Best Nonfiction Books for Kids on the Polar Regions

Happy New Year! I recently worked to create a list of some of my very favorite nonfiction books about the polar regions. There are suggestions for older and younger readers, and the book formats range from nonfiction poetry to longer chapter books. Here’s the link.

Have other suggestions of books you like on the topic? Reach out and drop me a line — I’d love to hear from you!

Ben Franklin

On April 6 at 5 PM, I’ll be talking about my Ben Franklin book in an interview with PBS Books. His curiosity began as a boy and never faded throughout his long life. Some of his inventions helped people with the challenges of daily life, while others just brought joy. While people are often familiar with his experimentation on electricity, they may not know that he also did experiments on topics from the Gulf Stream to color and heat absorption. Can’t make it to the live session? The interview will be recorded for future viewing.

Amazing Animals

Ever wonder why some animals have such incredible coloration? I certainly do. And luckily for me, I got to write another six books about where animals get their coloring from, how this coloring can help them as they go about their lives, and much more. If you are curious about animals, or just love to find out about crazy colors in nature, this series is for you. This Science Behind the Colors series is geared for readers in Grades 2-5 but will appeal to animal lovers of all ages. Want to learn more? Here’s a link from the publisher with some sample pages: Enjoy!

Jane Goodall and Walt Disney

In December, I have two new biographies coming out in the Groundbreaker Bios series published by ABDO. These books are aimed at readers in Grades 2-3 but will appeal to animal lovers and happiness seekers of other ages as well. Here’s a sneak peek at their covers:

Both books were fascinating to research — from what these visionaries liked to do as children to developing their missions to make the world a more creative, happier, and more understanding place. Want to learn more? Ask your local library to get a copy of these books, due out on December 15. Happy Reading!!

Having Fun With Science

Since I last posted, I’ve had a great time researching and writing science books for elementary and middle school readers. I’ve learned about the technology that makes it possible for cars to reach speeds of over 300 miles per hour and the rockets that blast off into outer space. There are six titles in the Speed Zone series, which you can check out here: Below is the cover of one book in this series.

Can you imagine what it’s like to be an explorer in the Arctic or Antarctica? Things sure have changed since the earliest days of polar exploration. As a geographer, I am fascinated by everything from the animals and plants that live in these extreme environments to the ways in which modern-day scientists spend their free time at research stations near the South Pole. Grace Helmer created such stunning illustrations for my book Penguins & Polar Bears: A Pretty Cool Introduction to the Arctic and Antarctic. You can see more at — but here’s one of my favorite spreads!

I’ll post again soon with some more fun stories and photos. In the meantime, keep reading and reach out if you have anything you’d like me to post on. I love hearing from you!

Crazy Colors!

I am delighted to celebrate the release of six books about amazing coloration within the animal world. Published by Pogo Books, the series is called Science Behind The Colors. They are geared for readers in Grades 2-5. But the photos will appeal to everyone who sees them!

Want to get a closer look of some of the interior spreads of these books?

Colombia — New Book Release & Adventures

It’s been quite a while since my last blog post. But I am determined that this is the time to change my slow blogging tendencies. On August 15, my new book on Colombia comes out in the Cavendish Square Exploring World Cultures series. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover:

Last summer, before I wrote this book, I had the opportunity to travel with my husband, son, and a dear family friend who is from Colombia. Pilar was the perfect guide — she shared stories, foods, and the beautiful culture of the country where she grew up. She never minded all the questions I asked and had so much energy and enthusiasm for every place we visited and every activity we tried. We went to incredible museums, watched local parades, and even ran into the president of Colombia when having lunch one day! The two graffiti tours we went on in Medellin and Bogota gave a snapshot of art and life in these complex cities. Visiting the produce and flower market at Paloquemao was a feast for the senses. And as a vegetarian, getting to try so many delicious new fruits was fantastic!

Here are some photos that were highlights from my time in Colombia. I cannot wait to return!

Graffiti Art Colombia

Flowers at Paloquemao Market

Pineapple Flower Display – Medellin Flower Festival

Colorful Flower Display – Medellin

La Paletteria — Popsicles in Colombia

Some of the incredible variety of Colombian fruits

Treats from a candy vendor in Bogota

El Peñón de Guatapé – Made it to the top!


Hello and Happy Holiday Season! It’s been a wonderful autumn here in upstate New York. I’ve been able to work on many different projects on topics from historical figures to music trivia to smartphones to rainbows. So for me as a writer, it has been fascinating to learn lots about so many topics.

I  just got my first glimpse of the cover of my Australia book coming out next month. Having lived there for two years, this project was a labor of love and made me nostalgic for the people and places of this incredible continent. The book is geared for elementary aged readers and covers topics including sports, food, animals, and much more. Here’s a sneak peak at the cover:


And in case you want to see any pictures from my Australia days, here are a few:

Rainbow lorikeet


Me with crimson rosella on my head in Blue Mountains

Animal Allstars

This summer my new book Animal Allstars: African Animals Facts And Folklore was released.  I’m really excited about the gorgeous illustrations by award-winning illustrator Florian Bayer. The book includes basic information about all kinds of cool African animals from the fiesty honey badger to the sleek and stealthy cheetah. But there are also traditional folktales and other fun facts about the various animals as seen by different peoples living throughout Africa. Want a sneak peek? Check out some sample spreads from this book!



Summer 2017 Releases

It seems the spring came and went and in the midst of a frenzy of writing, it was my blog that was left behind. Since the new year started, I have written 13 books on topics ranging far and wide — from biographies of rap artists to books about our government to engineering titles that explain how some of America’s most famous landmarks were built. I have learned a load along the way and am excited to share some of my upcoming titles with readers.

Here are my summer 2017 releases, with their release dates by month — Ask your local library to add them to their collection or pick up a copy for yourself! I’d love to hear your thoughts…

July 2017

Pythagoras (Jr. Biographies from Ancient Civilizations)

Moses (Jr. Biographies from Ancient Civilizations)

August 2017

Hot Coal Walking, Hooping, and Other Mystifying Circus Science

Stems (A Closer Look at Plants)  


Roots (A Closer Look at Plants)

Leaves (A Closer Look at Plants)

24 Hours in a Lake (A Day in An Ecosystem)

24 Hours in the Taiga (A Day in An Ecosystem)

Kenya (Exploring World Cultures)

Zimbabwe (Exploring World Cultures)

The Boomslang Snake (Toxic Creatures)

The Puffer Fish (Toxic Creatures)

Lewis and Clark and Exploring the Louisiana Purchase (Primary Sources of Westward Expansion)

ESP, Superhuman Abilities, and Unexplained Powers (Paranormal Investigations)

Animal Allstars: African Animals, Facts and Folklore