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November 8 is Both National Parents as Teachers Day and National STEM/STEAM Day

graphic using children's books for science education

Parents have always been teachers of their children. They teach us how to speak, walk, how to count, colors, how to behave and endless other important life lessons. With the at-home learning required by the COVID-19 pandemic, parents are now more “official” teachers of their children, as well, and we are celebrating these parents on November 8th. I commend every parent dealing with this new situation and the stresses this has put on their families.

November 8th is also the day to celebrate STEM and STEAM. S is for science, T is for technology, E is for engineering and M for mathematics. The additional A in STEAM is for arts. Including these subjects is important in enabling students to be critical thinkers and innovators for the future.

We at Lyric Power Publishing LLC not only publish entertaining science-based books, we also offer accompanying materials in the form of activity sheets and workbooks that include aspects of STEAM education. The contents of each workbook are listed on each cover. They are substantial, comprehensive, educational, fun and economical. Once purchased, they can be printed as many times as you’d like.

So, parents on this day, as your child’s teacher, remember to include STEM/STEAM.  Browse our website for books and educational aids that will increase everyone’s enjoyment in learning. Our future depends on it.

infographic about fun science education books about turtles and tortoises
Lyric Power Publishing’s Books and Workbooks both make science education fun

Don’t

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Which English Should I Use? by Elaine A. Powers, Author

children's book cover illustration with iguanas and curly-tail lizard

Lyric Power Publishing is pleased to announce that the fourth book, Curtis Curly-tail is Blown Away!, in the Curtis Curly-tail Adventure Series is now for sale at Amazon.com.

By Elaine A. Powers, Author

What language do you speak and write? I was raised in Illinois in the U.S., so I write in the English language. However, some of my books are set in the countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations, where they also speak and write English. But the British spell certain words differently than we do in America. For instance, here in the US, we spell the word “color” without the “u” used in the  Commonwealth countries, where it is spelled “colour.”

I’ve always been a pretty competent speller, but I often wonder what I should do about the differently spelled words. After all, my books are for children, who are still learning their language. When the books are set in the Bahamas, should I spell color, colour? That is I where I assume the greatest market for my books will be. Or should I write in my native English and assume the readers will correct the spelling to their version of the language?

For now, I write in American English and ask the readers to substitute their preferred spellings. We will see what happens in the future.

There is another issue with British spelling which has to do with pronunciation. For example, Curtis Curly-tail Lizard, my inspiration for the Curtis Curly-tail Adventure Series, lives on Warderick Wells Cay. How would you say “cay?” Does it rhyme with “day?” No, it is actually pronounced “key.” In the US, we would also spell it “key,” as in the Florida Keys. Some experts say they are just different spellings of the same word, while others suggest they have different linguistic roots, despite meaning the same thing: small sand island.

Languages are evolving things and, perhaps, the Englishes spoken in Great Britain and the US are growing away from each other. “In America, they haven’t used it for years!” says Professor Henry Higgins says in the musical “My Fair Lady” in the song “Why Can’t the English Teach Their Children How to Speak?”

It is my hope that in the Commonwealth countries, it is not too difficult to translate the US English I write with into the English that they understand!

Note: I’m happy to announce that the fourth book, Curtis Curly-tail is Blown Away!, in the Curtis Curly-tail series, is now for sale at Amazon.com. It is an adventure tale for ages 8+. The gorgeous illustrations are by Monique Carroll. Curtis Curly-tail wants to help his friends survive a hurricane. But Curtis is blown away! What happens to the iguanas on Beach Cay? (Pronounced “key,” of course!) Will Curtis be blown back home to Warderick Wells?

Pick up a copy today for your child who loves adventures–and you’ll love the environmental science woven into the story!

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It’s Almost National Online Learning Day!

infographic about fun science education activity sheets and workbooks

September 15 is National Online Learning Day. Online learning is not only more popular today, it has become a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though our authors prefer to give in-person talks and presentations, their books are a valuable resource for online learning, as well.

Lyric Power Publishing LLC specializes in fun science books, which can be ordered and delivered directly to your home

infographic of books by category

And our educational, supplemental workbooks and activity sheets can be purchased once from the LyricPower.net website, downloaded, and printed as many times as you like

That is not all! Lyric Power Publishing LLC also offers a YouTube channel featuring videos of live animals, as well as animated educational videos. You can hear our author’s books being read there and we plan to offer live, interactive video conferencing soon.

a curly tail lizard on a bahamian beach with blue sky and ocean, sand and green plants
Curtis Curly-tail Speaks on You Tube

Of course, our authors now Zoom their presentations. Use our contact page to ask your favorite author about giving a Zoom presentation for your school, group or organization.

Online chats will never replace being able to feel the shell or a tortoise, or the scales of an iguana, or the touch of a flicking tongue, but we must all adapt when life throws us curve balls–and now we all learn how to learn online. At LPP, making science fun is a priority and we hope by sharing our books, workbooks, our animals and stories, now online, that we’ve done our part.

We continue to add new materials regularly, so be sure to visit the LyricPower.net website often. There, you can sign up for our newsletter to stay informed of author online activities and new book releases. And, you’ll receive a special gift when you do sign up! 

Happy National Online Learning Day and stay safe out there, and stay in touch.

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Have You Seen This Tortoise Scratch its Shell? by Elaine A. Powers, Author

A children's book cover, green with a tortoise standing, coming out of a circle, finger pointed, saying Don't Call Me Turtle

Don’t Call Me Turtle is Voted 5-Stars by the Preschool Crowd, Which Shows the Differences Between Turtles and Tortoises *** Colorfully Illustrated by Nicholas Thorpe *** Written in Rhyme * * * 20 Pages. There are many differences between tortoises and turtles, and the wise tortoise who narrates this book tells us about ten of those differences–in rhyme.

A video of a tortoise scratching its back is making the rounds on social media.

What surprised me were the number of comments from people who didn’t know that tortoises could feel anything on their shells. Shells are a living part of a tortoise or turtle and continue to grow throughout the reptiles’ lives. As they grow, turtles shed the upper layer of their scutes, the sections of the shell, while tortoises insert more keratin between the scutes. Keratin is a protein that also makes your hair and fingernails.

Because shells are growing, breathing parts of tortoise and turtle bodies, they shouldn’t be damaged by being painted or etched. Not only does this hurt the animals, it can kill them.

Yes, my tortoises have itchy backs, too. They scrape their backs, or carapaces, on table legs, the edges of the refrigerator door—or their favorite, scratching my metal bed frame . . . in the middle of the night.

a green book cover with illustrations of a hickatee and a sea turtle
These turtles are found in the Cayman Islands. Learn all about the differences when these two battle it out in Hickatees VS. Sea Turtles

For help with schoolwork on reptiles, specifically tortoises and turtles, read Don’t Call Me Turtle and Hickatees vs Sea Turtles, and check out Lyric Power Publishing’s many reptile workbooks full of fun and interesting activity sheets.

If you run across a tortoise or turtle in the wild, please leave it alone. Interaction can accidentally harm them.  But, if you have one as a family member, they just might appreciate a gentle back rub.

book cover of freshwater turtles book
Twenty-three fun, engaging, and interactive pages on the Freshwater Turtle. Ideal for your young learners.
Four ecology coloring and information pages; three spelling and tracing pages; what freshwater turtles eat coloring page; label the parts of a freshwater turtle coloring page; complete the life-cycle of the turtle (same for both freshwater and green sea turtle); three color by addition and subtraction pages; two learn to spell coloring pages; and several teacher information pages suitable for creating bulletin boards about freshwater turtles.
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What’s in a Name? Do You Mean the Common Name or the Scientific Name? by Elaine A. Powers, Author

In my stories and picture books published here by Lyric Power Publishing LLC, I include the scientific names, along with the common names, of the animals and plants I write about. Sometimes, I have to use different common names because each locale has its own unique twist. Like the gumbo limbo tree is also called red bird, and the banaquit is the banana bird.

I learned this doing my research while writing my children’s story called Grow Home, Little Seeds, which is a tale of friendship and of establishing one’s own home, told from the point of view of a bundle of tree seeds. I weave science into story because it makes the science fun and it tends to stick that way. The seeds have a great adventure finding their way together, and they are sweetly illustrated by artist and illustrator, Monique Carroll. Her beautiful botanical illustrations of the trees are featured in the Seed Appendix in the back of the book, which lists both the common and scientific names of all the trees. The book is a great tool for teaching children about trees and the need for their own micro-environments.

a book cover of a nature preserve, where seeds are cultivated. Seeds are drawn as cute characters
A Lyric Power Publishing book about seeds longing for a home. Yes, all of life longs to find its own special place to belong.

Scientists prefer to use taxonomic names because common names are often different from each other, while scientific names are consistent around the world. Scientific names consist of the genus and species, with a descriptive term from Latin or Greek. The genus comes before the species level. Members of a genus are species with common features.  Members of a genus can interbreed and produce fertile offspring.

A species is defined as a group of organisms that can reproduce with each other in nature and produce fertile offspring. It is the most basic category in the taxonomic system. When writing an organism’s scientific name, the genus name is capitalized, and the species name is written in lower case letters.

But scientific names can be changed as well. The fish, the guppy, that I did my master’s research project on was originally named Poecilia reticulata but was also known as Lebistes reticulatus when I was doing my research. Things can get confusing when the taxonomers can’t agree if a group of fish are the same species. Fortunately, DNA identification has helped clear up some of the confusion.

I encourage you to take the time to learn the scientific names of the living organisms all around you. It’s actually lots of fun once you get started learning them. I’ll start you off with an easy one here, the green iguana, Algae, pictured below, whose scientific name is Iguana iguana.

Green Iguana, Algae, on an enclosure.
Algae, a green iguana I rescued and brought home with me, is an Iguana iguana

a book cover featuring a blue iguana, listing all of the work and activity sheets includedYou can learn all about iguanas in the Lyric Power Publishing workbook, My Unit Study on Iguanas. The scientific name for the Grand Cayman blue iguana featured on the cover is Cyclura lewisi. The workbooks and activity sheets published by LPP are fun and interesting and help support educational goals at school and at home. They are downloaded once, and you can print as many copies as you’d like.

MY UNIT STUDY ON IGUANAS is thirty pages of iguana information and fun activity sheets for grades 2-4. Includes coloring pages, fact sheets, T/F about reptiles, parts of an iguana coloring page, compare animal traits, name matching, count and classify, reptile spelling page, life cycle of the iguana cut-and-paste activity, ecology word problems, iguana word problems, creative writing prompt, opinion writing exercise, mean, mode, median, and range worksheets, counting iguanas, histogram worksheet, grams-to-pounds worksheet, trace the words and color, short i sound, and create an iguana puzzle.

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How “How to Eat Breakfast” Came to Be by Author Gene Twaronite

graphic image of a blue book cover with the heads of a little girl and animals on it

I thought of How to Eat Breakfast as a simple story that would be both fun and educational–I did not set out to make a rhyming picture book. But as a I wrote, the words began to play against each other, often in ways I had not expected, sometimes rhyming at the end of lines and sometimes in the middle. I created strong images throughout the story, but talented illustrator Diane Ronning made them jump off the page. That is the wonderful magic of a picture book—the way it blends words and illustrations into a new way of seeing. It is sort of like the way we hear words differently when put to music. In each case, a wholly new art form emerges.

When Diane showed me a sample drawing for How to Eat Breakfast, I was blown away by how she visualized the main character. She brought Wanda to life, and I saw things about her that even I didn’t know. In the months that followed, I smiled with joy with each new illustration and how well she captured the images I tried to convey. Ever since 1987, when I published my first children’s story in Highlights for Children, I have dreamed of writing and publishing a picture book. This is my first, and it would not have been possible without Diane.

~Gene Twaronite

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It’s National Coloring Book Time!

infographic about fun science education activity sheets and workbooks

August 2nd is National Coloring Book Day. Coloring books have been around since the 17th century and have been popular ever since. Though coloring books are thought of as primarily for children, today many are published for adults for relaxation purposes. Early on, coloring pages were painted, but nowadays, you have many choices of coloring implements: paints, crayons, colored pencils, gel pens, felt markers, etc.

Coloring books can be fun and relaxing and interesting and educational. Lyric Power Publishing, LLC publishes 24 workbooks, which include coloring pages. Several are coloring books, though on some pages, equations must be solved to learn the correct color to use. Below are sample pages from the workbooks shown here. Many of LPP’s workbooks coordinate with author Elaine A. Powers’ science-based children’s books, which she makes fun!

How? By writing adventure tales and rhyming stanzas that weave in the science. She also includes a coloring page in her book pictured here, Queen of the Night: the Night-blooming Cereus.

Book cover for the Night-Blooming Cereus
What makes learning about desert plants fun?
Rhyming facts and bold, vibrant modern illustrations.
*Learn about the Night-blooming Cereus, Peniocereus greggii, the mysterious cacti
that bloom all together only one night per year
*An Amazon #1 Book in Children’s Botany Section
*See the Desert Southwest in a new, fun way
*Scientific facts written in rhyme are easy to remember
*Enjoy spectacular illustrations of Cereus, the Sonoran Desert and its wildlife
Read the rhymes to your little ones, give a gift to your budding scientist, and enjoy the book yourself!

“Science should be fun. It’s so interesting to learn  what things are made of and how they work. Science IS fun when it’s properly presented,” says author Elaine A. Powers. “Grab some economical and fun science education today with one of Lyric Power Publishing’s workbooks!”

image of six workbooks
Fun, educational and relaxing workbooks and activity sheets! 24 to choose from!

 

book cover animals nani cave coloring pages

This delightful coloring book is designed with the Pre-K to Kindergardeners in mind. Students color 16 animals that live on Cayman Brac and learn the name and first letter of each animal. Also includes a simple word search page.

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You Know It’s Hot Out There When . . . You Get Rushed By a Tortoise! by Elaine A. Powers

photo of a tortoise native to Sonoran Desert

You might not think tortoises are very smart, but I have one who proved she is. I have a young native tortoise as a foster. Her name is Flipper. Last summer she was big enough to roam outside and it was relatively cool for Tucson. When it came time for her to brumate as winter approached, she was not making good den choices. (She thought a bucket on its side would be sufficient protection from the winter cold.) I brought her inside until spring. Several weeks ago, once the nighttime temperatures came up, I put Flipper back out into the yard.

It has not been cool this year. May 6th it was 105 degrees. (It was 111 at my house today.) Though I love hot weather, in the early afternoon, even I thought it was a bit much.

I supplement the tortoises’ grazing with the vegetables and fruits I feed the indoor tortoises. Flipper would come over every now and then but seemed to be doing well outside.  Recently, as I put out the plate of greens, Flipper came running over. She must be really hungry! Nope, she ran right over the plate, up to the door sill, and tried to climb inside. It was too high for her short legs, so I helped her up and over. I soaked her in the bathtub in case she had been dehydrated in the hot, dry weather (nine percent humidity).

After her bath, I gave her a plate of greens, which she “wolfed” down. Apparently, she needs to work on her transition to wild tortoise a bit more. I planned to have her go back outside when it cooled down to the mid-90s, but she beat me to it. A few days later, she somehow knew the temps were back in the 90s, and she rushed out the door.

To learn more about tortoises, take a look at Don’t Call Me Turtle! and the Tortoise workbooks/activity sheets here at Lyric Power Publishing LLC.

A children's book cover, green with a tortoise standing, coming out of a circle, finger pointed, saying Don't Call Me Turtle
Voted 5-Stars by the Preschool Crowd, Who Now Know the Differences Between Turtles and Tortoises. Colorfully Illustrated by Nicholas Thorpe.  Written in Rhyme. 20 Pages.  There are many differences between tortoises and turtles, and the wise tortoise who narrates this book tells us about ten of those differences–in rhyme. She also says, “Don’t Call Me Turtle!” (Even if my name should be Myrtle.)

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Cantata Sulcata! Video with Curtis Curly-tail Lizard

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, and a special Hello to all my Fans!

It’s ME! Curtis Curly-tail Lizard–the only lizard with his own Blog and YouTube Channel!

Does that make me special? It sure does!

I just LOVE my work! I have the best job in the whole world!

Today, I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Cantata Sulcata! Please click on the image below to learn all about Cantata and other Sulcata Tortoises.

Have a great day!

image of a curly-tail lizard pointing to a cell phone showing  a picture of a Sulcata tortoise
Click on our picture and come and learn all about Sulcata Tortoises.