HAPPY EARTH DAY 2021: Books to Help Celebrate Plus Giveaways

Today is International Mother Earth Day! Events will be taking place all around the globe to raise awareness of the need to protect the environment and educate people to preserve our natural resources and help children learn to be good stewards of this planet.  I agree with Roni Baras, author of 55 Ways to Save the Environment and Make a Difference, when she says: “As parents, we have a responsibility to teach our kids to care for the world.”

Here are a few ways that parents, children, and all of us can participate, not only on Earth Day, but all year long:

  • Don’t Litter: Walk to a local park and talk about how it looks better when people don’t leave trash – bring a bag and pick up garbage
  • Grow Stuff: Plant herbs, flowers and vegetables outside or in pots – teach kids how to care for them
  • Save Energy: Turn off lights when they are not needed
  • Conserve Water: Turn off the faucet when brushing teeth – install water-saving shower heads and faucets
  • Reduce Pollution: Walk or bike if possible instead of driving short distances

And here’s a really fun idea! How about washing your hair in the rain? I spoke with my sister the other day and she reminded me of the times when we were kids and we would go outside with a bottle of shampoo when it was raining and giggle and laugh as we played with heads full of suds.

For Earth Day, I’m sharing two very special books that celebrate life, love, and the creatures that inhabit our precious planet.

First I want to introduce you to LOVE IN THE WILD – an amazing board book from talented author/illustrator Katy Tanis that explodes with color, creativity, and compassion. What a brilliant idea for a book for the littles…actually, this is a book for EVERYONE! I guarantee that you will learn so much about the animal world that you never knew.

Here’s a bit about the book: The sweet rhyming text in Mudpuppy’s Love in the Wild Board Book highlights the many different types of love that can be found in the animal kingdom! This colorful celebration of love is based on scientists’ observations of same-sex couples, adoption, non-binary gender expression and more. Author-illustrator Katy Tanis is currently earning a MA in Biology from Miami University of Ohio. Her graduate work, partnering with the Wildlife Conservation Society, explores the promotion of conservation biology through art.

And we are so lucky because Katy stopped by to chat and share how she is participating in Earth Day this year.

KATY: In the past, I’ve sent postcards to my representatives asking them to support environmental issues I care about, like protecting the Endangered Species Act. Everyday is like Earth Day to me. This year, I have been focusing on learning more about my local wildlife. I often study animals from across the globe, but know little about the ones in my own community. I have been using iNaturalist to get to know my local species. I’ve been replacing plants in my yard with native plants, like goldenrods, a favorite of migrating monarchs.

Did someone say POSTCARDS? Take a look at these gorgeous ones that Katy drew! And guess what? She is offering them as a GIVEAWAY! One lucky reader will win a set! Please leave a comment on this post and then please share the post on your social media channels and/or post a review of the book on Amazon, purchase a copy if you can (makes an awesome baby gift), add it to your Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ shelf, and ask you library to buy copies for their collection.

Aren’t those amazing illustrations? And the gift-giving isn’t over yet! FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: An Animal Counting Book can also be used to encourage children to cherish and protect the precious creatures that inhabit our world. The back matter explains some of the reasons why habitats are destroyed and the activity book (which can be downloaded from my website) provides simple steps children can take to help as well as loads of arts and crafts activities plus word scrambles and other games.

PLUS – one lucky reader will receive a signed copy of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN and the print copy of the Otterly Awesome Activity Booklet that was created by illustrator Mirka Hokkanen. Please make sure you leave a comment on this blog and please share on social media, post a review on Amazon and ask your library to purchase copies for their collection – and let me know what you’ve do or if you’ve already done these things – and I’ll add extra tickets in the giveaway hat for you

I wrote FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN to celebrate the beauty of the pristine wilderness areas where my late husband and I loved to hike and fly-fish. When my legs grew tired of walking or my arm grew tired of casting, I’d sit on a boulder and watch the otters splash by as butterflies would flit, flutter, and hover over wild columbines. We all must work towards saving these wild places and protecting their inhabitants.

I hope you all have a Happy Earth Day and a wonderful weekend. Remember to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaways…and please share the post, review the books, and do whatever you can to get these books into the hands of children so they can develop a love of the wild and a desire to protect and cherish ALL of Earth’s inhabitants.

EARTH DAY 2019 and a few words about #50PreciousWordsforKids

Happy EARTH DAY 2019. I can hardly believe that next year will mark the 50th Anniversary. Where were you on that day in 1970? I think Stuart and I were collecting litter at one of our favorite fly-fishing spots on the Shepaug River in Washington, Connecticut.


It was a place like that which inspired me to write FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: An Animal Counting Book. And I was fortunate to have the amazing talent of Mirka Hokkanen to bring the story to life with her modern woodcuts. For more thoughts about how we can protect endangered animals, please hop over to Ronna Mandel’s blog, Goodreads with Ronna, and say hello – I’m chatting about Earth Day and the environment and why I wrote FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN in the hopes that it would encourage children to cherish their world and its wildlife.

We are all storytellers. One of the things that fills me with wonder and joy is when I interact with kids at schools, libraries, and bookstore events. They love listening to the story I read. But even more than that, they want to tell me THEIR stories.

And that is what #50PreciousWordsforKids International Writing Challenge is all about.


We want to encourage young kids to discover the storyteller that lives in them.

And we also want them to understand the value of each word. Continue reading

Have Books – Will Travel —————— Where in the World are Vivian, Sarah, Pippa, and Those Tobogganing Otters?


Hello my friends and welcome!

I wanted to share some of the events coming up on my calendar in the next few months.

February 2: Today is Groundhog Day – what will he do???? Susanna Hill, author of Punxatawney Phyllis might know.

punxatawney phyllis

But if you want to know what I am doing for the next six weeks or more, here’s a brief (or not so brief) itinerary so if you are interested (and I hope you are), you’ll be able to keep track of me Continue reading