PIPSIE and Alfred solve the mysteries of nature, and show kids how to solve them, too.
PIPSIE, the Nature Detective, and her scooter-riding sidekick Alfred Z. Turtle were pretty much raised as part of our family.
When my daughter Alexis was five, she had an imaginary friend she called Pipsie. Alexis and I used to write little stories about the two of them going on all kinds of adventures—especially nature adventures.
Pipsie was a wonderful way for me to teach Alexis about bugs and wildlife and nature. Alexis is fearless when it comes to critters and insects. I have this wonderful picture of her at age 4 with my cousin’s boa constrictor as she calmly sits there petting him.
Me . . . I’m a bit squeamish with bugs and snakes. So, from way back then, I wanted to write stories for kids about nature so they could be more like Alexis and Pipsie and less like me!
When it came to giving Pipsie a partner, I thought a turtle like Alfred Z. Turtle would be the perfect one. For one thing, he could find clues really close to the ground that Pipsie might not see. And turtles are fun—just ask my son, Matt.
Matt’s pet box turtle, Alfred E. Turtle, is the inspiration for Pipsie’s Alfred. Matt and his Alfred love hanging out together, and Alfred helps him explore nature when he scoots around our yard and we have to go find him! (In case you’re wondering, the “Z” in Alfred Z. Turtle’s name stands for “Zoom” because that’s what Alfred does on his scooter!)
I love going to schools to teach kids about insects and surprising them with nature facts. For example, most kids think termites are bad insects because they can eat the wood in homes and destroy them. But termites are also one of the greatest recyclers of nature, turning old rotting wood in forests into rich soil.
When I started to think about the PIPSIE books, my dream goal was to create a character who would introduce children to creatures like termites and other surprises in nature. I also thought Pipsie would be a great way to teach kids about problem solving—readers would follow her as she asked questions, made observations, formulated hypotheses, then tested them. Pipsie could teach them how to figure things out! And, most important, Pipsie would show kids—the same way she and Alexis showed a big kid like me—just how awesome nature can be!
About the Author
Rick DeDonato started writing and drawing storybooks for his two kids, Alexis and Matt, when they were little. They’re grown now, but Rick is still creating stories! When he’s not dreaming up adventures for Pipsie, he’s an award-winning creative director in advertising. Born in New Jersey, he now lives in Wilmington, Delaware, with Nancy McAleer; their two dogs, Tugger and Nacho; and their turtle, Alfred E. Turtle!
By Rick DeDonato; illustrated by Tracy Bishop
Publisher’s Synopsis: Pipsie loves everything wild—from dragonflies to oceans to tall, tall trees. She also loves solving mysteries. That’s why she’s a nature detective! When she and her turtle, Alfred, notice that their new friend, Frannie the caterpillar, has vanished, Pipsie is on the case. She grabs her magnifying glass, goes to her tree-house headquarters, and begins to search for clues. It’s time to make this mystery history!
Bursting with personality, this engaging story introduces a spunky new girl detective, a scooter-driving turtle who loves to eat, and a string of simple scientific clues that will keep kids turning the pages until the mystery is solved. Two pages of nature fun facts at the end of the story offer even more information for young nature detectives.
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Two Lions | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1477826300
Follow the Pipsie, Nature Detective Blog Tour
|Mon, Mar 30||The Children’s Book Review||https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com|
|Tues, Mar 31||Momma Drama||https://blogginmommadrama.blogspot.com/|
|Wed, Apr 1||Obsessive Mommy||https://www.google.com/|
|Thurs, Apr 2||A Rup Life||https://www.aruplife.com/|
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|Mon, Apr 6||Picture Book Palooza||https://www.google.com/|
|Tues, Apr 7||The Late Bloomer’s Book Blog||https://thelatebloomersbookblog.blogspot.com/|
|Wed, Apr 8||Geo Librarian|
|Thurs, Apr 9||Where Imagination Grows||https://whereimaginationgrows.com/|
|Fri, Apr 10||Sincerely Stacie||http://www.sincerelystacie.com/|
Check out PipsieNatureDetective.com for games and coloring, fun facts, more details about Pipsie and her friends, and info about the author and illustrator. There’s also a link to Alfred Z. Turtle’s blog!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of PIPSIE, NATURE DETECTIVE (U.S. addresses and ends April 29, 2015). Enter here»