A great Mother’s Day story

“The California Condor’s stunning and fragile existence swoops into focus in the latest Scientists in the Field title,” says Publishers Weekly in a starred review. “Though the condor’s future remains tenuous, Montgomery’s compelling page-turner inspires optimism.”

RadiolabOctomom. Radiolab has a great Mother’s Day story: “In 2007, Bruce Robison’s robot submarine stumbled across an octopus settling in to brood her eggs. It seemed like a small moment. But as he went back to visit her, month after month, what began as a simple act of motherhood became a heroic feat that has never been equaled by any known species on Earth.” Sy has a small role in the show as she describes the courtship and mating of octopuses.

Critters Down Under. Sy talked about emus, octopuses and other Good Creatures on Australia’s venerable public radio show, Uncommon Sense. Listen here.

Soul of an Octopus has returned to the bestseller lists. It is number seven on the Boston Globe’s list of nonfiction paperback bestsellers for the week of May 3.

Homeschooled artists Henley, 3, and Charlie, 5

Octo-school. Homeschooling her four kids, Melissa Tuttle of Santa Barbara used Soul of an Octopus for her weekly lesson plans. Among the results is this fine illustration of an episode in the book, executed jointly by artists Henley, 3, and Charlie, 5.

 Condor Comeback

Kirkus gives Condor Comeback a starred review: “Montgomery, no stranger to science in the field” joins the “ongoing California fieldwork in the form of condor checkups. These birds are still so endangered that wildlife specialists attempt to recapture each condor living in the wild every year, to check on its health and tracking devices. In an immediate, present-tense narrative, the writer describes the details of these checkups and some of the hazards: While holding birds, she was pooped on and bitten. They visit a biologist watching a nest site and see a new fledgling. After readers are thoroughly engaged with the birds, the writer steps back to describe continuing dangers…. She touches on the effects of wildfires in the birds’ neighborhoods; visits another nest watch; and talks with a tribal educator with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, who revere the condors and are especially interested in their return…. Close-up and long-range photos enliven every page…. Hopeful news in the natural world.”

Condor Comeback will be published in July.