Saturday, January 22, 2022
Thursday, January 21, 2021
As a kid lit author, I receive many emails and letters about my books. I received one this week that I thought I'd share -- it asked if I felt Ada Lovelace is relevant to young women today.
Here is my short response:
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
While the pandemic is still raging in the United States the work of authors and illustrators continues. I'm at work on a few projects, including an exciting new #STEM book for HMHKids.
Apart from answering last-minute notes from my editor, I'm enjoying one of the most rewarding and tedious tasks -- selecting the images and their placement in the book.
This involves reviewing all of the photos taken for the book and doing research to provide additional photos that will enrich the story. It also means that I have to make sure that all the image files meet the publisher's requirements -- including transferring jpgs into tiff files for printing. I also have to write all the captions and provide the image credits.
And while I take on this task I'm transported to my senior year of college when I spent a year at Audubon Magazine doing exactly the same thing -- well, almost. There were no digital files at the time. I had a lightbox and lots of slides and artwork to consider.
Did I know then that my internship would matter so much to me as a kidlit author? Nope. Granted, I LOVED my internship. I loved everything about it, but I didn't have a crystal ball. I filed away that experience like so many others we have in our young lives.
Those experiences, though, all play a part in who we become and what skills we pack in our suitcases for the journey through our lives. They don't necessarily lead to a job right away, but they might impact a job in the future.
It's the same with an editor critique. An editor might provide you with valuable criticism that could launch your manuscript into a new direction, even if it isn't with their publishing house. It's a matter of taking these experiences and making them matter.
Well, I need to get back to work. Thanks, Marty Hill, for being an incredible mentor at Audubon and for telling me I should become a writer. I can't tell you what it has meant to me.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
It's spring and we're all living through a nationwide pandemic when our food security is even more important.
In the midst of this, librarians are working hard to provide books for young children who are struggling through homeschooling and virtual lessons. Some, like the librarians in Missouri, are holding virtual book fests to present books and authors to school librarians throughout the state. I had the fun of participating in one of their virtual panels.
I'm happy to share the books of my fellow panelists and the resources with all of you.
Check these out!
Pre-order THE FARM THAT FEEDS US at your local indie or an autographed copy at Oblong Books & Music. The release is postponed until July.
Additional resources for your classroom:
American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture: https://www.agfoundation.org/
Feeding Minds Press: https://www.feedingmindspress.com/
Cooperative Extension Service: https://nifa.usda.gov/land-grant-colleges-and-universities-partner-website-directory?state=All&type=Extension
Future Farmers of America: https://www.ffa.org/
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
|©Nancy F Castaldo|
Earth Day, Every Day!
Sunday, March 22, 2020
That said, now is not the time for flying. The pandemic has dampened my wings, but not my spirit, because, as much as I love to travel, I also know that I do not have to travel to see wildlife. We can see wildlife every day outside our own window. That's right– no matter where you live.
What do you see outside your window? Is it a pigeon soaking up sunshine rays? Is it a deer munching grass? Is it a lizard climbing a wall?
I'd like to know. Use the hashtag #wildlifefrommywindow. I've set up an Instagram account and hope to post some of your photos. You can also just share a list on Twitter using that hashtag like I did yesterday.
You can read it here.
Let's appreciate the wildlife inhabiting our home each and every day while we are staying safe and healthy.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Emergency Fund
Grants up to $1,500 for members in time of hardship.
For more info.
PEN American Writers' Emergency Fund
Small grants are given to professional writers in acute or unexpected financial crises.
New York Foundation for the Arts
Emergency grant opportunities for artists by discipline.
For more info.
Boston Artist Relief Fund
Grants of $500-1000 for artists living in Boston.
Authors League Fund
No-string loans offered for health-related problems.
Carnegie Fund for Authors
Grants to published authors in need of emergency financial assistance.
For more info.
COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources
From assistance with rent to emergency grants.
For a complete listing.
Wishing you all well.
- Palm Oil Audit – Is your household making orangutan-friendly choices at the grocery store? Find out with this eye-opening activity.
- Happy Rhinos – Build a rhino-safe enclosure and connect kids to endangered species using design thinking and language arts.
- Ocean Clean-Up Design Challenge – Create a device that will clean up our oceans.
- Aging Plastic Experiment – Does plastic every go away? Try this experiment to find out.
- A Language of Your Own - Elephants use many different sounds to communicate emotion. Challenge kids to use sounds and movements to convey emotions (fear, greeting, sadness, excitement, warning, surprise, etc.) without using words. Guess what emotion they are trying to convey.
Here's a great video from picture book author Randi Miller Sonenshine to pair with THE NEST THAT WREN BUILT:
For BACK FROM THE BRINK readers -- YOUR VOICE MATTERS:
Be well, readers!
Monday, March 16, 2020
If you enjoyed reading about the recovery of wolves in BACK FROM THE BRINK: SAVING ANIMALS FROM EXTINCTION check these out:
The Wolf Conservation Center is offering FREE distance learning programs to schools across the US. Sessions can be taught via SKYPE, Zoom, Google hangout and more!
While you are on the Wolf Conservation site - check out the 8 webcams! Here is one of my favorites. Can you howl like a wolf?
Here is a short reader's guide for BACK FROM THE BRINK.
Take a tour - VIRTUALLY - at these great institutions!
Smithsonian National Museum of History My favorite spot is the Ocean Hall on the first floor. Check it out.
Here are a couple of great books to read for your journey:
Check out SCIENCE SNACKS at the Exploratorium! There are so many to choose from.
I like -- BEE HUMMER.
Read this new picture book with your activity:
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Mary Temple Grandin is a professor of animal science and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. Dr. Grandin didn't speak until she was three and a half years old. Diagnosed with autism, she faced challenges growing up. Her life and the impact she has made in livestock practices are explored in these kidlit titles.
Archimedes Notebook: Good to the Last Drop : When the World Runs Dry: Earth's Water in Crisis by Nancy F. Castaldo 208 pages; ages 1...
FIVE STEPS TOWARD RESEARCHING THAT WHICH YOU CANNOT SEE -- AND NEVER WILL I grew up climbing trees. If I was nowhere to be found, ...
When I wrote Leap Into Space , I included many female scientists and astronauts -- Sally Ride, Maria Mitchell, Nahide Craig, Heidi Jo Newbe...