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:

RECORD-BREAKING RAIN
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.

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

WATERFALL GARDEN PARK
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:

THE CORNER OF HAIGHT & ASHBURY
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!

PIER 39
As many as 1,700 slippery sea lions bask in the sun along this pier, barking and munching on squid and anchovy.

YODA FOUNTAIN
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?

A] STEFANIE JOANNE ANGELINA GERMANOTTA ~ LADY GAGA
b.1986
This groundbreaking artist is an advocate for LGBT rights and the Born This Way Foundation.

B] SONIA SOTOMAYOR
b.1954
Born in the Bronx, this Princeton grad became the Supreme Court's first justice of Hispanic heritage in 2009.

C] VERA WANG
b.1949
The Chinese American fashion designer known for her wedding dresses was a figure skater as a child.

FIRST DRAFT

This time last year I was turning in the first draft of THE 50 STATES ACTIVITY BOOK, which was far more challenging than I thought it would be. These are some of the sketches I used to plot the book. THE FIRST STATE and MY PLACE IN THE STATES ended up pretty close to my original idea. NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST was greatly simplified by my editor. WHAT TIME IS IT we figured was rather complicated and ended up on the cutting room floor. Maybe we'll revisit it for a future book!

VOTE FOR IT: Coffee Facts from Seattle, Washington

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 COFFEE FACT should we include from Seattle, Washington?

CUP OF JOE There are about 1,600 coffee shops in the Seattle area, including the very first Starbucks, in Pike Place Market.

DO WHALES DRINK COFFEE? The coffee chain Starbucks was named after the first mate in the novel Moby Dick.

VOTE FOR IT: Animal Facts from Anchorage, Alaska

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

VOTE FOR IT: Which ANIMAL FACT should we include from Anchorage, Alaska?

BEAR BUSINESS Grizzly bears have shorter ears and longer claws than black bears; you can find both in the area.

MUSK OXEN were among the first animals to cross the Bering Land Bridge from Asia.

VOTE FOR IT: Transportation Facts from Newark, New Jersey

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 TRANSPORTATION FACT should we include from Newark, New Jersey?

PORT NEWARK
Some 8,000 shoe boxes can fit into each 40' foot container that passes through the East Coast's largest container shipping terminal.

NEWARK LIBERTY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
About 20,000 people work at the nation's oldest airfield, as air traffic controllers and more.  

Eagle Eyes from Pennsylvania

It's thrilling to hear from readers...especially when they offer a valuable contribution! A BIG thank you to Leigh and her family in Pennsylvania, who spotted an error in the table of contents. Can you spot it, too?

Upcoming reprints of the book will have a much-needed correction thanks to a sharp set of eyes in the Mid-Atlantic.

VOTE FOR IT: Inspiring People from San Francisco, California

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 inspiring person should we include for San Francisco, California?

GENNIFER CHOLDENKO b.1957 The award-winning author of Al Capone Does My Shirts writes about living near a notorious Alcatraz inmate and grew up riding horses in the area.

DANIEL HANDLER b.1970 Under the pen name Lemony Snicket, this accordion player and former San Francisco Boys Chorus member wrote A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Eagle Eyes from New Hampshire

It's thrilling to hear from readers...especially when they offer a much-needed contribution! A BIG thank you to Rebecca in New Hampshire, who, within 5 minutes of opening THE 50 STATES, spotted an error in our description of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center.

Upcoming reprints of the book will have this new text thanks to a sharp set of eyes in New England:

THE McAULIFFE-SHEPARD DISCOVERY CENTER
is named for the first teacher chosen for a space mission and the first American in space--both New Hampshirites!

VOTE FOR IT: Inspiring People from Houston, Texas

Inspired by the good librarians at #TxLA, today I launch #voteforit #50Cities: a new feature on my A Day in the Life blog. Once a week (or so!), I'll turn to readers for help deciding 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). 

I'd love to hear what you think should be included (and why!) so please drop me a line in the comments.

Happy exploring!

VOTE FOR IT: Which inspiring person should we include for Houston, Texas?
KATHI APPELT b.1954 The award-winning author of The Underneath lives in Houston and was born in the front seat of her dad's car!

DIANNA HUTTS ASTON b.1964 The award-winning author of An Egg is Quiet was born in Houston and loved reading about dinosaurs as a child.


 

 

Do You Like Being a Snake...

...is among the questions you can ask a snake but probably won't get an answer to.
You can also ask a snake, How Many Bones Do You Have? and What Would You Like For Dinner? and while snake won't answer, Sam Brewster and I will, and you can read our answers in THE BOOK ONE BONES, coming to you from Phaidon in early Fall 2017, just in time for your Halloween stockings. In the meantime, follow along with us here wherever there is a thebookofbones tag, and also on twitter with #thebookofbones, and my bones pinterest board. Send us your bones questions on Facebook, Twitter, and at gsbwrites [at] gmail [dot] com.

Bones_Rattlesnake_Fangs.jpg

Step by Step

One of the most interesting aspects of writing and researching the suite of 50 States books has been how we have discovered what we want to do and what we should do during the process of doing it. Take the very first state we tackled, way back in November 2014: New York. We went through a good number of revisions before we ended up with something we were pleased with. What do you think?

NY2_GSB.jpg

Rock Out to a State PlayList...Spanish Harlem Incident

You gotta have tunes while you work, and if the subject matter of the song happens to match the topic, all the better! Join me in listening to my STATE PLAYLIST, which at the moment is really a New York City Playlist, to cheer me while researching New York City for 50 STATES, coming to you in Fall 2017. 

For each city I always list a few good children's books that either take place in that city or are written in authors from that city. There are so many good choices for New York that I've had to start a pinterest board. For NYC, I listed a few of my favorite New York songs, "Spanish Harlem Incident" by Bob Dylan, for Aaron, and "Manhattan" by Cat Power, for me. They kick off the playlist.

My mom got me TAR BEACH by Faith Ringgold when Is tarted college at Barnard, on New York's upper west side. It kicks off the pinterest board.

NY_tarbrach.jpg