Robin Yardi is releasing her first picture book this week, They Just Know: Animal Instincts. The combination of the whimsical and real life come together perfectly with Laurie Allen Klein’s art as readers learn how some animals don’t need mom and dad to show them the way, they just know!
Before we get to the inside scoop on hidden gems in the art meet Robin and find out how this story came to be…
What was your incentive to write this particular book?
When my daughter was young we loved to talk about animals that didn’t need their mothers. I remember playing mommy and baby butterfly with her (a game of her invention) and trying to explain, “Well actually, butterflies never meet their mothers.” You should have seen her face! “Who teaches them to fly?” she asked. “Who makes them breakfast?” After years and years of watching butterflies in our garden this still amazes her, so I thought a book about the wonderful things animals can do all on their own would appeal to other kids too.
What animals in They Just Know have you seen before?
We get monarchs coming through our garden twice a year on their migration north and south. They lay their eggs and travel on, leaving behind little larvae that devour our milkweed. Then the milkweed grows back just in time to host a new crop of caterpillars. And every winter thousands of monarchs take shelter in a coastal grove of eucalyptus nearby.
I’ve had the pleasure of petting horn sharks at our local Sea Center. They are quite docile and have soft, pebbly skin.
I’ve loved finding ladybugs since I was a little girl. Once I had hundreds of ladybugs take up residence in the cracks of my windows and spend the entire winter living with me. I made quite a lot of wishes that winter and really don’t have many left. Now when I find ladybugs I give them to my children to wish on.
I’ve never seen a spring peeper, or pinkletink as some people call them, but I do love and worry about the world’s amphibians. I’ve had pet frogs and toads and once ended up with about two hundred tadpoles!
I’ve swum among Green Sea Turtles in the waters of Hawai’i. These turtles are protected and you cannot touch them, but you can look deep, deep into their eyes. I’ve rarely seen anything so beautiful, curious and gentle.
As a kid in California I caught two species of kingsnake, both strikingly and stripingly beautiful!
To read the full interview with Robin, click here, but first play find and seek throughout the book with Laurie Allen Klein’s art!
Hide and Seek in They Just Know
(hint, Laurie answers these questions on Nonfiction Nook, but see if you can find them yourself)
- Find the t-shirt with all the animals from the book pictured on it.
- Which way is the current headed for the baby swimming turtles?
- What kind of “helmet” might a ladybug wear for flying?
- If a shark needed a nightlight what kind of fish serves that purpose?
- First flights are celebrated with a ritual, why is a cut t-shirt so special?
- What is the equation on the frog’s blackboard showing?
- What game are the king snakes playing?
- What other Arbordale book is pictured within the pages here?
Comment here and enter to win your own copy of They Just Know!