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Writers write. I write all kinds of stuff. Little bits and pieces of stories, musings and observations, occasionally poetry. Welcome to a few of the random scribbles here.

The Secret Power of Science and Art in Children’s Nonfiction Picture Books

One day last spring, Professor Donata Henry and I sat in a New Orleans coffee shop, talking about books and writing and education. She teaches various science courses at Tulane University with tremendous energy and commitment. I was fascinated by her innovative approaches to transferring knowledge. The conversation whirled and swirled from topic to topic. Then one of those magic moments happened: We discovered a mutual passion for children's nonfiction picture books about science, particularly science poetry.

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What's So Funny About Children's Nonfiction?

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I'll admit it, right here: I did NOT like nonfiction when I was a kid. Those books were boring! (I went back as an adult and looked; without naming names, the ones that I remembered were indeed awful! The good news is that today's children's nonfiction has a much higher standard and the books published these days are usually engaging and interesting and sometimes even hilarious!

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Best Day Ever: Every Author Visit Day!


Recently, I visited St. Croix Falls Elementary School in Wisconsin. I love this school! The energy of the students and teachers hums through the hallways like a happy tune. They’re readers. They’re inquirers (oh! the questions they ask!). They’re listeners. One of the girls there wore a pink shirt that said, “Best Day Ever,” and I couldn’t agree more! Author Visit Day is the BEST, especially when the school or library prepares and promotes it.

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Writing Retreats…Wink, Wink


My husband smiles politely when I say I’m going on a writing retreat, as if there were air quotes around it. “’Writing retreat’?” he says. “Sure. Have fun.” He’s truly supportive of my writing career. But like many other people, he thinks writing retreats are a euphemism for shopping, partying, or sleeping in a hammock near the river at our land in northern Wisconsin (okay, I admit I have thought about the last one). But that’s not what a writing retreat is to me.

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