EVENT: Evening Safari at the Potawatomi Zoo (Aug 19 @ 5:30 p.m.)

This bird claims it can move faster than an Indy 500 race car. Find out whether this bird can do just that and more with children's book author Gabrielle Balkan at the Potawatomi Zoo. 

Participants will also learn about animals and their habitats, meet an animal ambassador, make an animal enrichment item, and get to know more about animal skeletons through BOOK OF BONES.

LEARN MORE: https://www.potawatomizoo.org/edzoocation/#safari

Evening Safari: Family Programs
Around the World

Join us for our summer safari series for a trip around the world! Learn about exotic animals and the environments in which they reside. Meet an ambassador animal, make enrichment, and much more! These programs are great for the whole family!

Time: 5:30 – 6:30 PM (see the zoo after hours!)
Address: Potawatomi Zoo: 500 S Greenlawn Ave, South Bend, IN, 46615

Cost: $6/participant (Members)
$8/participant (Non-Members)
Children under 2 get in for free


REVIEW: 50 Cities has "modern spin" - Goop

From the Tiniest Astronaut to Future Engineers: 12 Ways to Jump-Start Kids’ Imaginations

The golden ticket: activities and toys that both entertain your kiddo and encourage their future paths. Here, our picks for inspiring the littles in your life.

From LA to Charleston, kids get to explore the entire country via this beautifully illustrated book. Author Gabrielle Balkan includes every facet of the cities she covers, including facts with an unexpectedly fun cultural bent (we love the Willie Nelson trivia on the Austin page) and a modern spin (city parks and food trucks get prominent mentions).
– goop


NEW: 50 States Matching Game

The best part of publishing as part of a team is seeing what the various geniuses come up with...like this very cool, very fun, very useful The 50 States Matching Game! So happy to have worked with Rock Point Gift & Stationery (Quarto's stationary arm) on this beauty. They've also created a snazzy Flashcard Set that I'll write about later.

DETAILS: Grow your state smarts by matching famous faces, landmarks, and geographical features! The facts and art in this handsome and sturdy USA memory game is culled from the book that School Library Journal called "A colorful introduction to the 50 states" and "an above-average title on a popular topic.”

This 7" x 9" memory game includes 51 pairs to find and match, a legend with extra info about the state, and a sturdy case.

Available wherever books are sold, including your local independent bookstore

Book of Bones Trailer

The delightful and talented Meagan Bennett designs every children's book at Phaidon. In addition to keeping an eye out for interesting talent (like Sam Brewster), Meagan helps figure out how a book will come together (such as having a question on one page and an answer when you turn the page), what colors to use (like yellow, instead of say, green for the cover) , what special features to add (such as textured pages).

Meagan ALSO makes book trailers about the finished book so we can engage all of our senses when we learn about bones! Check out some of her handwork here! Isn't she great?

jestem szczęśliwy

According to the online translator I used, the way I should say "I am happy" in Polish is "jestem szczęśliwy" ... and I am! SO happy, that BOOK OF BONES will soon pub with the Polish publisher Kocur Bury. According to the same online translator, "Kocur Bury is an independent publishing house created by friends whose passion is the book, especially the children." 
I love them already! Don't you?

THE 50 STATES featured in Best Atlases For Kids: a wiki.ezvid Top Ten List

Very pleased to learn about this collection of children's atlases -- the ones on outer space and animals are especially appealing -- and to see THE 50 STATES in the #2 slot! Huzzah!

10 Best Atlases For Kids | January 2017 | Wiki.Ezvid.com
We spent 25 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. The earlier a child begins to understand his or her place in the wider world, the better. Therefore, a book that helps educate a youngster about everything from geography to international politics to global history is a priceless resource. Fortunately, most of the atlases on our list are not very expensive but are bristling with maps, facts, photos, and more.

The 50 States is a bright and playfully-illustrated guide to all things American. The book highlights thousands of important and interesting places around the United States and notes hundreds of historical figures who played a role in the country's past.

  • helps with learning state capitals
  • loaded with information on nature
  • great resource for social studies
Read more at  Wiki E vid

Read more at Wiki E vid

Watch the video here, on youtube, and at Wiki Evid.

VOTE FOR IT: Five things to find in Seattle, Washington

 On each spread of the upcoming 50 CITIES, Sol and I have hidden five things we think are a good representation of the city. What should we hide in Seattle, Washington: five umbrellas, five heron, or five Seattle dogs?

To help you decide, consider these facts:

10 inches of rain fell in Seattle in October, 2016 alone. That shatters the old record of 8.96 inches set in 2003. The normal rainfall for October is 3.48 inches.

houses nests of the Great Blue Heron, which weighs a mere five pounds — but has a wingspan of six feet!

Here, grab a "Seattle Dog” — a hot dog topped with cream cheese (!) and marvel at this 22-foot people-made waterfall in the middle of the city.

#voteforit #50cities #Seattle

VOTE FOR IT: Five things to find in San Francisco, California

On each spread of the upcoming 50 CITIES, Sol and I have hidden five things we think are a good representation of the city. What should we hide in San Francisco, California: five tie-dyed t-shirts, five sea lions, or five Yodas?

To help you decide, consider these facts:

In the mid-1960s, this was perhaps the most famous intersection in the world, a place where young people came to from all over the world in search of love and peace...and often wore tie-dye t-shirts!

As many as 1,700 slippery sea lions bask in the sun along this pier, barking and munching on squid and anchovy.

Animation superstars work on the next Star Wars at Lucasfilm Ltd.'s sleek headquarters in Presido park. Love it, you will.

#voteforit #50cities #SanFrancisco

VOTE FOR IT: Five things to find in Tucson, Arizona

On each spread of the upcoming 50 CITIES (October 2017), Sol and I have hidden five things we think are a good representation of the city. What should we hide in Tucson, Arizona: five turquoise rings, five Tohono O'odham baskets, or five Arizona Ridge-Nosed Rattlesnakes? Let us know in the comments! or on FB at http://bit.ly/50C_VoteForIt
#voteforit #50cities

REPRINT CORRECTIONS: Caddie Woodlawn VS Cabin Creek

During a recent visit to The School at Columbia, an inquisitive 4th grader asked an excellent question about the editing process and was interested to learn that it sometimes continues even AFTER the book prints. 

For instance, I included the Idaho-born author of the book CADDIE WOODLAWN in the Idaho spread of THE 50 STATES. I had never read it, but since it won the 1936 Newbery Medal assumed it was a good book to recommend. Neither my editor, the copyeditor, the fact checker, or our Idaho librarian thought anything of it. After all--it's a Newbery winner!

Nearly a year after going to press, I came across a description of CADDIE WOODLAWN on Deebie Reese's American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) site, a blog I follow with great interest. In it she describes how upset her daughter was to read the book (with her class) and come across hateful and derogatory content about Native Americans. You can find her experience here: http://bit.ly/CaddieWoodlawn .

I immediately wrote to my publisher to request we replace the book with another Idaho author in our next reprint. She immediately agreed.

So, in the first printing of THE 50 STATES you will find reference to CADDIE WOODLAWN. For books printed after June 2016 or so, you will find reference to CABIN CREEK MYSTERIES by Kristiana Gregory instead. I've read this and many of Kristiana Gregory's books, and am fond of them all.

You can find other books and authors mentioned in THE 50 STATES on this pinterest board.

VOTE FOR IT: Art Facts from Oklahoma City

Readers, I need your help! It is time for my semi-weekly #voteforit #50Cities where YOU share your opinion to help me decide between the inspiring people, interesting foods, curious landmarks, and moments to remember to include in one of the 50 cities in our upcoming book, 50 CITIES (Wide Eyed Editions, October 2017).

VOTE FOR IT: Which ART FACT should we include from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma?

BRICKTOWN MURAL Local artist Rick Sinnett used 400 gallons of paint to create this 100-ft-tall mural dotted with state symbols like scissor-tailed flycatcher. 

SAM NOBEL OKLAHOMA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY On display: "Copper Skill." Painted 10,000 years ago, this bison skill is the oldest painted object in North America.

GUESS WHO: New York Notables

The City that Never Sleeps is filled to the brim with inspiring people, like these three. Take a look at Sol Linero's two portraits and these three mini-bios and let us know who ISN'T pictured?

This groundbreaking artist is an advocate for LGBT rights and the Born This Way Foundation.

Born in the Bronx, this Princeton grad became the Supreme Court's first justice of Hispanic heritage in 2009.

The Chinese American fashion designer known for her wedding dresses was a figure skater as a child.