Posted on Leave a comment

Lots of New Science Fun with Four New Books at Lyric Power Publishing!

Lyric Power Publishing LLC is proud to announce the arrival of four new books! Here at LPP we love weaving science into adventure tales and rhyming books. We love colorful, exciting illustrations. We hope you will enjoy three wonderful new additions to our book catalog and a special guest listing for Ricky Ricordi.

olive green book cover with illustrations of a hickatee and a sea turtle
The Cayman Islands have turtles that live both on land and in the sea. Hickatee lives on land and doesn’t belong in the sea, like the sea turtles. Do you know the differences? Come inside and learn about turtles, especially the marvelous hickatee.

 

A book cover with a blue sky, white clouds and brown booby birds on the beach
Meet the Brown Booby, a large sea bird which is a year-round resident only of Cayman Brac, They are not found at all in Grand Cayman or Little Cayman. These birds are a spectacular sight, soaring and gliding along the Bluff edge and the shore, diving for fish to feed their young, perching on rocks in the sun, then returning to their nesting colonies. With only about forty nesting pairs on the Brac, they are protected by Cayman law.

 

A golden orange book cover with a green catfish on the cover
Clarissa Catfish liked her new home at the Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum, but she couldn’t see the exhibits or the children in her tank. How can a catfish see the sights when she needs to stay in the water? Come inside to find out and join Clarissa as she explores the marvelous museum.

 

a book cover of boy in jungle with iguana on shoulder
When Lorenzo finds an iguana in his garden, he has loads of fun bonding with his new pet, but soon realizes that the animal belongs in the wild.
Dominican children’s author Nelia Barletta recently released a second children’s book, RICKY RICORDI: THE ADVENTURES OF AN IGUANA, which educates children about conservation and the protection of endangered animals of the Dominican Republic. The book focuses on the Ricordi iguana, an endemic species of the Caribbean island and features illustrations by Argentinian artist/children’s illustrator Juan Manuel Moreno.
Posted on Leave a comment

Ricky Ricordi: The Adventures of An Iguana by Nelia Barletta now Available at Lyric Power Publishing

a book cover of boy in jungle with iguana on shoulderWhen Lorenzo finds an iguana in his garden, he has fun bonding with his new
pet, but soon realizes that the animal belongs in the wild.

Lyric Power Publishing, along with John Binns of the IRCF, recently assisted Dominican children’s author Nelia Barletta in the publication of the English version of her book about Ricky Ricordi. The delightful illustrations were created by Argentinian artist/children’s illustrator Juan Manuel Moreno. The English version is now available on Amazon.com.

Ricky Ricordi: The Adventures of an Iguana focuses on the Ricordi iguana, an endemic species of the Dominican Republic. The goal of this book is to educate children about conservation and the protection of endangered animals of the Dominican Republic. However, people around the world will enjoy this adventure tale.

Proceeds from the book are donated to Fundacion Abriendo Camino, an organization working to support disadvantaged children in Villas Agricolas, a marginalized neighborhood in Santo Domingo.

We encourage you to read this great adventure tale that is both entertaining and educational. Any story about an iguana is worthwhile reading!

Posted on Leave a comment

It’s National Bird Day Today and Who Doesn’t Love Birds? by Elaine A. Powers, Author

National Bird Day on January 5 was created to promote avian awareness.  You can participate in celebrating birds in a number of ways.  You can go outside and do some bird watching.  You can learn about birds, either your local feathered friends or birds of the world.  You can learn about the decreasing populations of birds and what you can do to help preserve them.

A copper colored book cover featuring an illustration of a Roadrunner bird
“With vibrant illustrations by Nicholas Thorpe, this picture book is jam-packed with scientific facts about roadrunners, delivered in verse form to keep the narrative lively. Roadrunners “…grab their victim/behind its head/And bash it on/the ground until it is dead.” Want to know how to swallow a horned lizard? Keep reading!” AZ Daily Star

I live in Southern Arizona and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy sightings of one of my favorite locals, the Roadrunner. Talk about a fascinating bird! I write interesting facts about Roadies into a picture book called Don’t Make me Fly! Kids love the rhymes and illustrations, but I am a biologist and everyone learns something about roadrunners in this book. Science education is important to me, and I love making it fun.

a book cover with blue sky and white clouds, with Brown Booby birds on the beach next to a bush
All about the Brown Booby Birds of Cayman Brac by Bonnie Scott

 

 

I highly recommend a newly released book by my friend, Bonnie Scott. We share a love of conservation, iguanas, and the animals of Cayman Brac.  She recently published her book about the brown booby, Brown Booby Birds of Cayman Brac. It’s filled with her marvelous photographs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I loved the island story of a lost juvenile brown booby and featured him in one of my books, Fly Back to the Brac, Brian Brown Booby, which is based on the true story of “Brian,” who was finally able to learn to fly and find his family. He’s pretty famous in the Brac.

book cover, blue sky, bird a brown booby is on beach near ocean
Brian Brown Booby, a young resident of Cayman Brac, finds himself stranded on a beach on Grand Cayman. It’s too far back for a booby to travel, even if Brian could fly, which he can’t. Does Brian make it back to the Brac? What happens to a booby that can’t fly? Based on a true story.
Posted on Leave a comment

Happy New Year! Happy New Decade! By Elaine A. Powers, Author

infographic of Elaine Powers with large hybrid iguanaWith the start of the New Year, we tend to establish goals for our productivity, and things we’d like to change or improve.  According to the Gregorian calendar, January 1, 2020 starts a new decade. My goals for the new year and new decade are to dedicate my efforts to both furthering science education (in a fun and entertaining way, of course!), as well as increasing awareness of conservation. I enjoy sharing science with others, whether it be through my books or taking my reptiles into schools and other places.

If you live in a cold climate, may I suggest while inside, where it’s warm and comfy, reading a few of our books or completing the activities and coloring pages in the workbooks? Check them out here and at elaineapowers.com. If you’re in a warmer climate, I encourage you to take a walk outside and then finish the day with reading one of our colorful and rhyming books to a young one, or whipping out the crayons and markers to color and complete one of our interesting workbooks.

One of our goals in 2020 is to add the national education standard codes to the wonderful workbooks created for Lyric Power Publishing by Marilyn Buehrer. Our workbooks are comprehensive, interesting and fun, but they aren’t labeled with the standards, which home-schooling parents and teachers need to know.

If there are other ways that Lyric Power Publishing, LLC, can assist you in meeting your educational needs, please contact me at iginspired@gmail.com.

I can tell already that 2020 is going to be an exciting year.  There will be more books, more talks, more videos, and many more posts at the blog. Please follow along as life unfolds with my multitude of reptiles, one horse, and an occasional visiting dog, on this merry journey of mine.

May 2020 be a happy, healthy, fun, and educational year for you and yours!

 

 

infographic about "Don't" series books

a light green and dark green book cover with the image of a duck in water

a yellow and green book cover with an image of a desert tortoise

a yellow and green book cover with an image of a fruit bat and a common rat

Posted on Leave a comment

The Honduran Bay Islands Iguanas Need Protection by Elaine A. Powers, Author

Infographic with woman holding Spiny-tail Iguana
My all-time favorite Spiny-tailed iguana, Krinkle, who died earlier this year. He is greatly missed.

Attending an IUCN ISG meeting, I had the chance to visit the Bay Islands, in northern Honduras.  The endemic iguanas need protection there.  I had previously been told that is was safe to visit the Bay Islands (Islas de la Bahia), and that most people spoke English in a country whose first language was Spanish.

The primary islands of Utila, Roatan, and Guanaja are located in the Caribbean Sea. The Bay Islands were first noted by Columbus in 1502 and were settled in 1642 by English buccaneers. Great Britain annexed them in 1852 but ceded them to Honduras in 1859. Many tourists visit the islands today for scuba diving.

Roatan Spiny Tailed Iguana
Roatan Spiny Tailed Iguana

My interest is, of course, iguanas. All the iguanas found in Honduras need protection. Roatán Spiny-tailed Iguanas (Ctenosaura oedirhina) are found only in one place in the world: on the island of Roatán. On Utila, there are three native iguanas, but only one is endemic: The Útila Spiny-tailed Iguana (Ctenosaura bakeri), or “Swamper,” as it is known locally. Swampers are the only iguana that live in mangrove swamps. They prefer the black mangroves, (Avicennia germinans), which have crevices for hiding.

Swamper Iguana
Swamper Iguana

Hopefully, people within and outside of Honduras will work together for their conservation.

To learn more about these fascinating really big lizards, why not download our workbook full of fun and educational activity sheets, called My Unit Study on Iguanas?

a white and light blue book cover with an image of an iguana's head

See all of our comprehensive workbooks here.

Posted on Leave a comment

Enjoy the Holiday Season! by Elaine A. Powers, Author

metal coast guard lighthouse decorated with red bows against blue sky
Coast Guard Lighthouse at Sanibel Island

Where are you spending this holiday season? I enjoy spending the holidays at my mother’s house in Ft. Myers, FL, in an RV park across from Sanibel Island. I have very fond memories of Sanibel. My family spent many vacations there, back when the ferry took everyone across to the island before the causeway was built.

During my 2018 holiday stay, I went to visit the lighthouse where I had worked with the Youth Conservation Corps. The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge had its office on this Coast Guard lighthouse site. The Fort Myers area, including Sanibel, had the typical Christmas and holiday decorations. Even the lighthouse had been festooned. But I always preferred the decoration that nature provided, the magnificent osprey!

ospreys in nest
Osprey Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

The authors and staff of Lyric Power Publishing would like to wish all Happy Holidays–a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa Blessings, Happy Yalda Day, Happy Pancha Ganapati, and Blessings of the Winter Solstice!

desert Bird ornament
Happy Holidays from Lyric Power Publishing!
Posted on Leave a comment

National Trusts Conserve and Protect Natural Resources by Elaine A. Powers, Author

The National Trust of the Bahamas

I tell people I am encouraged by the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) to write books about land animals.  “What’s that?” they often ask. The National Trust of the Bahamas, it’s official name, is the NGO that manages the country’s national parks. Their mission statement is: “Conserving and protecting the natural resources of The Bahamas, through stewardship and education, for present and future generations.”

The BNT was created in 1959 by a Parliamentary Act to hold, maintain and manage “lands, tenements and submarine areas of beauty or natural or historic interest…as open spaces, or wildlife sanctuaries, or places of public resort.”

The Values of the BNT

• Education as a key to long-term conservation success

• Passion for the environment and the conservation of our natural resources

• Commitment to the best practices in protected area management

• Respect for others as demonstrated through teamwork and partnerships

• Integrity, transparency, and accountability

• Quality, consistent, reliable service to our constituents

The BNT is a non-governmental, non-profit, membership organization run by an independent council with representatives from the public and private sectors, as well as international scientific institutions. In 2010, the government recognized the value of the BNT by making it an official advisor to the government and the private sector on development. Over a million acres of land and sea have been preserved under the BNT’s management.

great exuma island view from space
Great Exuma Island view from space. Image courtesy of skeeze from Pixabay

The first national park created is one of my favorite places on Earth: the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is the location of my first published book, Curtis Curly-tail and the Ship of Sneakers. If it wasn’t for the BNT’s preservation of this area, I might not have been an author!

A book cover with a Curly-tail lizard riding the waves in a red sneaker
Curtis, the perfect curly-tail lizard of Warderick Wells, decides to see where the tourists come from. He sets sail on his adventure in a ship of sneakers.

Another park of particular interest to me is the Lucayan National Park.  I’ve been working on a couple of books set there.  Sadly, this area was devastated by Hurricane Dorian. I’m honored to be a member of the BNT and to join them in their education efforts by writing books about the animals and plants of The Bahamas.

The National Trust of the Cayman Islands

The other national trust I am involved with is the National Trust of the Cayman Islands (CNT). CNT was created in 1987 to preserve the history and biodiversity of the Cayman Islands. They work on education and conservation across all three islands. This organization is truly needed due to the interesting history and unique environments of the islands.

Of particular importance to me are the two endemic iguana species.  The blue iguana found on Grand Cayman and the Sister Isle Rock Iguana found on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.  I’ve done field work with the latter and enjoy going back every year to how my reptilian friends are doing.  In fact, I wrote the book Silent Rocks, The Iguanas of Cayman Brac to help inform people about how the iguanas are being needlessly killed.

cover of book "Silent Rocks." white background, rock iguana pictured in natural habitat on island Cayman Brac
The population of the endemic Sister Island Rock Iguana (Cyclura nubila caymanensis) on Cayman Brac is in serious decline. These vegetarian lizards are an important part of the island’s ecosystem. The reduction in population is the result of human activity on their habitat and the threats can only be eliminated by human action.

Another reptile, turtles, were the first draw of the islands.  Christopher Columbus sighted the Cayman Islands on May 10, 1503.  He named them Las Tortugas after the abundant sea turtles. Sadly, over-fishing of the turtles almost led to their extinction.

sea turtle swimming in blue ocean
Sea turtle Image courtesy of Jamiam from Pixabay

Colonization of the islands by man was slow over the following centuries, but was filled with “interesting” individuals. I encourage you to explore these unique islands, especially for the special animals who live there.

https://nationaltrust.org.ky/

Learn all about the Green Sea Turtle with this comprehensive workbook full of fun activity sheets!

A seafoam green book cover about seaturtles, with an image of a Green Sea Turtle

Posted on Leave a comment

Are Racer Snakes Increasing as Invasive Green Iguanas Have? by Elaine A. Powers, Author

Cayman Racer snake on cement
Cayman Racer snake image courtesy of www.thecaymanislands.ky

I like to write about topics to educate or share an interest of mine.  In today’s installment, I want to pose a question, one to which we may never know the answer.  As part of native iguana conservation, a great deal of effort is currently spent eradicating invasive green iguanas.  Green iguanas have been introduced, either accidentally or intentionally, in many places where they didn’t live.  As a result, these lizards become pests, destroying the vegetation, out competing the native animals for resources, and even eliminating species through hybridization.

One such place is the island of Grand Cayman. Grand is the largest of the three islands that make up the country of the Cayman Islands, located south of Cuba in the Caribbean Sea.  It is about 76 square miles in size.  Green iguanas found Grand to be paradise and soon their population increased to 1.5 million invasive lizards on this island. If you do the math, that comes out to 20,000 green iguanas per square mile! There are only 53,000 people in that same area.

The removal of the iguanas is the topic of other posts here, but a question came up during the discussion of the invasive lizards the other day.  On Grand Cayman, there are native predators of iguanas and other lizards, which include the endemic Cayman Racer (Alsophis cantherigerus caymanus). These snakes can grow to over four feet but are usually smaller. Fortunately, these snakes have been shown to enjoy the invasive iguanas in addition to their native lizard prey.

The question that arose is: With the increase in the number of prey lizards, did the population of racers increase as well?  And if they did, how will removing the excess invasive iguanas affect the snake population? Unfortunately, racers are killed by people’s pets, their dogs and cats, like many other animals, but maybe the extra green-iguana food helped increased their numbers in spite of this. An interesting question, don’t you think? And what will happen to their populations when the invasives are under control? Will the snake numbers dwindle?

We may never know, but situations like this remind us of the impact we humans have on ecosystems. We introduce indiscriminate predators with our pets, we introduce invasive species that affect ecosystems, and we destroy habitats with our buildings. We need to be aware of what we are doing and pay attention to how we affect the natural homes and environments of the animals that called all of these places home before we did.

Is the cold weather keeping you indoors? Children will enjoy continuing their education by working the activity sheets and coloring pages in our fun, comprehensive and interesting supplemental workbooks, such as these pictured below.

a white and light blue book cover with an image of an iguana's head

A book cover, dotted background, orange letters My Book About Rattlesnakes of the United States, with a list of all rattlers

a blue and turquoise book cover with an image of Cayman Islands passport cover

A light blue and white book cover with an image of multi-colored river rocks
The Rock Cycle cut and paste project in this lesson comes from this workbook. It also includes work pages on rock collecting.
Posted on Leave a comment

National Cat Herder’s Day is Upon Us! By Elaine A. Powers, Author

image four young kittens in a soft container
Image Courtesy of David Mark from Pixabay

I ran a rescue for green iguanas when I lived in New Jersey.  I was listed on the website Petfinders.com and was on speed dial for most of the animal control facilities and rescue organizations in the Tristate area.

Thus, I had a steady stream of iguanas pass through my house.  And I sometimes got calls from people needing a rescue for other species of animals.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t take those animals in–only iguanas. I did know of many agencies who could help them, however.

On two occasions, I found myself taking in a litter of kittens. I am not a fan of cats. Sure, they’re soft and interesting, but I prefer their reptilian counterpart, the iguana. But a friend had made emergency rescues and the kittens had no place else to go. Allegedly.

Cats are not iguanas and may I point out that they are iguana predators.  I intended to keep the kittens confined in my second bathroom and away from my pets, who might be considered prey. The first few days went well, with the cats living and eating contentedly in their bathroom world.  I sat with them and let them interact with me, so it’s not like I ignored them.

Inevitably, their curiosity got the better of them. At first, one at a time would try to dash out the door when I opened it. The escapee was easily caught and returned to the group. Until the day, I opened the door and all four rushed me! They jumped, scrambled and successfully eluded me.

Defeated, I let them roam the house but kept a close eye on feline-reptile interactions. Fortunately, I was soon able to place all four kittens to great forever homes.

Good thing, because I am a lousy cat herder, which I freely admit on National Cat Herder’s Day. 

Lyric Power Publishing is proud to publish the book Silent Rocks, about the endangered Rock Iguanas on Cayman Brac, and how to save them.

cover of book "Silent Rocks." white background, rock iguana pictured in natural habitat on island Cayman Brac
The population of the endemic Sister Island Rock Iguana (Cyclura nubila caymanensis) on Cayman Brac is in serious decline. These vegetarian lizards are an important part of the island’s ecosystem. The reduction in population is the result of human activity on their habitat and the threats can only be eliminated by human action.
A woman holds a five-foot rock iguana in her living room
Now THIS is more like it–me with five foot rock iguana, Blue.
Posted on Leave a comment

Saving the World’s Fauna and Flora by Elaine a. Powers, Author

Image of dark blue mountains against lighted sky, with words for IUCNOnce a year I travel to an “exotic” location–not to play, but to work with the IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, for iguana conservation. The IUCN is a democratic union comprised of influential organizations, both governmental and public, and top conservation experts, in a combined effort to conserve nature and enable sustainable development. There are more than 1300 member organizations and more than 15,000 experts. These members make the IUCN the global authority on the status of the natural world and what is needed to protect it.

I am thrilled to be part of this organization and hope I contribute in my own small way to the important work they do. Their website: https://www.iucn.org/.

Header for website CITESAnother important organization for the worldwide protection of wildlife is CITES, The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. CITES publishes a voluntary international agreement that provides a framework for the parties to adopt their own domestic national legislation. So far, 183 parties have joined together. More information is available at: https://www.cites.org/eng/.

a white and light blue book cover with an image of an iguana's headThirty fun pages all about iguanas!

NOTE: Iguanas are among my very favorite animals because of their intelligence, strength, and when domesticated, their affection toward their caretakers. Their personalities are fascinating and unique, and sometimes I think they can read minds! To learn more about these amazing reptiles, please enjoy our comprehensive workbook and activity sheets, My Unit Study on Iguanas.

To see all of Lyric Power Publishing’s fun, educational workbooks, go to the Our Workbooks tab.