Night Creepers–Book Introduction

51WAYbwCmRL._SX423_BO1,204,203,200_Introducing Night Creepers, my latest book. Night Creepers is available now in e-book form, and will release in both hard and softcover in the fall of 2017. See the book trailer, here.

Sometime ago, I became fascinated with nocturnal animals. These seemingly invisible creatures, some of which live right outside our back doors, only appear at night. it’s like magic! After I began managing some feral cats, I began seeing skunks and possums regularly and I began referring to them as the night creepers. And, I began thinking about a book about them to introduce kids to both nocturnal animals (a term I find that many elementary kids are familiar with) and crepuscular animals (a term that I find no elementary kids, and very few of their teachers are familiar with).

I decided to create a sleepy, quiet, rhyming text: “Waking up // Noisy pup // Flutter High // Gliding by….” Each stanza has its own page, depicting an animal, and a sidebar of information about that species. The result is a two-leveled book–one that works well for younger children as well as older ones.

Arbordale Publishing paired my work with Shennen Bersani, the illustrator for Once Upon an Elephant, and this might just be her most beautiful work ever.

Our first advance review is in from Kirkus. You can read here. There is also a lovely review on Amazon here.

Shennen and I hope you enjoy Night Creepers! I’ll post again when the paper copies release.

Book Review: All Ears, All Eyes

all-ears-all-eyes-9781481415712_hrAll Ears, All Eyes, (Atheneum) by Richard Jackson and illustrated by Katherine Tillotson is a special book. Every page of it is a gorgeous, with vivid, blurred color and hidden images–an analogy for the wild world. The rhyming text contains interesting and unexpected rhythms. It focuses, briefly, on many nocturnal animals–owls, bats, raccoons, flying squirrels and more. The text is lovely:

Comes a breeze–they bend and bow–and behind these, beyond those deep in the dark, near to brimming now, Nature’s ark glows…

I wonder, though, if this is more a book for adults than children. Yes, it is gorgeous. Yes, it conjures images in our minds, (though that’s hardly necessary, given the visuals here) but what does it teach children about the natural world?

This is a book that begs to be poured over again and again, so that children can find the abstracted animals on the pages, and listen to the beauty of language. It would be wonderful in the home–a terrific bedtime read. In a teaching setting, it could be paired with another book about nocturnal animals–perhaps this one to follow another, so that children know what is being referred to in this book, given what they have learned in a previous one.  Regardless of how it’s used, it’s an undeniable treat for the eyes and the ears that nature lovers will embrace!

all-ears-all-eyes-9781481415712.in02

Ages 4-8

Grades Pre-K – 3

40 pages