Balloons are Just One of the Gifts From Trees


Balloon Trees, the new title from Sylvan Dell, written by Danna Smith and illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein, reveals that the rubber that makes up balloons, balls, tires, shoes and many more things actually comes from trees! What other surprising things do you think trees give us?

The house you live in may be made from wood from trees; that’s obvious, but did you know that that house is filled with gifts from trees also? Do you like that your parents are less grumpy in the morning when they have their coffee? You can thank the coffee arabica tree for that, a 20 foot evergreen that grows in warm climates of the world. A cup of hot cocoa has made a long journey from cocoa trees along the equator to reach your kitchen. Maple syrup, cinnamon, fruits, nuts, and many more delicious items also come from trees.

Ever wonder how jelly candies get so goopy and great? Check the ingredients and you’ll find “gum arabic” in the list. Gum arabic is hardened sap from an acacia tree, and it’s used in foods like desserts to lend its goopy texture to them. It is also a key ingredient in glues, paints, and many other products that manufacturers want to make ‘slimy,’ ‘goopy,’ or ‘jelly.’

“Cellulose” is part of the ‘skin’ of trees, and when manufactured it can become “Rayon” clothing to make our own skin warmer. Cellulose is even an ingredient in foods and beauty products, lending its texture to them to make them ‘thicker’ or ‘heavier.’ When fat is removed from some “diet” or “fat-free” products, cellulose is often added to try and make the food ‘feel’ the same in a person’s mouth as before.

Trees also give us many kinds of medicine, such as aspirin, and even the first medicine for fighting malaria, “quinine.” If you’ve read our book, The Most Dangerous, you know how harmful the mosquito-spread disease malaria can be. Without the discovery of quinine from Peruvian trees, malaria would have harmed that many more people, and maybe even changed world history! Soldiers in WWII that fought in the Pacific jungles took quinine everyday, and it helped the building of the Panama Canal, and the Dutch and English to build their historical empires!

Of course, this is only the beginning of the gifts that trees give us. Say “thank you” back, by planting a tree, or at least reading a Sylvan Dell book under the shade of one!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Balloon Trees by Danna Smith

Balloon Trees

by Danna Smith

Giveaway ends May 10, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


News Flash From Sylvan Dell

New Books are on their way and we couldn’t be more excited to get them into little hands for science fun. Our authors and illustrators will be out and about in their communities and holding launch parties for their titles, we wanted to get in on the fun at Sylvan Dell and will be holding a virtual launch week September 10th-14th. Join Sylvandell on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter for contests and giveaways! For a sneak preview of the six new titles visit

Back to School with Begin with Books… It’s always a great experience to really experience the joy a children gets from reading, and we did just that this weekend with a local organization Begin with Books. While passing out books from Sylvan Dell we collaborated with this local affiliate of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to help gain interest in reading. Begin with Books is a fantastic organization that provides children with a book a month until the age of four. This early exposure to reading why we do what we do every day and it’s important to take time out and experience that excitement. Sylvan Dell will continue to work with this organization and others throughout our community to promote literacy. To learn more about begin with books visit their website

For teachers and librarians only! Planning for the upcoming year or looking for some impactful presentations to your school or classroom, Sylvan Dell authors or illustrators love to talk about their work to children. An author or illustrator visit is very inspiring to young minds and may just spark a budding talent. Contact us if you are interested in learning more! If an author can’t travel to your local area Skype visits are fun and check out TeacherTube for exciting and fun new videos!

Back to School

It seems like yesterday we were buzzing about summer reading programs, and now the time has come to go back to school for new teachers, new tests and new challenges.

Before we jump into the everyday grind that back to school brings, Sylvan Dell has one last summer fun reading event. The winner will receive a prize package with one of our educational books and stuffed animal.

For Kids only:

What is your favorite book?

What did you learn this summer through reading?

What is your favorite animal story?


Rules For Parents: The answers have to come from children.

You can submit by putting commenting here
send us a message on Facebook at!/SylvanDell
Or by mail at 612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Suite A2 Charleston, SC 29464

Thank you for participating!

Felina’s New Home Receives FPA President’s Book Award Nomination

 Felina’s New Home has just become a finalist for the Florida Publisher Association President’s Book Award! This award recognizes book publishing excellence and creativity in both production and content.

The Florida Publisher Association presents the President’s Book Awards annually.  This is Wlodarski’s  second President’s Book Award nomination, having previously won for his first picture book with Sylvan Dell Publishing, If a Dolphin Were a Fish.

Felina’s New Home follows a Florida panther as her forest home begins to shrink, and her home becomes destroyed by pollution and man’s interference.  Trees disappear, a new busy highway cuts through her wood, and she and the other animals have a hard time trying to survive the changes.  How can she survive? Wlodarski, an environmental science writer, gives children a look into deforestation and endangered animals, and what children can do to keep wild animals safe, happy, and healthy.

Loran Wlodarski is a science writer for SeaWorld and has written six books for them in addition to his many normal daily responsibilities.  He has been published in sources such as Grolier’s Encyclopedia for Children and The Marine Mammal Encyclopedia. In addition, he has served as a scientific consultant for Ask Magazine, Random House Books, Animal Planet, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, and Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.  One of his early jobs at SeaWorld’s Education Department was to raise some of their animals-newly hatched sharks, macaws, turtles, tropical fish, and iguanas.  He lives with his wife in St. Cloud.

Lew Clayton has worked as an illustrator for 20 years.  He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Brigham Young University, and he is a Graphic Designer in the Media Industry.  He is a member of the Socity of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  His medium of choice is Prismacolor colored pencil, and his favorite subject matter is people and animals.  He has two previously published books; The Adventures of Willy B. and Archie’s Christmas Tale. Felina’s New Home is his first picture book with Sylvan Dell Publishing.