Writing tips

Author Heather Camlot on the Importance of Factchecking- PLUS A GIVEAWAY!

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Hello world!!

Welcome to my blog, Blissfully Bookish! I’m excited to introduce my next guest, a fellow Canadian author who writes incredible books (plus I went to high school with her brother). Please welcome Heather Camlot! Here she is discussing her nonfiction middle grade novel, BECOMING BIONIC illustrated by Victor Wong and published by Owlkids Books.

BUT first- YAY! Heather is generously giving away a FREE copy of BECOMING BIONIC. To be eligible to win, please enter the Rafflecopter contest by clicking HERE. Contest ends June 2, 2023US and/or Canada.

Please describe the journey to publication for BECOMING BIONIC and Other Ways Science Is Making Us Super.

I started working on the nonfiction proposal for Becoming Bionic in early 2020. It was divided up by superpowers, as it is now, but each section carried too many ideas. I worked with Owlkids Books editorial director Karen Li (who is now the publisher at Groundwood) to find a better flow and we settled on a format where each section would have a spread for past, present and future technology. I created a new proposal and then got started on the writing. I worked with editor Stacey Roderick — this is our third book together! — and while I was writing she was looking for illustrators (among the myriad of other things she does!) We were both smitten by Victor Wong’s work and were excited when he said yes. It’s his first children’s book and he knocked it out of the park! The process was a lot of back and forth on the copy, to make it as kid-friendly and clear as possible, and some back and forth on the illustrations. Then Owlkids worked its magic. It’s an incredible team. Three years later, Becoming Bionic is out in the world.

Where did you draw the book’s inspiration?

I was doing some translation work for Owl Magazine. The magazine and their French sister publications, Les Débrouillards, share some content and I was translating all these cool stories about flying men and invisible towers and super-strong fibers made from slime. I just thought, there’s something here. So I kept a file folder of these and other stories I came across in the newspaper, online, etc., and realized, I don’t remember why or how, that they related to superhero powers! Science was turning us into superheroes!

What is your writing process and does it vary depending on the project?

All my work is heavily researched and factchecked, regardless of whether it is fiction or nonfiction. As a journalist, I won’t let anything leave my desk without having at least three sources to confirm the facts and without the text being triple-checked. So as you can imagine I spend a lot of time digging online and reading books. That would be my process for anything I produce.

In terms of the actual writing, I don’t think I have a process, though I probably should! With a novel like Clutch or The Other Side, I just start from the beginning, knowing only the basic story arc, and write. With nonfiction I tend to have a fat file folder of articles that I use to create a nonfiction proposal. Once accepted, I write one section at a time, doing further research to find new and surprising gems to include, to fill in for length and to ensure I’m getting the facts right.  I’m always changing things because I love doing research. My “here, there and everywhere” nonfiction process is probably not an example to follow! Except for the factchecking. Always triple-check everything with proper sources!

Please paste a short and compelling excerpt from your book.

Super Sight

Of all the powers Superman possesses, his X-ray vision seems to spark the most debate: scientists have studied whether it would really be possible, while others have wondered about the ethics of being able to see through almost anything. Sure, it’s super useful to be able to scan a body for broken bones or pinpoint the exact location of bad guys in a hostage-taking situation, but could X-ray vision also cross a line into invasion of privacy? Hmm …

           The power to go unseen has its pros and cons, too. While Nelvana of the Northern Lights uses her invisibility in the name of protecting the people of the North, those who aren’t so righteous may choose to rob banks, spy, or worse, knowing they can’t be identified.

           Will science ever give us Superman-like X-ray vision? No. The high doses of radiation needed for the fictional superpower to actually work would likely cause cancer. But the good news is there are other forms of super vision in development, including smart lenses and bionic eyes.

           And while we won’t ever have the power of invisibility either, there are scientists experimenting with some pretty amazing ways to help us hide in plain sight. And who hasn’t wanted to make like Violet Parr from The Incredibles and hide from the world every now and then?

I love your work! You develop great hooks with a lot of kid appeal. Some NF writers try to write about a topic they’re passionate about, but can’t find the right way in. Do you have any advice?

Thank you! I now have five nonfiction books and they are in three different styles: expository/journalistic articles (What If Soldiers Fought with Pillows? and Secret Schools), browseable entries (I Can’t Do What: Strange Laws and Rules from Around the World and Becoming Bionic) and narrative nonfiction/verse (The Prisoner and the Writer).

I’ve been very fortunate to work with editors who loved my ideas, but who also rightly envisioned a stronger way to convey them. For example, I wrote What If Soldiers Fought with Pillows? as a picture book. Owlkids thought the subject was great, but said the messaging was too old. Karen Li, then editorial director of OKB at the time, asked if I could find real-world examples of all the questions in that book and write it as middle-grade. Karen was also behind The Prisoner and the Writer. I brought her my picture book about Alfred Dreyfus and Emile Zola and she immediately saw the parallels in the two men’s lives. We sketched out a new plan and I rewrote. The great thing about nonfiction, for middle-grade and older, is that you don’t write the book first like you would with a novel. With a nonfiction proposal, you have this opportunity to work with editors if they like your idea to find that right way in.

I would also say you should read nonfiction constantly. There is a huge chance you’ll find a story format already in print, mentor texts as they’re called, that works for your idea. That was also the case for The Prisoner and the Writer, and certainly for Becoming Bionic.

Please share your favorite nonfiction books from 2022 that have inspired you.

Yikes, that’s a tough question. Okay, SOME of the nonfiction books from 2022 that I’ve loved include:

  • Boy Friends, by Michael Pedersen.
  • Seen and Unseen: What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adam’s Photographs Reveal about the Japanese American Incarceration, by Elizabeth Partridge and Lauren Tamaki.
  • Star: The Bird Who Inspired Mozart, by Mireille Messier and Matte Stephens.
  • One Tiny Bubble: The Story of Our Last Universal Common Ancestor, by Karen Krossing and Dawn Lo.
  • Building an Orchestra of Hope: How Favio Chávez Taught Children to Make Music from Trash, by Carmen Oliver and Luisa Uribe.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to other writers?

Write about what inspires and excites you. If you’re not passionate about your topic, why should readers be?

And a bonus question just for kicks! If you could be any animal, which one would you be and why?

A bird. Although I’m afraid of heights, some days I would really like to fly away and see the world or sit in a tree by myself, sing my song and observe the goings-on.


Heather is an award-winning children’s author, journalist, editor and translator. Her two middle-grade novels, Clutch and The Other Side, received Skipping Stones Honor Awards and nominations for Forest of Reading, among other honors. Clutch was also named a 2017 Best Book from Kirkus Reviews and a finalist for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People.

Heather is also an accomplished nonfiction writer.  She is the author of the award-winning middle-grade What If Soldiers Fought with Pillows? True Stories of Imagination and Determination, I Can’t Do What? Strange Laws and Rules from Around the World, Secret Schools: True Stories of the Determination to Learn, Becoming Bionic and Other Ways Science is Making Us Super and The Prisoner and the Writer, the story of wrongly imprisoned Captain Alfred Dreyfus and author Emile Zola’s fight to have him set free.






To buy:

Babar: https://livresbabarbooks.com/browse/filter/t/heather%20camlot/k/keyword

Mabel’s Fables: https://mabelsfables.com/browse/filter/t/heather%20camlot/k/keyword

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/home/search/?keywords=heather%20camlot#internal=1

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/search?keywords=heather+camlot

Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=heather+camlot&crid=2P3X9D2TOMQN9&sprefix=heather+camlot%2Caps%2C577&ref=nb_sb_noss_1


Author Jarrett Lerner on Connecting through Personal Struggles- PLUS A GIVEAWAY!

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Hello world!!

Welcome to my blog, Blissfully Bookish! I’m excited to introduce my next guest, an author / illustrator who my own daughter was obsessed with when she was younger; Jarrett Lerner. His work is beloved by children around the world and I’m amazed at his range. He joins us today to discuss his latest middle grade novel A WORK IN PROGRESS published by Aladdin HC/ S&S.

BUT first- YAY! JARRETT is generously giving away a FREE copy of A WORK IN PROGRESS. To be eligible to win, please enter the Rafflecopter contest by clicking HERE. Contest ends May 26, 2023US only.

Please describe the journey to publication for A Work in Progress.

Journey is the perfect word to use. And it’s probably even fair to call the journey an epic one. I started trying to tell this story in college, but could never get it out in a way that felt authentic and complete. Every so often, I picked the manuscript back up, and tried to tweak my approach to the story in a way that allowed me to more satisfactorily get it out. Not until a few years ago did one of those many experiments actually succeed. And even once I discovered the proper approach and format for the story, it still took me about three years to get it to the place it is now.

I know you drew inspiration for this book from your own experience with disordered eating. When and how did you decide to share something so personal to you?

Despite the fact that I’ve been trying to tell this story for well over a decade, I wasn’t sure, once I got it out of me, I’d ever actually share it. That decision was a tough one, and I only arrived at it after discussing it thoroughly with my wife, my agent, and my editor. And even after I made the decision, I was still torn about it. Now, though, I’ve finally arrived at a place where I feel wholly comfortable and thankful I followed through and am now sharing this book with the world. And I think what got me there was being able to see the book start to do some good, especially for kids. To assure them they are not alone in their insecurities and struggles and fears, and that they can seek help, should they ever want and need it.

I love the authenticity of the text and illustrations. Was writing the book difficult, compared to other projects that don’t carry so much history and emotion? How did you cope?

Every book provides plenty of challenges – but yes, there were more challenges for this book than any other thus far, because all of these personal (and heretofore totally private) aspects of it. At first, I didn’t cope well. But I learned, throughout the process, that I had to give myself grace, and had to stay on top of my mood and state of mind so that, if I was getting to a unhelpful or unhealthy place, I could step away and do something (go for a walk, talk to my wife, play with my kids) to lift my spirits again. Even so, there were periods of working on the book that were absolutely brutal. I was immensely relieved when the book was finally declared finished.

Please paste a short and compelling excerpt from your book.

Please share some resources for children/teens who may be experiencing a negative view of themselves or may be engaging in eating disorders.

Here are the resources – and important accompanying statement – provided at the end of the book:

Some organizations working to improve the lives of people suffering from mental illness are listed below. This listing is being provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be either an endorsement or promotion of any listed organization, nor does it imply that such organizations have been endorsed by the author or publisher. It is also not intended to be a complete or exhaustive listing or a substitute for the advice of a qualified medical or mental health professional.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to other writers?

I spent years writing the sorts of stories that I believed other people wanted me to write – but the biggest breakthrough of my creative life came when I finally allowed to myself to write precisely the sorts of stories that I wanted to write.

And a bonus question just for kicks! Would you rather forget the ending of every book shortly after reading it OR not be able to re-read a book ever again?

Oh wow – this is a toughie! I feel like I forget endings anyway. And it’s more about the journey, not the destination, right? So, I’d go with the first option. I feel like knowing I’d never be able to re-read a book ever again, having to say bye to each one (forever) at the end, would bum me out way too much.


Jarrett Lerner is the award-winning creator of more than a dozen books for kids, including the EngiNerds series of middle grade novels, the Geeger the Robot series of early chapter books, the Hunger Heroes series of graphic novel chapter books, two activity books, the illustrated novel in verse A Work in Progress, and the Nat the Cat series of early readers. You can find him online at JarrettLerner.com and on Twitter and Instagram at @Jarrett_Lerner. He lives with his wife and daughters in Massachusetts.




Author Sara Levine on Humor and Asking Questions

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Hello world!!

Welcome to my blog, Blissfully Bookish! I’m excited to introduce my next guest. I love all her books but her picture book Flower Talk: How Plants Use Color to Communicate served and still serves as a mentor text for me. Please welcome Sara Levine! She’s here to discuss her latest nonfiction picture book Poop for Breakfast illustrated by Florence Weiser and published by Lerner.

Where did you draw the book’s inspiration?

The idea for this book came from the sons of Carol Hinz, my editor at Lerner Books (Millbrook and Carolrhoda). During the early days of Covid, when everyone was in lockdown, we were working together on the book that would become Germs Up Close. So I first met the boys on Zoom. Later they asked me science questions through Carol, and one was about robins nesting by their home. The kids thought they saw the robin parents eating the newly hatched chicks’ poop. Could this be right? I didn’t know the answer to the question, so I looked it up. And yes, it could be. To entertain the kids, I sent them other examples of animals that eat poop and joked to Carol that there could well be a book on this topic. And then, a few months later, after I finished my germs book, I wasn’t sure what writing project to work on. One day I thought, How about doing some more research on the topic of poop-eating? Maybe I could find enough examples for a book. And, well, I did! Once I had a good draft, my editor Carol Hinz was interested, just as her kids had been!

What is your writing process and does it vary depending on the project?

No matter what I’m working on, I do a lot of my thinking and writing in my head on walks or when riding my bike. Then, when I have a good format and working draft in mind for the book, I start to write it out. While writing, I do additional research to add more information to fill in what I already know. I tend to write in the morning, and away from home, in a cafe or in a room I reserve at the library. Once I have a strong draft, I share it with my writing group for feedback. And then once I’ve edited and rewritten and gotten the book in as good shape as I can, I share it with my agent and, in this case, my editor, too.

Parts of my process vary by what kind of book I’m working on. When I’m writing science for children, I’m usually writing on topics I’ve taught for years to college-aged students, so my process includes figuring out how to make the information intriguing and relatable to young children in the format of a picture book. For Poop for Breakfast, this book didn’t come from a topic I’d taught before, so I had to do a lot more research at the beginning. I did know of a few animals that eat their own poop, such as rabbits and dogs – I learned this from my own pets and from veterinary school. And, I had found the answer about robins, as well.  But I had to do a lot more research at the start of this book to fill in my educational gaps and to learn if there was enough material to write a book on this topic.

Please paste a short and compelling excerpt from your book.

Some animals eat poop because, well, it’s the only option. It’s what’s for breakfast. And lunch and dinner too!

I love many of your books (ie. Flower Talk and the Bone by Bone series for example) because you always find a way to craft a hook with massive kid appeal as you instruct. Can you please share some of your process for finding/developing these hooks?

Thank you for saying that, Lydia. That’s high praise, and it’s what I’m going for in my writing and in my teaching. And I think my teaching is mainly how I find and develop these hooks. When teaching science, a topic I find inherently fascinating, to college students who often are taking my courses because to meet a requirement, I feel a big drive and limited chance to show them just how interesting topics are. I have the great opportunity to win them over and open up their world views in this area. So I try to find ways of presenting material that are unique and interactive, ways that will keep their attention. Humor and asking students questions are two good ways of doing this, so these techniques are ones that I often incorporate into my books for kids.

Please share your favorite nonfiction books from 2022 that inspired you.

My absolute favorite picture book of 2022 is “People are Wild,” by Meganck Margaux. Is it nonfiction? Not exactly, but it teaches compassion for animals and has a point-of-view flip that brilliantly explains to children (and adults!) why we can’t “take” wild animals “home” with us. I wish I’d written this book.

I also love “The Leaf Detective: How Margaret Lowman Uncovered Secrets in the Rainforest,” written by Heather Lang and illustrated by Jane Christy.  It is a gorgeous and beautifully written and inspiring book about how one scientist made a big difference.

Finally, “Amazing Evolution: Journey of Life”, written by Anna Clayborne and illustrated by Wesley Robins, is stellar writing about the topic of evolution. It’s a hard idea to teach to young children (or anyone of any age really), but Clayborne nailed it with grace and clarity. This book was published in 2019, but I discovered it this past year so am including it here.

I bought all three of these books for my nephew and niece, ages 5 and 7, budding scientists both.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to other writers?

Write about a topic that intrigues you that hasn’t been covered yet in a book for children.

And a bonus question just for kicks! If you could be any animal, which one would you be and why?

Because of my affinity for dogs, I’d like to be one, to know what it was like to see life from their point of view. But I don’t think I’d enjoy being controlled but a human, so I’d like to be a wild animal. Maybe a fox or a coyote because no one bothers them too much, and they can generally live their lives outside in nature and in peace.


Sara Levine is an award-winning writer of STEM books for kids, a veterinarian and a science educator. Her books, which include Bone by Bone, Tooth by Tooth, Flower Talk, and The Animals Would Not Sleep! have received the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize, Bank Street College Best Book of the Year, Beehive Book Award, Cook Prize and the Mathical Book Prize. She loves doing school and library programs. Visit her at http://www.saralevinebooks.com/

#PBStudyBuddy MEGA Giveaways!!

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Hello world!!

Welcome to my blog, Blissfully Bookish. I’m excited to introduce my next guest Sylvia Chen. She organized a MEGA giveaway opportunity that begins May 15. Read on to find out more!

How did you think of this gigantic giveaway idea?

In late November 2022, I started posting weekly #PBStudyBuddy features on Twitter and Instagram. Since each feature takes 2-3 hours to prepare and post, this felt somewhat limiting when there are *so* many incredible picture books out there! In December, I tweeted to ask if anyone had interest in a special #PBStudyBuddy #BookBoost roundup to be able to shoutout *any* PB they love in 5 themed threads. There were some positive responses, but especially around that time when the Twitter algorithm was in total flux…, I realized that there was a potential opportunity to bring PB promo/debut groups together to battle (ahem, “work with”) the ever-mysterious algorithm. In early January, I floated this newer idea for the #PBStudyBuddy #BookBoost with my hope to offer giveaways for the event to increase engagement that way, and got some great early-RSVPs from various PB promo groups on Twitter. After some more research, I found out there are *over 500 PB creators in >40 PB promo groups*, so I sent out a survey to the early-RSVP promo groups to gauge interest in helping with giveaway offers. To be honest, at this point, I wasn’t sure how my inquiry would go since it’s hard to tell how connected people feel to you online to be open to such a big ask. The survey responses were very helpful to figure out logistics, and the response to the follow-up giveaway sign-up has been flat-out fantastic! So here we are with the gigantic #PBStudyBuddy #BookBoost giveaway event planned for the week of May 15th on both Twitter and Instagram—all made possible with our wonderfully generous #KidLit community and PB promo groups!

What is the goal?

The goal of the #PBStudyBuddy #BookBoost event is to lift up as many fellow PB creators as we can, provide a place where we can boost each others’ PBs (and our own too!), offer giveaways to help increase engagement with opportunities for everyone participating to win (including donors because…why not?), and of course increase # of Twitter (and Instagram!) followers for participating PB promo groups and giveaway donors to thank them for their amazing generosity.

What book promo groups are participating?

So far, we have 31 PB promo groups confirmed as partners for this event. Here they are in alphabetical order. The giveaway sign-up is open until May 5, so we’ll see if any more PB promo groups decide to join too!

21 for the Books, Busy PBs, Diverse Dreamers, Green PB 2023, KidLit Caravan, KidLit Clubhouse, KidLit Collective, Kidlit in Color, KidLit Works, Kids Book Crew, PB23 Bunch, PB Crew 22, PB Dreamers 2024, PB Jam 2023, PB Parade, PB Rockiteers 22, PB Soar 24, PB Spree in ’23, Picture Book Garden 23, Picture Book Gold, Picture Book Junction, Picture books, eh!, Soaring ’20s, STEAM Team Books, Story Jammers, The Dream Team!, The KidLit Crew, Picture Book Scribblers, Kidlit For Growing Minds, New Books For Kids, Picture Book Pals

Who can participate in the giveaways? (and is it limited to US?)

Anyone in the #KidLit community interested in the giveaway offers (e.g. PB manuscript critiques, PB query critiques, PB pitch critiques, AMA Zoom or chat, picture book, etc.) is welcome to participate and can earn points by hearting the themed posts on Twitter and/or Instagram, retweeting themed posts on Twitter, commenting to answer fun prompts for the themed posts, with bonus points for following tagged donors and promo groups. There are some picture book giveaways that will be noted as US-only, but most giveaways should be flexible for those in #KidLit participating from anywhere.

Some more details:

  • The giveaways will be hosted the week of May 15th on my @SylviaiChen Twitter and Instagram accounts, and can also be found using the hashtags #PBStudyBuddy #BookBoost. There are 5 themed posts Mon-Fri planned that will each have an additional hashtag: #EmojiShoutouts, #DebutPBShownTell, #MoPromoGO, #LatestPBFaves, and #AmazingAAPIPBs. The giveaway graphics will show easy ways to earn points on Twitter (and Instagram!), including liking the themed posts, retweeting (on Twitter), commenting to answer the prompt, and of course, following the amazing donors and promo groups tagged in these posts for bonus points.
  • Information on the giveaway can be found at https://www.pbstudybuddy.com/bookboost. Since the giveaway sign-up period closes on 5/5, more updates will be shared on the site between 5/5 and 5/14. Direct links to the themed posts on Twitter and Instagram will be updated on this site the week of May 15th.
  • More exciting news from Sylvia—”There will also be some giveaways for unagented creators including manuscript critiques, offered by agents Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Birch Path Literary, Karly Dizon of Fuse Literary, and Joyce Sweeney of The Seymour Agency! More details to be announced once ready, but I can’t thank these incredible agents enough along with all the PB promo group donors for contributing so openly to this super-new event!”

Sylvia Chen Bio

A New Yorker now living in the Seattle area with her husband and two sons, Sylvia Chen is an Asian American children’s book author represented by Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Birch Path Literary. She is a member of SCBWI and 12×12, a 2019 PBChat mentee of Pam Calvert, a 2021 #PBParty finalist, a 2022 & 2023 #PBParty judge (and behind-the-scenes Ninja Superstar), a 2022 & 2023 #PBRisingStars mentor, and the creator of #PBStudyBuddy, which features amazing picture book creators and mentor texts on Twitter and Instagram each week. Ever so excited about her upcoming debut picture book TRICKY CHOPSTICKS (Spring 2024, Atheneum/Simon & Schuster), Sylvia loves crafting picture books that spark kids’ interest in STEAM and creative thinking. She often stays up late into the night puzzling away with wordplay and working on quirky ideas.


Twitter: @SylviaiChen

Instagram: @SylviaiChen

Website: https://www.sylviaichen.com/

Author Dianna Aston on the Power of Curiosity- PLUS a GIVEAWAY!

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Hello world!!

Welcome to my blog, Blissfully Bookish! I’m excited to introduce my next guest, an author whose books I have long admired, Dianna Aston. She’s here to discuss her latest nonfiction picture book A SHELL IS COZY illustrated by Sylvia Long and published by Chronicle.

BUT first- YAY! Dianna is generously giving away a FREE copy of A ROCK IS LIVELY or DREAM SOMETHING BIG illustrated by Susan Roth To be eligible to win, please enter the Rafflecopter contest by clicking HERE. Contest ends May 5, 2023.

Please describe the journey to publication for A SHELL IS COZY.

This book was EONS in the making for various reasons, one being the intense research. The web is where I get the bulk of my information, but with this subject, the more I learned, the more questions I had, soooo…I contacted a malacologist aka shell expert. Over three years of back and forth emails, Tina Petway, assistant curator at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, has become a close friend. She even showed me a radula!

Where did you draw the book’s inspiration?

Like so many of us, I’ve been a lifelong shell collector, but it wasn’t until I turned 50 and moved to Port Aransas, an island town in Texas, that a question hit me – those questions hiding in plain sight. Where do shells come from? I hadn’t ever thought about it. THEN… I found a hose-like coil of nickel-sized discs while beach combing. And then another and another. Inside each disc, filled with goo, were teeny tiny shell babies! Shells come from egg casings! Shells are born as a complete animal. Tina said it was fine to give the qualities to a “shell” rather than “snail.”

I love this whole series! I appreciate the way you relate animals and other elements in nature back to children like in A Butterfly is Patient and A Beetle is Shy. What’s your secret in making nonfiction engaging for young children?

There isn’t a secret. It’s this simple: I write about what makes me curious enough to want to find out the answers. And then personify them, which shows how similar we animals on the planet are similar. Where do shells come from? Where did this parking lot pebble come from? What lays eggs besides birds? I didn’t realize I was writing science books until AN EGG IS QUIET received the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru, SB&F Prize for Excellence. I remember thinking, Oh wow! I’m a science writer! A funny incident occurred as we were about to receive the award. A scientist, whose YA book had received the prize, leaned over and said, “Why didn’t you include the platypus?” Holy sh*t. We didn’t make the same mistake in A NEST IS NOISY. The platypus nest is in there!

What is your writing process and does it vary depending on the project?

My process is what Jane Yolen calls “butt in chair.” I wrote four books when I lived in San Miguel de Allende, 2006-13. A BUTTERFLY IS PATIENT was written under a cover of bougainvillea in the courtyard of my best friend’s restaurant, Dila’s, and it is dedicated to him, Dilshan Madawala from Sri Lanka. I wrote A ROCK IS LIVELY on the patio of my casita on the wild and wonderful estate of the late, great Toller Cranston, an Olympic figure skater, artist, and my mentor.Funny thing #2: My teenage son was spending a few weeks with me one summer when I was in the courtyard, computer on the table, researching butterflies. James did NOT want to be in Mexico. I was looking at a picture of a butterfly’s anatomy. “Oh my God! A butterfly has an anus!” Surly James rolled his eyes. “How else is a butterfly supposed to take a shit?” And I rolled out of my chair, laughing to the point of tears.

I usually work on more than one manuscript at a time. A SHELL IS COZY began to materialize early in ’14. Nine years later…. The research was exhausting so I would put it away at times. This one was written at a pirate pub in Port Aransas, The Gaff.

Please paste a short and compelling excerpt from your book.

A shell is hungry.

Some mollusks are carnivores that feed on worms, jellyfish,and even other mollusks. Many have a radula, a floss-like “tongue” with thousands of razor-sharp teeth. With its radula, the animal can saw through another shell to feed on the juicy insides.

Please share your favorite books from 2022 that have inspired you.

Hi, Lydia — The two books you asked about are:

GIRL ON A MOTORCYCLE by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Julie Morstad. (Viking) An adventurous girl travels to places in the world on a motorcycle (and by ship when crossing oceans). She is fearless. A quote: “The road is hers. She is all alone, but she is not afraid. She is free.” Like her, I had adventures on a bike through the American West and Mexico. My log book ended at 35,000 miles. I’d often wondered how to tell the story of all the people we met and places we went. Now, I don’t have to. Amy and Julie have produced a masterful story and illustrations.

The second is a non-fiction book: STRONGER THAN STEEL/Spider Silk DNA and the Quest for Better Bulletproof Vests, Sutures, and Parachute Rope by Bridget Heos with photography by Andy Comins (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children). A librarian told me about it at a school visit recently. THIS is what fills me with wonder. Everything we need to know is in front of our eyes — and natural. Architecture and fashion based on shell structure. Penicillin. Rope. Anything hemp. This is a fascinating, gorgeous book!

What is the best piece of advice you would give to other writers?

The same one-word piece of advice author/illustrator Kevin Henkes gave to me at a signing at Toad Hall bookstore in Austin: perseverance. I would add that my road to publication was due in large part to SCBWI, its conferences, the critique group we formed through the Austin chapter, and Harold Underdown’s site, The Purple Crayon. Also, I read about 40 picture books every 2 weeks. I studied them. Because I had been a journalist before – researching and writing tightly – I thought writing for children would be a cinch. It was 4 years before I “graduated” from my own university and sold my first manuscript, found in the slush pile at Candlewick! WHEN YOU WERE BORN, illustrated by E.B. Lewis. Thank you, Liz Bicknell! So Kevin was spot on when he simply said, “Perseverance.”

And a bonus question just for kicks! If you could meet a fictional character from one of your favorite books, who would it be?

Atticus Finch!


Children’s book author and school presenter Dianna Hutts Aston’s many books include an award-winning science series, illustrated by Sylvia Long: AN EGG IS QUIET, A SEED IS SLEEPY, A BUTTERFLY IS PATIENT, A ROCK IS LIVELY, A NEST IS NOISY, A BEETLE IS SHY, and the final title in the series, A SHELL IS COZY/May 8th ‘23. Used in STEAM, Montessori and homeschool curriculums worldwide, her nature books – published in ten languages – have been called ‘lyrical science’ by reviewers. Dianna believes that when given information, children develop critical thinking and knowledge of the intricacies and systems of the natural world. Her hope is that they will take to heart what they learn and become stewards of the planet we call home. She welcomes opportunities to speak to children, virtually or in person. To inquire about or book a presentation, please contact her at http://www.diannahuttsaston.org.


Author Kirsten Larson on Dual Narratives

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Hello world!!

Welcome to my blog, Blissfully Bookish! I’m excited to introduce my next guest; she’s not only ultra talented, but also extremely generous and helpful in the kidlit community. Please welcome Kirsten Larson! She’s here to discuss her latest nonfiction picture book THE FIRE OF STARS illustrated by Katherine Roy and published by Chronicle.

Please describe the journey to publication for The Fire of Stars: The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made Of.

This book began in August 2014 – almost nine years ago! I researched and wrote my first draft of the story that month, sharing it with my critique group a few months later. It was the second book my agent and I sold together, but the third to be released. It took a lot of time to get just-the-right illustrator, Katherine Roy, on board. And then there were delays due to COVID. It was 5.5 years from sale to book release. We all know how publishing – and its timelines work!

Where did you draw the book’s inspiration?

I first learned about Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin during an episode of Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s TV show Cosmos titled “Sisters of the Sun,” which focused on the women working at the Harvard College Observatory. There were already picture books about two of the women featured. When I learned about Cecilia, who boldly turned the world of astronomy upside down with her discoveries about what stars – and our universe – are made of, how could I not write about her?

The dual narrative of chronicling Cecilia Payne’s life along with the birth of a star is genius! Did you toy with different nonfiction structures before landing on this one?

I wrote this book long before I became a real student of text structures. We almost went out on submission with a typical, three-act narrative before I considered parallel structure. I was inspired when I read Hannah Holt’s query letter for THE DIAMOND AND THE BOY in this blog post. Her book wasn’t even out until the following year, so I couldn’t use it as a mentor text. But the idea of shared phrase that tells two stories — that was my moment of inspiration. I decided to try telling two stories at the same time with the same line of text on every spread. And it was HARD!

Please paste a short and compelling excerpt from your book.

Wrapped in a blanket of sparkling space, 
an unformed star waits for its bright future to begin.
Cecilia kicks and cries.
Until her mother
sets her down
so Cecilia can feel with her own tiny toes
the cold and crackly snow,
which isn’t soft and warm like she expected.
It’s the first time Cecilia learns things aren’t always as they seem.

I love how you talk about the “kitchen sink” first draft, can you tell readers more about this process?

I always call my first drafts “the kitchen sink draft.” Often, they are almost like outlines: clunky and full of facts and details that don’t belong in the final draft. But I have to get those things out of my system so I feel free to tell the story in interesting and inventive ways. In my subsequent drafts, I open a blank page and write without referring to my research at all, making little notes in places I need to come back and verify details.

Please share your favorite books from 2022 that have inspired you.

BLUE: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond illustrated by Daniel Minter is absolutely brilliant. It’s literally the history of the color blue but steeped in culture and not shying from the color’s ties to slavery. Writing broad history that spans centuries is so hard, but Brew-Hammond’s text is so lyrical and lovely.

Another favorite was Sibert-honor book CHOOSING BRAVE: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement, written by Angela Joy, illustrated by Janelle Washington. So many picture book biographies are so dense with text, but this one is poetic and powerful. And the illustration style – SWOON!

What is the best piece of advice you would give to other writers?

Play with your drafts! Get that kitchen sink draft on the page and set it aside. Then open a blank page and try out new structures, experiment with a different voice. And read, read, read for inspiration.

And a bonus question just for kicks! If you could meet a fictional character from one of your favorite books, who would it be?

I’ll say Wonder Woman, and I’m sure you can guess why. She was my childhood hero, and my sister and I used to dress up in our Wonder Woman Underoos. You’ll find that picture in the back matter of my picture book, A TRUE WONDER: The Comic Book Hero Who Changed Everything illustrated by Katy Wu.


Kirsten used to work with rocket scientists at NASA. Now she writes books for curious kids. Kirsten is the author of the picture books: WOOD, WIRE, WINGS: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane, illustrated by Tracy Subisak (Calkins Creek, 2020), A TRUE WONDER: The Comic Book Hero Who Changed Everything, illustrated by Katy Wu (Clarion, 2021), THE FIRE OF STARS: The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made Of, illustrated by Katherine Roy (Chronicle, February 2023), and THIS IS HOW YOU KNOW, illustrated by Cornelia Li (Little, Brown 2024). She also is the author of the middle grade, graphic nonfiction, THE LIGHT OF RESISTANCE, illustrated by Barbara McClintock, (Roaring Brook, 2023), along with 25 nonfiction books for the school and library market. Kirsten lives near Los Angeles with her husband, lhasa-poo, and two curious kids. Her house is filled with LEGOs, laughter, and lots of books!.


My website it www.kirstenwlarson.com and I’m @kirstenwlarson on Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest.

THE FIRE OF STARS is available for purchase wherever books are sold. Find all the buy links on my webpage for the book: www.kirstenwlarson.com/the-fire-of-stars/

Author Teresa Robeson on Mastering Biographies- PLUS a GIVEAWAY!

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Hello world!!

Welcome to my blog, Blissfully Bookish! I’m excited to introduce my next guest, an APALA Picture Book Award-winning author, who’s not only talented but also very friendly, Teresa Robeson. She’s here to discuss her latest middle grade graphic novel, Who is Tibet’s Exiled Leader? the 14th Dalai Lama, illustrated by Angela Poon and published by Penguin Workshop.

BUT first- YAY! Teresa is generously giving away a FREE 30-minute AMA. To be eligible to win, please enter the Rafflecopter contest by clicking HERE. Contest ends April 7, 2023.

Please describe the journey to publication for Who is Tibet’s Exiled Leader? the 14th Dalai Lama.

In 2020, my then-agent spotted a tweet from a Penguin Workshop editor looking for people to write graphic biographies. I wrote up a proposal which the editor and her team liked and they offered for me to pick from a list of people they needed books on. I chose the Dalai Lama because my paternal grandparents were Buddhist and I always wish I were raised Buddhist instead of Catholic. My wonderful editor, Rachel Sonis, who is now at Time Magazine, guided me through two outlines and 5 drafts to the final version. The team picked Angela Poon to illustrate which was a brilliant choice. She made the script come alive! The whole process from signing the contract to the book being released took 2.5 years which seems like an incredibly short time for the publishing industry, particularly when you consider how much art Angela had to create.

What made you chose the format of graphic novel?

I didn’t choose the graphic format. It’s the defining feature of this particular line of WHO HQ books. I had never written in a graphic format before but my then-agent probably presented me with the opportunity because I had just won the APALA Picture Book award for a biography so she thought I could tackle a graphic biography. And, indeed, I wanted to because I cut my reading teeth on graphic novels and comics in Hong Kong where they have been popular for a long, long time.

Please paste a short and compelling excerpt from your book.

The Nechung oracle goes into a trance while the DL speaks to him, visibly concerned and torn.


Please tell me what I should do to prevent my people from coming to harm?


You…/ should…/ leave immediately.

DL looks surprised.


The last few times I asked, you advised me to stay and keep the dialogue open with the Chinese. Are you certain this is what I am to do?

The Nechung oracle picks up a bow and arrow.


Go! You must go!



How did you go about researching this book?

The research for this biography was the same as for the other biographies I’ve worked on. I began with finding all the children’s books on the subject. From there, I branch out to adult books. After that, I also did a search online for legitimate sites to gather more information. I made cursory notes on similarities and differences from the different sources. Generally, if I believe that more info can be gleaned by interviewing someone, I do so. For this book, I mostly relied on the Dalia Lama’s biography (straight from the horse’s mouth, as the saying goes…no offense to His Holiness) and cross-referenced with two recent biographies by people who knew him pretty well.

What was the most surprising/fascinating thing you learned about the Dalai Lama, that you perhaps weren’t aware of?

I’m embarrassed to say that I really didn’t know a whole lot about the Dalai Lama’s life! For me, before writing this book, he was like Athena fully sprung from Zeus’s head: he is, had been, and forever will be, a grand and glorious figure that the world admired. So, everything that I learned about him was fascinating to me. What stuck with me the most is that he has such a playful sense of humor and was quite a mischievous child…like a normal human being!

Please share your favorite books from 2022 that have inspired you.

It’s really tough to choose, but some of my favorite books from 2022 include The Gardener of Alcatraz by Emma Bland Smith and Jenn Ely; Hello, Opportunity by Shaelyn McDaniel and Cornelia Li; and The Adventures of Robo-Kid by Diane de Groat. You can probably spot a trend in my tastes. LOL! The writing and, in the case of Diane’s book, the art, too, make me mull over how to improve my own way of elucidation. As you know, it’s hard to nail a beautiful and unique voice.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to other writers?

My advice for writers is the same advice I have for anyone of any age: never stop learning! I’m a proud autodidact. Approach the world with a curious mind. Not only will it bring you joy, but it’ll also provide you with many writing ideas. I want to share two of my favorite quotes here:

“No day in which you learn something is a complete loss.” – David Eddings

“Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”- Henry Ford

And a bonus question just for kicks! If you could meet a fictional character from one of your favorite books, who would it be?

Oh, my goodness; I had to think really hard about that one. I would have picked a different character at each stage of my life. But here and now, I’d have to say it’s Ford Prefect from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams because I could do with an adventure around the galaxy by a seasoned extraterrestrial journalist-traveler. I would even listen to Vogon poetry!

Thanks so much for having me on Blissfully Bookish, Lydia! I had such fun with your questions, especially this last one.


Teresa Robeson is the APALA Picture Book Award-winning author of QUEEN OF PHYSICS and TWO BICYCLES IN BEIJING. Her upcoming works include WHO IS TIBET’S EXILED LEADER? THE 14TH DALAI LAMA (Penguin Workshop), CLOUDS IN SPACE: THE NEBULA STORY (MIT Kids/Candlewick), WHO IS BRUCE LEE (title to change, Penguin Workshop) and some yet-to-be-announced books. She lives with her family on 27-acres in rural Indiana where she relaxes by birding, keeping up with science, making soap, knitting, baking, and trying to impress the chickens with her bilingualism.


Author Roxanne Troup on Leaping from WFH to Trade- PLUS a GIVEAWAY!

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Hello world!!

Welcome to my blog, Blissfully Bookish! I’m excited to introduce my next guest because she’s one of my CPs!!! I also relate to her because, like me, she has worked for educational publishers for many years. Please welcome Roxanne Troup, here to discuss her latest informational fiction picture book My Grandpa, My Tree, and Me, illustrated by Kendra Binney, and published by Yeehoo Press.

BUT first- YAY! Roxanne is generously giving away a FREE a signed copy of the book OR a manuscript critique. To be eligible to win, please enter the Rafflecopter contest by clicking HERE. Contest ends March 31, 2023, US only.

Please describe the journey to publication for My Grandpa, My Tree, and Me.

I’d been writing for the education market for several years when I first drafted what would become MY GRANDPA, MY TREE, AND ME. But it took me awhile to figure out the craft differences between the trade and education market. After several submissions without a response, an editor at a small press saw enough potential in the work to request an R&R (revise and resubmit). I didn’t agree with the direction they wanted me to take but tried to figure out what underlying issue they were pointing out (it was the ed-market voice). I dove into revisions and later had the opportunity to submit to Katie Heit at Scholastic. The story was too quiet for Scholastic, but Katie was so complimentary I knew I’d hit the right note with my revisions. I finally found my publisher, Yeehoo Press, in May of ’21, two years after that initial draft.

Where did you draw the book’s inspiration? Was it inspired by your own relationship to your grandfather?

Like most books, this idea came from several different places.

1) Pecan farming: I ran across a YouTube video of a farmer harvesting pecans and was thunderstruck by the method they used. Growing up in a farming community, I had some experience with agriculture and pecans. But we gathered pecans in buckets like the wild products they were. No one I knew—including my farming grandfather—harvested pecans by tractor.

2) Inciting incident: My parents planted trees for each of their children in Israel during one of their visits.

3) Relational aspect: Was probably inspired more by my brother’s relationship with his grandkids than my own relationship with my grandfather.

What is your writing process and does it vary depending on the project?

When I’m working on my own stories, I do a lot of initial drafting in my head. Sometimes a stunning first line, title, or refrain will present itself and I scribble it on paper so I don’t forget. But typically, I only sit down to write once I have a sold beginning, middle, and end to work with. Of course, then I have to figure out how to connect those dots—which sometimes takes awhile. When I’m ghostwriting or working on a contracted piece, I do a lot more prep work. I research, outline, draft the first couple pages to make sure I’m hitting the right tone and reading level, and send all that for approval. Once the client signs off, I put everything else aside and write.

Please paste a short and compelling excerpt from your book.

Every winter, while the trees stand silent under a sleepy sun, Grandpa prunes his orchard until each branch feels the sunlight.

But not my tree.

My tree has lots of space to spread its branches. Grandpa only trims limbs that split in the wind.

When it comes to nonfiction, what are some strategies writers can use to make their texts engaging?

Experiment with structure. (The right structure solves so many manuscript problems!) And focus on language—whether it be fun or lyrical. Nonfiction writers can try adding a refrain to their manuscripts; or formatting their text as if it were a poem (which will highlight unnecessary phrases and weak verbs).

Please share your favorite books from 2022 that have inspired you.

ICEBERG: A Life In Seasons by Claire Saxby and Jess Racklyeft

A beautiful, Australian title brought to North America by Groundwood books that highlights Antarctica’s ecosystem through poetic, nonfiction text and gorgeously luminous illustrations. ICEBERG explains the effects of climate change without being moralistic.

WISHES by Muon Thi Van and Victo Ngai

It actually came out in 2021, but I didn’t discover it until last year. A powerful story about immigration; the text is poetic and moving, the art, expressive. This one literally gave me chills.

GOOD EATING: The Life of Krill by Matt Lilley and Dan Tavis

This one’s just fun. Who would have thought to make a nonfiction book about krill?

What is the best piece of advice you would give to other writers?

Find authors who are doing the thing you want to do and follow their careers. Watch how they conduct themselves in the industry. Check out/buy their books, connect on social media, attend their classes and read interviews by them. “Stalk” them in the nicest and least obtrusive way possible. Don’t expect them to mentor you, but learn all you can from them and apply what you learn to your own writing journey.

And a bonus question just for kicks! If you could meet a fictional character from one of your favorite books, who would it be?

Arrietty from THE BORROWERS


With a background in education, Roxanne Troup is the author of over a dozen books for kids. She is also a professional ghostwriter who has worked with both publishers and individuals to write numerous picture books, chapter books, and adult nonfiction over the last ten years. Her debut trade picture book, My Grandpa, My Tree, and Me (Yeehoo Press, 2023) is a lyrical look at the life-and-harvest cycle of pecan trees. Her second trade deal, a rhyming picture book about space, has yet to be announced. Roxanne regularly reviews picture books at Goodreads with Ronna, is a volunteer judge at Rate Your Story and author mentor for the Michele Begley Mentorship program, as well as the co-facilitator of her local SCBWI Connect. She loves visiting schools to water seeds of literacy and teach about writing—and sometimes remembers to water the plants in her own garden. Learn more about her at https://www.roxannetroup.com/.


Author Melissa Stewart on Expository Nonfiction- PLUS a GIVEAWAY!

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Hello world!!

Welcome to my blog, Blissfully Bookish! I’m super excited because I got to interview one of my main nonfiction mentors who’s not only talented, but also very generous with her knowledge. Please welcome nonfiction pioneer, Melissa Stewart! I have the pleasure to introduce you all to her latest picture book, Whale Fall: Exploring an Ocean-floor Ecosystem, published by Random House Studio and illustrated by Rob Dunlavey. Check out the jaw-dropping cover!

BUT first- YAY! Melissa is generously giving away a FREE copy of her book. To be eligible to win, please enter the Rafflecopter contest by clicking HERE. Contest ends March 24, 2023, US only.

Please describe the journey to publication for Whale Fall: Exploring an Ocean-floor Ecosystem.

The story behind this book traces back to 2019. While writing Ick! Delightfully, Disgusting Animals Dinners, Dwellings, and Defenses, I stumbled upon an article about zombie worms, aka bone-eating snot flower worms.

Of course, I included them in that book. First of all, what a fabulous name! But also—believe it or not—dozens of teeny tiny male zombie worms live inside each female. Wow!

Each section in Ick! was limited to about 400 words. But there was SO much more to say about these curious critters. I tacked the article to my Idea Board as a reminder that I hoped to learn more about them.

Sometimes notes and articles stay on my Idea Board for a long time, collecting dust. But when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, all my school visits were canceled and I had plenty of time for research.

As I began reading more about zombie worms and their environment, my mind was blown. I was completely captivated by the incredible collection of critters that live in, on, and around a whale fall. I knew I had to write a book about them.

The premise of this book is fascinating; that even though it may be the end of a whale’s life, it heralds a new beginning for many other sea creatures. What made you think of this concept?

Hmm, that’s an interesting question because I never considered any other approach. I guess the circle of life must be deeply embedded in my view of the world. Who we are as people—our experiences, our beliefs, our passions and vulnerabilities—fuel our writing, sometimes without us even realizing it. That personal connection is what makes the books we write uniquely our own.

Please paste a short and compelling excerpt from your book.

Here’s the book’s opening:

“When a whale dies,
       its massive body
       silently sinks

through the inky darkness,
      finally coming to rest
      on the soft, silty seafloor.

For the whale, it’s the end of a 70-year-long life.

But for a little-known community of deep-sea denizens, it’s a new beginning. The whale fall is a bountiful gift that can sustain life for another 50 years.”

Then the book goes on to describe the astonishing ocean-floor ecosystem with a whole host of creatures that are found nowhere else on Earth. Here’s one of my favorite spreads:

Some people believe that children prefer fiction over nonfiction, but that isn’t always true. Can you share what researchers have proven about children’s genre reading preferences?

To start off, it’s important to acknowledge that some children (and adults) really do prefer fiction. But most people (children and adults) enjoy both genres, and many prefer nonfiction. There is a robust body of research showing that many kids love reading to learn and find nonfiction fascinating, but unfortunately, many adults aren’t aware of that research. They mistakenly assume kids would rather read made-up stories.

As a result, nonfiction accounts for two-thirds of adult book sales, but only one-quarter of children’s book sales. Elementary classroom libraries contain four times more fiction than nonfiction. School libraries are typically divided into three major sections—two are fiction, and only one is nonfiction. Educators favor fiction without even realizing it. So do parents, grandparents, and other caregivers.

The good news is that the NCTE (National Council for Teachers of English) is now trying to address the implicit bias against children’s nonfiction. On January 19, they released a Nonfiction Position Statement, calling for educators to add more nonfiction to their classroom libraries and use more nonfiction in instruction. As a science writer, I’m excited that the NSTA (National Science Teaching Association) endorsed it the very next day.

Please share your favorite books from 2022 that have inspired you.

Oh, that’s an easy question. I published a list of my 15-favorite STEM books on my blog in December. These are books I hope educators will come back to again and again.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to other nonfiction writers about how to craft their hooks?

Be patient.

Once in a while, I get super lucky, and a book idea comes to me with the hook, text structure, and voice built right in. But more often, it takes time. Sometimes a very, very, very long time. And that’s just the way it is.

As nonfiction writers, we have to wait until our brains work out how the various craft elements will work together to create a book that’s interesting and unique. You do a very good job of explaining this in a blog post for Storystorm back in January. I highly recommend it.

And a bonus question just for kicks! What’s your favorite animal you’ve ever written about, so far?

I’m going to go with the okapi, which is one of the animals included in Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs. They’re so fascinating that I wanted to write more about them, and I now have a book focusing on them in the works. Stay tuned for more info coming soon.


Melissa Stewart has written more than 200 science-themed nonfiction books for children, including the Sibert Medal Honoree Summertime Sleepers: Animals that Estivate, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen. She co-wrote 5 Kinds of Nonfiction: Enriching Reading and Writing Instruction with Children’s Books, edited the anthology Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep: 50 Award-winning Authors Share the Secret of Engaging Writing, and maintains the award-winning blog Celebrate Nonfiction. Melissa’s highly-regarded website features a rich array of nonfiction reading and writing resources. 


Website: https://www.melissa-stewart.com/
Blog: http://celebratescience.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @mstewartscience
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melissa.stewart.33865
Instagram: @melissastewartscience

Happy Two Month Book Anniversary & MEGA GIVEAWAY!

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Hello world-

Happy second month anniversary to my book, DEEP, DEEP, DOWN: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench!! January 1 was a wild time to be released and things have been moving at warp speed. Now that my baby is two, I thought I would host a MEGA GIVEAWAY with a grand prize. The grand prize includes a signed book, stickers, magnets, bookmarks, bracelets and a TOTE BAG!!

To enter, simply engage with the tweet below:

I’m excited to continue my book tour as well, sharing it with students from Canada to the UK and the US.

Here’s a summary of the book:

Deep, deep down, at the very bottom of the ocean, lies a secret world. Through lyrical narration, this spare-text STEM picture book takes readers on a journey to a place very few humans have ever been–the Mariana Trench. The imagined voyage debunks scary myths about this mysterious place with surprising and beautiful truths about life at Earth’s deepest point. DEEP, DEEP, DOWN: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench shows a vibrant world far below, and teaches readers how interconnected our lives are to every place on the planet.

And check out the new trailer below:

Feel free to leave a comment below and share what your favorite books about the deep sea are!

Love & Light,