Well-‘Red’ Colleagues

While in New York City to do press for the release of Day of Doom, the final book in The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers story arc, David Baldacci appeared on MSNBC, where he discussed his “Decoding History” virtual field trip to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. He also dropped by Scholastic’s Soho offices, for an improbable tête-à-tête with Clifford the Big Red Dog. A new 39 Clues story arc, The 39 Clues: Unstoppable, launches in fall 2013, with Jude Watson writing the first book and story arc.

Field Work

Naturalist and environmental educator Amy Griffin Ouchley is publishing her first book, Swamper: Letters from a Louisiana Swamp Rabbit, with LSU Press this month. Using color photos, line drawings, a map – and the fictional bunny narrator of the title – the book teaches kids about the interconnected life cycles found in a natural habitat such as the bottomland hardwood forest, or overflow swamp. Ouchley (top r.) – who received the Conservation Educator of the Year Award in 2011 from the Louisiana Wildlife Federation – typically does her educating face to face, at schools, libraries, museums, and nature centers such as the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge in northern Louisiana, which is shown here.

A Big Hit on the Small Screen

On the February 25 episode of TV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, host Meredith Vieira posed a question that likely had children’s book fans nationwide calling out the answer: “A bestselling children's book, Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, depicts which of these vehicles getting ready for bed?” Presented with four choices – boats, airplanes, trucks, bicycles – contestant Greg Augustine of Schaumburg, Ill., chose correctly; for those of you playing along at home, the answer is (c): trucks. A friend relayed the shoutout to author Sherri Duskey Rinker, who exclaimed, “We're pop culture!” Illustrator Tom Lichtenheld was equally delighted: “This is so cool in such a dorky way!” He did, however, have a suggestion for the show’s producers: “They could have had a little more fun with the alternate answers, like maybe dirigibles and unicycles.” Perhaps Goodnight, Goodnight, Circus-Tent Site is next?