Octo in the City of Angels. The Soul of an Octopus has returned to another West Coast bestseller list. Sy’s octo book is number nine on The Los Angeles Times’ nonfiction paperback bestseller list for May 31.
Two years ago, Sy had the good fortune to speak at Pioneer Works, an artist-run cultural center in Brooklyn. They now have a great new media site, The Broadcast, and have created a series of commemorative bandanas — including this one designed by Andrea Lauer featuring an octopus brain and Sy’s signature. Here’s where you can see (and order) the bandana, listen to Sy’s talk, and read a recent interview.
Yes, that’s one big bug. Meet Jeannie, a Malaysian jungle nymph. Though she’s not a caterpillar herself, she lives at The Caterpillar Lab in Marlborough, New Hampshire, along with thousands of awesome larvae of butterflies and moths. Sy enjoyed her visit with Sam Jaffee. The lab is closed to the public at this time. Check out their Facebook page.
As part of her research for two new books, Sy is volunteering with the Turtle Rescue League. When a mother snapper nested just inches from a big parking lot, Sy was dispatched to excavate eggs so they could be incubated, hatched in captivity, and returned in the wild. She dug up 31 eggs. Just a couple yards away, turtle artist extraordinaire Matt Patterson was digging up eight painted turtle eggs. Those, too, will be incubated, hatched, and returned to the wild as young turtles ready to start their lives.
The wonderful citizen-science group Earthwatch has compiled their researchers’ favorite science and nature books. The list that includes How to be a Good Creature:
“‘I was first introduced to Sy’s incredible writing when I picked up The Soul of an Octopus years ago,’ says Alix Morris, Earthwatch’s director of communications. ‘I was riveted. The way she explores the consciousness of creatures is profound, reminding us how much we still have to learn about the world around us.’
“In the opening of her book How to Be a Good Creature, Montgomery attributes her impressive career as a science writer and naturalist to Earthwatch, and details her first expedition following emus in the Australian Outback. ‘Sy shows us how much we can learn from creatures, how to see and hear the wild world in new ways,and how to better understand and appreciate our place in this universe. Combine this with a heavy dose of humor and poetic prose and you have yourself a fantastic read.’ ”
Thurber visits Spain – via video. To mark the Spanish publication of How to be a Good Creature, Sy reads a chapter about Thurber, as we see many of his puppy photos with Spanish subtitles: “Sy Montgomery nos habla de Thurber, su border collie, una historia de Cómo ser una buena criatura.” Watch it here.
Octo Art. Twelve-year-old Kaia M. from Plainfield, Illinois, created this window art after reading The Soul of an Octopus with her mom. With her art, her mom wrote, Kaia honors Athena, Octavia and Kali from the book. Thank you, Kaia!
Cephalo-Ed is a work of love and devotion. Gary started this You Tube channel. He’s been studying cephalopods since he was 3 years old when he first saw a Giant Pacific Octopus in a book. It was “unique and exquisite.” He was inspired right then to learn everything he could about octopuses. “They are truly one of the most magnificent animals in the world,” says Gary. And so, by and by, he read The Soul of an Octopus and interviewed Sy, who also loves these “most magnificent animals.” Watch the interview here.
School Library Journal loves Condor Comeback: “Like many of Montgomery’s nonfiction titles in the series, this recent entry does an excellent job of incorporating facts and narrative information about an animal not typically covered in stand-alone titles. The engaging call-to-action message is paired with gorgeous photographs that immerse readers in the condors’ world.”