Portrait of the young writer as a toddler

Photo by Balbidur on VisualHunt.com
Photo by Balbidur on VisualHunt.com

Portrait of the young writer as a toddler. Sy was interviewed by Onlypicturebooks.com. She told them:

“I don’t even remember this, but my parents told me: When I was younger than two, my parents took me to the Frankfurt Zoo, in Germany — where I was born – not in the zoo, but in the city of the Frankfurt! I broke free of my parents’ hands for a few moments and disappeared. When they found me, I had toddled into the hippo pen — right next to a 3,000-pound hippo, considered the most dangerous animal in Africa.”

“My parents weren’t happy, but clearly, both the hippos and I were fine about it. I always felt comfortable with animals—far more so than with most people.”

Read the rest of the interview here.

Kudos for Condor Comeback, winner of a Green Earth Honor Award. Check out the whole flock of winners here.

Sy enjoyed her visit via Zoom to the Chelmsford Library in Massachusetts for their All-Community read of How to be a Good Creature.

State Library and Archives of Florida on Visualhunt.com
State Library and Archives of Florida on Visualhunt.com

What better place to read about octopuses than while in the water? My book is in great company in the bathtub with author Chris Bohjalian, as he told the New York Times Book Review:

Describe your ideal reading experience (when, where, what, how).

I can read for hours in the bath. In the winter, when the sun sets early, it’s pretty close to heaven to read there on a Sunday afternoon and watch the sun disappear over the small mountain west of where I live. I also loved to read in swimming pools, pre-Covid, when vacations were a thing. I’d stand waist-deep in the water, the book open flat on the coralline lip of the pool.

What’s the most interesting thing you learned from a book recently?

From Sy Montgomery’s lovely The Soul of an Octopus: An octopus would make a terrible pet, but not because they’re dangerous. Rather, they’re playful and smart and usually gentle with humans, but they’re likely to get themselves into trouble slithering out of their tank.

After reading her book, I went to the New England Aquarium just to watch them.

The Hummingbirds’ Gift: Wonder, Beauty, and Renewal on Wing

First Review. Booklist loves Sy’s new book, The Hummingbirds’ Gift: Wonder, Beauty, and Renewal on Wing:

“Hummingbird rehabilitator Brenda Sherburn Labelle and two tiny orphans, Maya and Zuni, first appeared in passionate, prolific, and beloved naturalist Montgomery’s world-circling avian chronicle, Birdology (2010). Here she tells the entire tale of the hummers’ rescue and thriving, thanks to rigorous human attention involving feedings with a syringe every 20 minutes, nerve wracking treatments for a mite infestation, and clever ways to help them learn to fly.”

“Montgomery shares an array of astounding facts about hummingbirds, from their proportionately enormous heart to how each day these little beings sup from 1,500 flowers and eat approximately 700 insects; how their wings beat 60 times per second; how they can hover, a unique ability; and how very combative and strong these little feathered marvels are, enduring long migrations year after year. Montgomery describes Maya and Zuni’s “remarkably expressive” little faces and different rates of development, and describes the fear and joy attendant upon their release into a world in which pollinators are severely imperiled.”

“Montgomery’s bright, richly illustrated chronicle stirs renewed appreciation for human empathy, skill, and wonder and a miraculous winged species.”

The Pima County Library in Tucson, Arizona, suggests that you spend National Pet Day – April 11 – or any day really, with A Good, Good Pig.

Pierce School in Bennington, New Hampshire

Pierce School in Bennington, New Hampshire

Inspired by Becoming a Good Creature, the young writers of the Pierce School in Bennington, New Hampshire, created books of their own. Sy can’t wait to zoom with them, author-to-authors, and tell them how proud she is of their work. Above are two samples.

The new German translation of How to be a Good Creature

The new German translation of How to be a Good Creature. In translation “good creature” may have become “mensch”– a good, honorable person. Hmm.