The Children’s Book Review | April 7, 2016
The Children’s Book Review: Which five words best describe The Slowest Book Ever?
April Pulley Sayre: Chewy science for wondrous pondering.
Can you share one special moment from The Slowest Book Everwith our readers?
I think the held-breath moment, when about twenty biologists, birders, nature guides from around the world were squatting on the freezing ground, in the dark, on the Ohio field near lake Erie, waiting for a slow-flying bird, the timberdoodle to plummet from the sky. It landed right in front of us, and in the light of a flashlight we could see its goofy, pencil-like bill. It called out a nasal PEEEEENT! We all had a giddy rush of joy at the oddness of the bird world and the pleasure of being with other humans who love nature, too.
What has been the best reaction from a reader, so far?
It is a children’s book, of course. But I was moved to hear from a wonderful educator who read it and was comforted and inspired as she recovered, ever so slowly, from a stroke. Having to slow down and see the world in new ways happens in so many parts of our lives, yes?
What’s on your nightstand? Any books?
The Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of the Midwest by Kenn Kaufman, Jeff Sayre, and Kim Kaufman. Because it teaches me, and I have a little crush on one of the co-authors. 🙂 When I see the photos, I remember where they were taken: the dunes, forests, bogs, streams all over the Midwest where my husband was photographing for the plant section.
Field Guide to the Birds of the Dominican Republic, because I just returned from there. My field guide pile is always rather large.
The Singing Life of Birds, by Donald Kroodsma.
This is Your Brain on Music, by Daniel Levitin. (I am writing about sound, a long term passion of mine, for the sequel to the slow book.)
Ocean Country, by Liz Cunningham. Timely book about ocean issues.
For your writing energy: sugar or salt, tea or coffee?
Tea! Large tazo chai tea brewed 8 minutes with glug, glug of soy milk and 1.5 teaspoons of sugar.
Writing tools: computer, pen and paper, or all of the above?
All of the above. Plus binoculars and camera, because they sometimes come first.
Can you tell us something that even your most loyal fans may not know about you?
I’m very tech-oriented and into new media, a bit of a Mac geek. About half my time is spent working on my photography. (I have photo-illustrated seven books.)
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
For decades I have read science news articles every day and there are so many intriguing brains at work in the science field! There’s so much hope, determination, and intellectual pleasure in this area. (It’s more refreshing than the frequently dreary or shallow mainstream news.) I think the best prescription for modern life is time in nature and reading science. I’m very thankful for the children’s book community and the educators out there who share delicious words, nature wonders, and chewy science with children.
Written by April Pulley Sayre
Publisher’s Synopsis: April Pulley Sayre’s wry, quirky storytelling tone shines from the warning on the first page (“This is a S-L-O-W book. Do not read it while surfing, water skiing, or running to escape giant weasels.”) right through to the glossary at the end. In between, readers will explore an astounding variety of information about all things slow—in nature, geology, art, outer space, etc. Throughout, The SLOWEST Book EVER playfully encourages readers to slow down and savor everything. As Sayre shows: “If you think slowly enough, the entire world is amazing.” This innovative nonfiction work is a treasure trove of information that begs for multiple readings.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Boyds Mills Press | 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1620917831
Add this book to your collection: The Slowest Book Ever
About April Pulley Sayre
April Pulley Sayre is an award-winning author of more than 60 science books for children and adults, including the popular Rah, Rah, Radishes!, Stars Beneath Your Bed (an ALA Notable Book), Eat Like a Bear (an ALA Notable Book), and Vulture View (a Geisel Honor book). Sayre and her husband live in Indiana. Visit aprilsayre.com.
This interview with April Pulley Sayre, author of The Slowest Book Ever, was conducted by Bianca Schulze. Follow along with our content tagged with April Pulley Sayre, Nature Studies and Speed Interview to discover more great books.