telling a story of the past, the present, or the future. What type of imprint will YOU leave?

Journey around the world and experience through these vivid photographs how every being on the planet leaves an imprint, with their feet, their words, their actions. Whether human or animal, voices or activity, each mark has a purpose. To remind us of our history, give us a glimpse of our future, and maybe even inspire us to change the world.

Perfect for the aspiring STEM activist in your life-- those who want to change the world!

“Whether big or small, each of us is responsible for leaving a positive footprint on our planet. We can all do our part to create a more sustainable future through simple everyday habits and actions. "Footprints Across the Planet" thoughtfully tackles the very big job of teaching the next generation to love, nurture and explore our oceans and lands and the life teeming within them. Through the book, Jennifer Swanson is leaving her own mark on the world that will last for years to come, inspiring young children to adopt a strong sense of self-awareness when it comes to their personal impact on the world around them.” ― Fabien Cousteau, Aquanaut, Explorer and Founder, Executive and Board Member at Proteus Ocean Group Ltd. (Ages 7-10)

Using stunning photographs and captivating layouts, this book explores how everything, from elephants to worms and everyone in-between, leaves footprints on this planet. In fact, man has even left marks on other planets - physical footprints and rover tracks. Concise, poignant text shows how we can purposefully and accidentally leave physical, electronic, pollution, and chemical footprints across the planet from the highest peaks to the depths of the oceans. A wonderful book which encourages thoughtfulness and an awareness of the effects and changes we all make since, "every footprint leaves a mark on the Earth, telling a story of the past, the present, or the future."

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

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

Marie-Therese Miller –– Social Media Addiction (Bright Point books 8/1/2022) –

Sophia Gholz – A History of Toilet Paper (and Other Potty Tools) (Running Press Kids/Hatchette 8/2/22))

Nancy Castaldo – The Wolves And Moose Of Isle Royale: Restoring an Island Ecosystem (HMH/Clarion 8/9/22)

Laura Perdew – Biome Explorers - Aquatic Adventures, Destination Desert, Footsteps in the Forests, Grassland Globetrotting, Tour the Tundra (Nomad Press 8/15/22) -

Jennifer SwansonFootprints Across the Planet (Reycraft Books 8/22/22) –


Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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