Care Farm Wins Martha Young Award

We wanted to pass along some wonderful news to all of you this afternoon. A care farm, Sanctuary One at Double Oak Farm, featured in Jennifer Keats Curtis’s Animal Helpers: Sanctuaries has been awarded the 2013 Martha Young Award! The award is presented by the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation (CCUIF) with the mission of assisting youth education and development, strengthening families, and adding to the quality of life for the people of Southwest Oregon. In addition, the sanctuary was chosen to receive a $2,000 grant towards improving access for visitors with disabilities. We would like to give our full-hearted congratulations to  such a worthy recipient. If you would like to learn more about the Martha Young Award and CCUIF as well as  other exciting news from Sanctuary One, you can check out the following article or visit the News and Events page on their website at

Sanctuary One July Newsletter

Animal Helpers: Sanctuaries also includes wonderful photographs and stories of animals whose lives  have been saved thanks to Sanctuary One. Look for Jennifer’s third book in the Animal Helper Series, Animal Helpers: Zoos,  to be released early September 2013.

Jennifer CurtisAH-Sanctuaries_187


Outstanding Science for Two Sylvan Dell Books

We are happy to announce that this year two Sylvan Dell books were selected by science teachers for the 2013 Outstanding Science Trade Books. Each year the National Science Teachers Association and Children’s Book Council collaborate to choose top science reads for children in K-12.

Get to know Desert Baths and Gopher to the Rescue! A Volcano Recovery Story 

Desert Baths

by Darcy Pattison and illustrated by Kathleen Rietz

All animals bathe to keep their bodies clean and healthy. Humans might use soap and water, but what do animals, especially those living in dry climates, do to keep clean? Darcy Pattison and Kathleen Rietz team up again to explore the desert to find out how snakes, spiders, and birds bathe. This surprising book teaches children about hygiene and how some exciting desert creatures manage to stay clean without the help of soap and water.

Darcy Pattison ( is published in eight languages. Recent titles include two nature books for Sylvan Dell, Prairie Storms and Desert Baths (August, 2012). Other recent titles include WisdomThe Midway Albatross and11 Ways to Ruin a Photograph.  She also authored the ebook,How to Write a Children’s Book and the teacher resource book, Paper LightningPrewriting Activities to Spark Creativity and Help Students Write Effectively (Prufrock Press). Darcy is the 2007 recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award, Individual Artist Award for her work in children’s literature.  As a writing teacher, Darcy is in demand nationwide to teach her Novel Revision Retreat.  She is currently the Co-Chair of the Children’s Program for the Arkansas Literary Festival.. For more information about Darcy, view her school visit info, or visit

A lifelong artist and lover of nature, Kathleen Rietz was drawing and painting before she learned to write her name. Originally from Peoria, IL, Kathleen received her formal training from the American Academy of Art in Chicago, IL. In addition to illustrating Desert BathsThe Tree That Bear Climbed, Prairie Storms, and Champ’s Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too! for Sylvan Dell, Kathleen’s other books includeConce Tu Parque, Little Black Ant on Park Street, The ABC’s of Yoga for Kids, and Prayers for Children. She taught art to children and adults at the Community School of the Arts at historic Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, and through a local home school program in her community. For more information about Kathleen, visit her website:

Gopher to the Rescue! A Volcano Recovery Story

By Terry Catasus Jennings and illustrated by Laurie O’Keefe

The forest animals are surprised when a volcano suddenly explodes, covering the land in gritty, warm ash and rocks that make it unlivable for many plants and animals. Gopher survives in his underground burrow with food to eat. How does Gopher help bring life back to the mountain? Scientists spent years observing life returning to the mountain following the eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980. This fictionalized story is based on their surprising observations of how life returns to an area that has been totally changed or destroyed.
Terry Catasús Jennings (pronounced cat ah soos) has been heavily involved in the arts for the past 20 years, serving as a Cultural Arts Chair in her children’s schools. She is a contributor to the National Science Resource Center’s (NSRC) Science and Technology for Children and Science and Technology Concepts for Middle Grades series. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Long Island News Day and Ranger Rick and she wrote a family humor column for her local newspaper, The Reston Connection, for four years. Gopher to the Rescue: A Volcano Recovery Storyis her first picture book. Terry is a member of SCBWI. She and her husband live in Northern Virginia. Visit Terry’s blog at
Laurie O’Keefe’s undergraduate degree in zoology and her graduate degree in human anatomy have helped with her scientific illustrations in the medical and scientific fields. Her client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in scientific illustrations from text books and magazines to zoos and museums.Gopher to the Rescue! A Volcano Recovery Story is her first picture book. Laurie lives and works from her home studio, located on Orcas Island, WA. To see more of Laurie’s artwork visit
For fun quizzes and activities visit

Deep in the Desert Wins Silver Moonbeam Award

Deep in the Desert has just received a silver Moonbeam award!

The Moonbeam Awards are 100% dedicated to identifying the best children’s books published each year for the North American market. The Moonbeam Awards are one of the fastest growing U.S.-based award contests focused on children’s books. Award-winners appear for an entire year at Winners will also be featured in and highlighted prominently in their monthly newsletter, which goes out to more than 8,000 subscribers worldwide, many of whom are agents, buyers, and librarians.

Catchy desert twists on traditional children’s songs and poems will have children chiming in about cactuses, camels, and more as they learn about the desert habitat and its flora and fauna. Tarkawara hops on the desert sand instead of a kookaburra sitting in an old gum tree. And teapots aren’t the only things that are short and stout—just look at the javelina’s hooves and snout. Travel the world’s deserts to dig with meerkats, fly with bats, and hiss with Gila monsters! Whether sung or read aloud, Deep in the Desert makes learning about deserts anything but dry. Learn more by visiting

Rhonda Lucas Donald has written more than a dozen books for children and teachers including her most recent titles: Animal Rights: How You Can Make a Difference and Life on Other Planets. In addition, she has won awards for articles and stories appearing in Ranger Rick and Your Big Backyard magazines. Rhonda specializes in writing about science, and especially likes to write about animals and space. She fell in love with science as a kid, and read every dinosaur book in school library. Weaving science into verses and songs is her way of making it fun. Rhonda shares her Virginia home with husband Bruce, dogs Maggie and Lily, and her very dignified cats, Darwin and Huxley. Visit her website at

Sherry Neidigh, a graduate of Ringling School of Art and Design, has been freelasnce illustrating for over twelve years. Sherry’s love of animals and nature comes through in her bright, colorful art. In addition to illustrating Count Down to Fall (Fall 2009) and The Best Nest for Sylvan Dell, Sherry has illustrated several trade and education titles including Who Needs That Nose?, If I Had a Tail, and Black and White.  Sherry lives in South Carolina. Visit Sherry’s website at