Displaying items by tag: Curious Critters

Children Go Face-to-Face with a Giant Pacific Octopus!

Wildlife photographer and environmental educator David FitzSimmons is on a mission to get children to fall in love with animals of the ocean by making reading as engaging and educational as a swim in the sea. His new book, Curious Critters Marine, the third book in his popular Curious Critters series, is being released on April 22, Earth Day 2015. And it’s bound to make a splash!

FitzSimmons is at the forefront of environmental education. He produces exquisitely-detailed, up-close photography of amazing animals that inhabit the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Gulf of Mexico. Through stunning photography, children go face-to-face with animals ranging from a spectacular spoonbill to an incredible blue lobster, from a tufted puffin to an upside-down jellyfish, and from a baby sea turtle to a giant Pacific octopus.

Children are mesmerized as they stare eye-to-eye with a crab, a cormorant, or an octopus. I try to photograph the animals on eye-level so kids can connect emotionally with the critters,” said FitzSimmons. “The goal is to foster children’s biophilia—to get young readers to fall in love with nature.”

And fall in love they do—with a cadre of curious animals. “Up to ninety percent of kids’ dreams are about animals. My books allow children to experience nature, particularly animals, through reading,” said FitzSimmons. “Of course, peering at a sea star in a tidal pool or hearing a cormorant call along the coast are great ways for children to connect with nature. But these experiences should be supplemented with nature reading.”

Adding to the fun photography is playful prose accompanying each critter. As the animals posed for portraits, David imagined them talking to him. Then he wrote down what they had to say.

The cushion sea star, for example, serenades readers with stanzas set to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Look at me, a bright sea star,

out beyond the big sand bar.

Crawling in the shallow sea,

tiny tube feet carry me

out to join a galaxy

of sea stars that look like me.

A crabby calico crab bemoans his thankless role as a detritivore: “I’m the one down here devouring loads of decaying debris, and nobody applauds my efforts. Without recyclers like me, can you imagine what the ocean would look like? Why, we’d be wallowing in whale waste and covered in crumbling kelp.”

The tufted puffin revels in romance : “I love getting all dressed up—putting on my best black feathers, brightening up my bill, and growing two feather plumes—all for my lovely lady.”

And an agile gray angelfish waxes poetic about life on the reef:

Swim so happily angelfish.

Give you little fins a swish.

Twist and turn within the reef.

Nibble sponges with your teeth.

Other creatures also offer their insights into marine world. The spike-covered Atlantic horseshoe crab explains that a sharp shell has allowed this spider-relative to survive since “long before dinosaurs were around.” A baby loggerhead sea turtle tiredly talks about his march from nest to sea after hatching. And the blue American lobster points out that, while most of his crustacean compatriots are “brown or dark green,” he is a rare “one-in-two-million blue gem of the sea.”

With mesmerizing images and inviting prose, Curious Critters Marine is sure to whet the appetite of young children wishing to know more about North America’s salty waters. Additional material in the back of the book includes a Life-Size Silhouettes page, a Glossary, and a Natural History page, where readers learn that Atlantic horseshoe crabs have blue blood, that tufted puffins may carry up to sixty fish in their beaks at once, and that California sea cucumbers eat with their mouths and their rear ends!

FitzSimmons points out that oceans cover more than seventy percent of the Earth’s surface, yet humans have explored less than five percent of their waters. He believes that Curious Critters Marine may act as “a snorkel, fins, and mask,” allowing readers of all ages to “dive in!”

With Curious Critters Marine, you will find a wet and wonderful world awaits you.

Curious Critters Marine

by David FitzSimmons

List $16.95

Hardcover, Color illustrations throughout, 11 in. x 9.5 in., 32 pp.

ISBN 978-1-936607-72-3

Published by Wild Iris Publishing

Official Publication date April 22, 2015 (Earth Day)

Children’s Nonfiction (Ages 2-8).

www.curious-critters.com displays more Curious Critters photos and provides information about how FitzSimmons photographed the animals, as well as insight about how he write his books.

Curious Critters Volume One has sold over 100,000 copies and won six national book awards, including the coveted Independent Book Publishers Association’s Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book.

About the Author -- DAVID FITZSIMMONS

David FitzSimmons is an award-winning free-lance photographer and writer. David photographs and writes for various magazines, including Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography, ProfessionalPhotographer, and Shutterbug. His 100+ calendar credits include numerous titles by BrownTrout and Barnes & Noble. David’s most recent publications include Animals of Ohio’s Ponds and Vernal Pools, Curious Critters, which has won five national book awards and sold over 100,000 copies to-date, and Curious Critter Volume Two, as well as audiobooks for both Curious Critters titles. Forthcoming is Salamander Dance (Spring 2016), a children’s picture book exploring the annual life cycle of vernal pools, and the first two board books, Curious Critters Ohio and Curious Critters Michigan.

One of seven Sigma Pro photographers in North America, David presents seminars and workshops to a wide variety of audiences, from public school, college, and university classes to photography groups and civic organizations. His works have been exhibited at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, the National Center for Nature Photography, and the Telluride Photo Festival.

Before becoming a freelance photographer and author, David taught for over twenty years, first as high school English teacher and then as a university professor, having instructed at Ashland University, Ohio State University, and Cornell University. He holds a Ph.D. in English from Ohio State, with a specialty in narrative theory—investigating the components of storytelling—something that influences his photography and writing.

Learn more about David at www.fitzsimmonsphotography.com

Saturday, Nov. 26, the 330th day of 2011.
There are 35 days left in the year.

"Turkey Coma Edition"

Today in History
1789, this was a day of thanksgiving set aside by President George Washington to observe the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.

1842, the founders of the University of Notre Dame arrived at the school's present-day site near South Bend, Ind.

1922, In Egypt, the entrance to child-king Tutankhamen's tomb is discovered by archeologist Howard Carter.

1983, A Brinks vault in London's Heathrow Airport is robbed by gunmen, who make off with 6,800 gold bars worth nearly 40-million dollars.

Celeb B-Days
Impressionist Rich Little is 73

Singer Tina Turner is 72.

Pop singer Natasha Bedingfield is 30

Charles M. Schulz Born 11/26/1922 . The Peanuts cartoonist died February 12th, 2000.


Jon Patch - Host

Adriana Odachowski DVM - East-West Animal Hospital / Co Host

Bob Page - Executive Producer

Zack Budin - Network Producer

Special Guest Hour 1 – Author:  Dave FitzSimmons – Curious Critters – (Book give aways during interview)

Special Guest Hour 2 – Ari Meltzer – Head of Business Development – Dog-e-Glow (Leash and collar give aways during interview)

You're an officer of the law and you're scared of a Jack Russell? Do you want that kind of person protecting you????

A Florida woman is upset after her Jack Russell terrier was shot and killed by a Citrus County Sheriff's deputy who said he felt threatened.

Nancy Blackwell is trying to put the past behind her, but fun and games with her Jack Russell, Rascal, are not the same without the third member of their family. Blackwell's other Jack Russell, Princess, was shot and killed by CCSO deputy Nick Hesse as the deputy served an arrest warrant on Blackwell's son.

Police spokesperson Gail Tierney said Princess began barking at Hesse, got out of Blackwell's house and ran at the deputy while showing her teeth and growling.

Tierney said the deputy moved back, shot and killed the dog. Hesse said he felt threatened by Princess.

Blackwell doesn't agree with the explanation she was given and had harsh words for the deputy: "You�re an officer of the law and you�re scared of a Jack Russell? Do you want that kind of person protecting you?"

The dog is now buried in Blackwell's backyard, along with her favorite blanket, a toy and her bowl. Blackwell said she won't get another dog.

Tierney said the incident is under review, but the deputy had the right to defend himself. New procedures could be put in place to keep a similar incident from happening again.


Wild Turkey ruins another family holiday... and no not the booze Wild Turkey this time... a real wild turkey...

A wild turkey apparently flew into an Eat'n Park restaurant on -- of all days -- Thanksgiving.

The 15-pound turkey was found among a pile of shattered glass on the carpet near some booth tables around 3 p.m.

Nobody was inside the restaurant at the time as it was closed for the holiday.

Penn Hills police Officer Bernard Sestili responded when the building's alarm went off. He said the turkey flew into the window and was not thrown. The turkey was probably was roosted in one of the trees in the near by wooded area, went for his morning flight and flew into the window.

A turkey fighting back, on Thanksgiving -- how ironic.

Man purchases venomous black mamba snake at an interstate exit in South Georgia. What could possibly go wrong?

Wildlife authorities are investigating after a 22-year-old man was bitten by a venomous black mamba while he was trying to purchase the snake at an interstate exit in south Georgia.

Keep in mind the Black mamba has a reputation as one of the most deadly snakes.

John K. Rosenbaum of Jacksonville Fl. was bitten during the sale this week along I-95 in Kingsland Ga.. Rosenbaum was taken to two hospitals � Southeast Georgia Health System's Camden hospital before being transported to Shands Jacksonville in Florida.

Shands officials say he has been discharged.

Georgia authorities say no one in the state has a wild animal license for black mambas, nor does Rosenbaum. Violators can get up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.


Family decides to spare life of oyster they found because it had shapes on its shell arranged to look like a human face. They did not say if it also resembled a bearded clam...

Eva Carbonaro of Mass. said she and her family were at Scudder Lane town landing to search for Thanksgiving oysters when they came across the funny-faced oyster among some barnacles and seaweed on the beach.

Carbonaro said she has been keeping the oyster in a bowl of water in her refrigerator and her family has decided to make the creature, which they named Rockefeller, a special guest at Thanksgiving dinner instead of one of the courses.

"I think he gets a pardon. I couldn't look him in the eye and in good faith go ahead with it," Carbonaro said. "He's definitely going to be a guest of honor at our Thanksgiving dinner."

Carbonaro said she plans to look into donating Rockefeller to a local nature museum after the holiday.

Huge Beaver wreaking havoc...

Residents near Kane Meadows Park in Blaine, Minn., are used to seeing wild animals, but it's a rare day that sees a trapper snare a 75-pound beaver.

The behemoth of a beaver was pulled out of a ditch along a mile-long walking path where beavers had built a dam near a storm water pond, blocking the flow of storm water runoff into nearby Rice Creek.

So, the Rice Creek Watershed District hired the trapper to remove them from the area because they were causing damage along the trail, but they were shocked when the trapper caught one that weighed as much as a medium-sized dog.

The semi-aquatic rodent species is known to grow up to 60 pounds in the wild.


Bikini barking! The scantily-clad protester who�s refusing to wear anything else or eat� until she finds her pet chihuahua

Arlene Mossa Corona wore a bikini and held up a sign with pictures of her dog Chispeta at an intersection in San Deigo this week.

Corona said she tried everything to find her dog, from calling the pound to contacting a pet psychic.

The only other option was to wear her bikini in the 50-degree weather and not eat until she finds the dog. She listed her phone number and multiple pictures of Chispeta on her signs.

�Against my family's wishes, I will be skipping my family Thanksgiving celebration this year and standing out there alone in an effort to be reunited with my dog,� she said. �Thanksgiving won't be the same without Chispita.�

Cars honked and men whistled and shouted cat-calls at the woman as she held up her sign, wearing red pumps, and a skimpy bikini.

A maintenance worker in her complex told Corona that he saw a girl take the dog. Corona believes that if the dog was stolen, whoever took it may be too afraid to return it.