Saturday, November 24, 2012

Two-Lined Walkingsticks (Anisomorpha buprestoides)

Here are some closeups of a female two-lined walkingstick. This time of year, these quintessential Florida scrub inscects are slowing down. During warm days, they are busy digging holes and laying eggs. During cold days like today, they don't do much of anything. Eventually, the cold will kill her and we'll have to wait until next summer for more walkingsticks.

Here are several articles I've written about one of my favorite animals in the Florida scrub.


Hurricanes and Walkingsticks, from The Lightning Forest

Friday, November 16, 2012

Strong female character for kids

You want a strong female character for your daughters and sons to read in middle-grades? Check out this compilation of reviews from some of the readers of Olivia Brophie. It is amazing how many children are inspired by Olivia's struggles and bravery.  I did fix some of the spelling!

Thank you for everything, every single thing that you have done for us. Now I feel like I am the smartest person in the world. I feel like that because I did not know a lot of things that you said. It made a big change in my class and my heart. But now the Book Fair is closed I am sad because I was going to buy the book. It was going to be a big change.

I like your book because it has a lot of adventure. My favorite chapter is 16 because I did not know that the cochineal insect live on the cactus. I want to be a scientist like you. Thank you so much for coming to our school.


My favorite thing about your book was that I could relate to so many things Olivia felt. Fear, courage, anger, disappointment, and I had been in so many similar situations as Olivia. You made an amazing book and I think the world should get a chance to read it.


My favorite character is Olivia because she is very brave and she has powers with her necklace. I don’t think you could ever write a bad book. I wonder what your next book will be about.


Thank you for coming to my school. It was very nice to meet you. I like your book because it had so much fun words and you used your surroundings. I can’t wait to find out what happened to Aunt and Uncle in the story. Oh, and thank you for that comment on my vest.


My favorite character is Olivia because she is brave and strong.


Thank you for visiting our school. You are so cool. I want you to visit again. I want to see you in person again so you can tell me about your life. My favorite character is Gnat. He is so cool. I wish he was real.


My favorite part is when you let us hold Squirt.


Now I’m really interested in the second book to come out and read it. Here at our school, we have a huge selection of books, so when I get the second book I will donate it to the library so everyone can enjoy it.  Your partner in reading, Andy


Thank you for visiting our school. Thank you for bringing Squirt. He was really cool. Thanks for signing my reading airplane. My favorite part of the book was her floating up in the air and lost in the underground city. Your book is awesome.


I was way happy that you came to our school. I never met an author before.


Thank you for coming to our school. My favorite part was when you showed us the pictures of the bears and showing us Squirt. It was cool.


I hope I can meet you again some day. I love the part where Olivia had the bear help her.

Thank you for sharing how you wrote Olivia Brophie and how you became interested in writing. By the way, I think you are a fantastic author. I think Olivia is a very interesting character and also very brave. You are inspiring.

My favorite character is Olivia because she is different from the other kids. Again, thank you.

I wish I could keep a Squirt.

I absolutely loved your book and it was a great idea to have the bears that Olivia rides on. You are my favorite author and I can’t wait to read your next book.

Well taught
Really cool
It is extraordinary that you came to my school
Totally awesome
Excellent at writing

I think Olivia Brophie and the Pearl of Tagelus is by far my favorite book. I really like the animals because you went into the scrub and found some animals and added them into your book.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Another beautiful sunrise in the Florida scrub

We see a lot of sunrise and sunset pictures from the Florida beaches. Why not one from the oldest beaches in the state? During historical periods of high sea-levels, the scrub forests were prime ocean front property.  What were once beach dunes are now the deep white sands that form the foundation of the magical Florida scrub.

Monday, November 5, 2012

President's Book Award for Olivia Brophie

Olivia Brophie and the Pearl of Tagelus has won a President's Book Award silver medal. What a fun package to open in the mail this evening!

Also in the package were 500 neatly rolled silver stickers to go on the front covers.

Learn more about Florida Publishers Association and the other 2012 winners.

Saturday, November 3, 2012