Links & Teacher Resources
From time to time, I develop handouts on ways to use my books and their subject matter in the classroom.
California teacher Charity Allison-Jara prepared an excellent set of Comprehensive Lesson Plans for Grades 4 and Up for "Saving Audie: A Pit Bull Puppy Gets a Second Chance." Click here to download the pdf.
The Lewis and Clark expedition began the westward expansion of the United States. For ideas on how to use Lewis and Clark in the curriculum, including suggestions for history, geography, language arts, science, and research skills, along with a list of useful references, click here >>
For ideas on using Lewis and Clark in the science curriculum, including suggestions for paleontology, geology, and biology, click here >>
My book "The Right Dog for the Job" follows the life of Irah, a golden retriever puppy who started out being trained as a service dog for the physically challenged but ended up as a perfect Guide Dog for the Blind. His puppy raiser, Sandy Welch, is a 6th grade teacher, and she developed a classroom unit for her students.
I am fortunate to belong to a great writers’ critique group here in Missoula, Montana. All of us enjoy helping one another create the best manuscripts we can:
- Sneed Collard writes both science and nature nonfiction as well as fine novels that often incorporate scientific information into the story.
- Jeanette Ingold has received many awards for her fine young adult novels.
- Peggy Christian has written a classic young adult fanatasy novel, “The Bookstore Mouse,” and an award-winning photo picture book, “If You Find a Rock.” These days she spends much of her time promoting the virtues of reading.
Here are websites from some other wonderful childrens’ writers who are also special friends of mine:
- Roland Smith started out writing nonfiction books about animals, using his experiences from 20 years as a zoo keeper to bring life to his subjects. Now he focuses on wonderful adventure stories.
- Jane Yolen is one of the best known and most prolific writers of childrens’ books today. She has had books in just about every genre published, from picture books to young adult novels, from poetry to fantasy.
- I met Janni Lee Simner at a writers’ retreat with Jane Yolen. I love Janni’s YA fantasy writing.
- Hope Marsden and I are internet author friends who share a love of canines in both wolf and doggy form.
I’ve written books for more than a dozen publishers, but here are those which have published my books in recent years:
- Clarion Books, a division of Houghton Mifflin, has been publishing my nature books for more than 20 years, and they’ve always done a terrific job.
- Walker is a general publisher of both adult and children’s books. They have published all my books with wonderful art by Kendahl Jan Jubb as well as several of my books with photographs by William Munoz.
- Lerner Publishing focuses on books for schools and libraries. They have lots of series on animal and nature topics.
- Scholastic publishes more than books like the Harry Potter series; it also has divisions that focus on nonfiction books, and they published “A Polar Bear Biologist at Work” and “Saving the Prairie Bandit,” the latter book about the black-footed ferret.
Sites for Writers
I believe that every writer who is serious about writing for children should join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. It’s the only organization that brings us together, and their website has lots of useful information for both nonmembers and members.
Purple Crayon is a great resource for children's writers. It's run by Harold Underdown, who knows as much about this business as anyone.
Other sites of interest
Deborah Milton and I taught classes and workshops together for more than 16 years. She has moved away from teaching writing and art, as we did together, to manifesting the vision of the WakeWater Project, which includes the spiritual disciplines called Ecstatic Wisdom Postures and BodySinging. Her vibrant, colorful art is available online with PayPal. Take a look at her website.
My friend Lois Schlyer and a business partner meet an important need for dancers, whether they are at home or school, with their dancing video subscription service. For a monthly fee, you can choose DVDs about any form of dance from ballet to modern, jazz to street.