Common Core Standards

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March is Reading Month: CONTEST GOES WILD!

March is Reading Month! To celebrate I am giving away to one lucky winner a copy of the Manatees Gentle Giants in Peril by Mary Unterbrink (the very same book shown in my last Florida blog) and a signed copy of Holly Wild:  Bamboozled on Beaver Island (Book 1)!  *See details below!

Why? To celebrate March as a month of reading, a month of learning, a month of entertaining--and reading! Also, to celebrate the editing process, beginning today, of Holly Wild:  Let Sleeping Bear Dunes Lie (Book 2). Aw heck, it's to celebrate knowledge...(and the fact that I bought a repeat copy of the Manatee book) as well as to celebrate that sharing is fun!

Why give away that Manatee book that I read in my tent in a storm in Florida? Let me tell you. It was the very first Earth Day many years ago when I, Lori Eiden (Taylor), was in 5th grade in North Sashabaw Elementary in Clarkston, MI (ummm over 40 years ago) that I heard of the Roseate Spoonbill and Endangered Species. Both sounded so far away and unknown to me.

Since then I have researched, reported and read about many endangered species, used guide books, read magazines and children's books about wildlife and gone out fully-equipped with knowledge (sometimes!--see alligator photo from last blog post) to meet them on their own turf. I do this to learn, connect, and share this experience with others. A mighty fine job indeed!
"Rosie the Spoonbill" in bottom right corner.
My trip to Florida, my new love of manatees and my continuing desire to educate, entertain and spread the "word" on endangered species has inspired me once again. That and my new souvenir Ron Jon tshirt that reads: "We All Live Under the Same Sun". According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Species Report there are "118 Florida Animal and Plant species listed (based on published historic range and population) ", out of which there are 53 endangered animals. Here is my list of the ones I've been lucky enough to see on recent Floridian vacations (most of which were found alive and well in State Parks and wildlife preserves--I'm sure there will be a Celebrate Parks Month giveaway in the future):
Drawings, sketches and illustrations help TELL the story!
  • American Alligator (Alligator mississipiensis) Status: Species of special concern (state listing); threatened species (federal listing, due to its similarity in appearance to the endangered Florida crocodile).
  • Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja) Status: Species of special concern (state listing)
  • Florida Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis pratensis) Status: Threatened species (state listing)
  • West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)  "Also called Sea Cow" Status: Endangered species (federal and state listing)
  • Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) Status: Endangered species (federal and state listing)
  • Southern Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocphalus leucocephalus) Status: Threatened species (federal and state listing)
  • Caracara, Audubon's crested FL pop. (Polyborus plancus audubonii)
  • Florida Scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens)
*DETAILS:  So how does this all tie in to the contest? The contest! Prizes! Books! Stuff! I will draw the name of one lucky poster to this blog out of my backpack on March 31--at midnight, to make it even cooler and spookier--and announce the winner immediately on this blog! 

You start by posting a blog comment on this page or answer the following question, then sign your name and city/state where you reside.

WHO or WHAT inspired you to read, write or draw
about the world around you?

Starting today, March 1st, tell your kids, your friends, your teachers, your librarians, your scout leaders, your family to post here to win. It's just that easy and even more exciting!

I will send the winner the aforementioned books with signed copies of my Florida trip sketches and whatever else I can think of to throw in the package. (Batteries, dead things and Florida manatees are not included.)
My NookColor sketch of Me and the Manatees (Feb. 20, 2012)
Whether paperback, hardcover, sketchbook or ebook...
Keep reading, writing, drawing and READING!

(More Florida endangered species info here: )


  1. Love of nature inspired me! I feel like I have to (of course, willingly) draw/paint the things I love, so nature is a natural for me. c:

    1. Hearty huzzah and many thanks to you dear Steph! I, for one, am glad that you do and I so love your coyotes!

  2. I think having an incredibly encouraging, nurturing, artistic mother who revered nature and all living things played a big part in my inspiration to draw and write. I was very lucky. And, the 1961 World Book encyclopedias we had were a great source of information for whatever popped into your head. My favorite volumes were the letter A, for "Animals" and D, for, of course, "Dinosaurs." Those black and white pictures of Charles Knight's dinosaur murals looked like actual photographs of dinosaurs, I'm sure I thought they WERE photos when I was three. All aspects of nature are magical, I can't think of anything more inspiring. But then, I think everything is within the realm of nature so perhaps it's our ONLY source of inspiration. Inspiration inspiring inspiration infinitely. Fun contest Lori, great idea!

  3. I absolutely loved and poured over our 10 editions of A-Am Encyclopedias, National Geographic mags and Golden Books. Thanks for sharing your story and wise thoughts Matt.

  4. One of my inspirations was the time I spent in South Carolina years ago during college. I fell in love with the beauty of the ocean and its inhabitants. I find marine science fascinating and enjoy learning about it and telling others through my writing.

    Suzanne Klein
    Bay City area, Michigan

  5. Thanks for writing Suzanne.If you are a SCBWI member and write for kids check out our SCRIBBLER blog page this month on OCEANS! I fell in love with a manatee lil over a week ago and I now see why folks love FL and that whole area. Thinking warm thoughts right now!

  6. I love your sketches! I'm glad the critters cooperated and that you had a chance to see some of Florida's amazing wildlife.
    As to what inspired me to read/draw/write, I was always in awe of the world around me & nature. Where I grew up I was lucky to have right by us a large field, creek, & pond where I was always exploring. We caught (and released back) countless garter snakes, grasshoppers, crayfish, praying mantis, and even a turtle or two.

    Dana Atnip