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January 18 is National Thesaurus Day by Elaine A. Powers, Author

 

photo of a page of a thesaurus
A page from Roget’s Super Thesaurus (c) 1998

What would we do without the Thesaurus?

Before the age of the Internet, we used a thesaurus made of paper that we held in our hands. (For you younger folks, a thesaurus, despite its spelling, is not a kind of dinosaur.)

When writing, we often search for just the right word to convey our message. Or we find ourselves using the same words over and over.  In situations like these, a writer would pull their thesaurus off the bookshelf.  A thesaurus lists words in groups of synonyms and related concepts.  A synonym is a word that means exactly or almost the same as another word, such as writer and author. These books were invaluable or indispensable to writers.

Nowadays, of course, thesauruses or thesauri are still used, but they are on found online. Whether hard copy or digital, the thesaurus is still necessary for composition. The English language is a diverse collection of words and it’s fun to learn them. As an author of over 25 scripts and books, I am grateful for the thesaurus that allows me to fully utilize, employ, or exploit as many interesting, informative, and appropriate words as possible.

a green book cover with illustrations of a hickatee and a sea turtle
Thesauruses do come in handy when writing! I don’t like to repeat words when I write about wonderful reptiles in nature. The turtles above are found in the Cayman Islands. Learn all about the differences when these two battle it out in Hickatees VS. Sea Turtles.
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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.
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It’s National Parents as Teachers Day and National STEM/STEAM Day

boy and mother with book on table about turtlesEveryone knows that parents are their child’s first teachers. From teaching them how to say mommy or daddy, to counting on their toes, to learning how to walk, parents are the most important teachers of children. As kids grow into adults, they still look to their parents for guidance. On November 8, we’re celebrating that relationship.

While parents are teaching their children, they should include science.  After all, November 8 is also National STEM/STEAM Day. Don’t know what those letters stand for? STEM stands for Science Technology Engineering Math. Education in these four areas is critical for the future. STEAM includes the equally important Arts, including humanities, language arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design and new media.

At Lyric Power Publishing, LLC, we encourage both kinds of learning, investigative and creative, and we like to make learning fun! Check out our books here and our workbooks here, and enjoy learning about science!

A light blue book cover with images of freshwater turtle and green sea turtle

38 Pages of Turtle Facts, Traits, Diet, Survival, Label the Parts, True or False, Cut and Paste, Reading Comprehension, Color by Math, Write the Differences, Vocabulary, Word Definitions, Cause and Effect and More!

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Oh, Those Red-Reptile Eyes! by Elaine A. Powers, Author

In the human world, red eyes are usually reserved for people possessed by demons. However, in reptiles, red eyes are not unusual and serve an important purpose.

It’s usual for males of a species to be more colorful than the females, because the females need the protective coloration of camouflage. In box turtles, the males often have bright red irises. That makes it easy to determine that he’s a he. Females have brown eyes. I think this Eastern Box Turtle’s eyes are quite attractive.

close up of head and red eye of make eastern box turtle

Equally impressive are the red eyes of rock iguanas. Both males and females have red sclera. Rock iguanas live on Caribbean islands made of white limestone. It’s thought that the red coloration protects the iguanas’ eyes from damage of the bright sunshine reflecting off the rock. So, the red sclera is like us wearing sunglasses. Everyone needs to protect their eyesight.

close up of red eye of rock iguana

Silent Rocks is published by Lyric Power Publishing, about the disappearing Sister Isle Rock Iguanas. We hope to inspire the native people and visitors alike to do all they can 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.
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Ahhh, the Mysteries! Such as, How Many Tortoises Can You Stack in a Corner? By Elaine A. Powers, Author

several tortoises fighting for space in a corner of a roomThere are many mysteries in life, questions that we need to know the answers to.

Like this one: How many tortoises can fit in a corner?

And the follow-up question: how many tortoises can you stack on top of each other before they topple?

I don’t know the answer to these inquiries, but these girls are well on their way to solving these mysteries.

 

 

 

 

 

Rain forest tortoise eating nectarineMeanwhile the smaller, smarter one, is off enjoying a bit of nectarine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know the differences between turtles and tortoises? And did you know the typical answer: “Turtles live in the water, and tortoises live on land,” is not that simple? If you want to find the answers to the question, How are turtles and tortoises different, you will certainly enjoy, Don’t Call Me Turtle! (That’s one mystery that’s easy to solve.)

It’s a fun, rhyming book and a favorite among the little ones–I get the most fan mail with their pictures about this book, along with notes from their parents telling me that they learned a lot, too, while reading Don’t Call Me Turtle!

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

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Sept. 12, 2019 National Day of Encouragement By Elaine A. Powers, Author

What a wonderful day–a day of encouragement. We all need encouragement, whether it be for something small or something big. As a writer, I’m constantly in need of encouragement. It’s one thing to put words on a page–that is easy. But I need encouragement to share my work with the world. I’ve gotten encouragement to write stories, to get them published, to market them to shops, and to speak in public about them.

TEXT WAY TO GO!

My writing career started because the other passengers on a boat encouraged me to publish the story. So, Curtis Curly-tail and the Ship of Sneakers was published. But the real encouragement came from the first children who read it when they asked me, “When is the next Curtis story coming out?” I hadn’t planned another Curtis, but their sweet encouragement led to the stream of books, 26 to date, that have flowed from me. I will be forever grateful.

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.

I am also encouraged when children who had the book read to them, incorporate the science into their daily lives and even share it with others around them. Like my friend’s young grandson who corrects adults who call a tortoise a turtle. “Don’t call him a turble!” he exclaims.

And I’m encouraged when an adult tells me after she’s read a book to the young person in her life, “I didn’t know that, either. I learned something new yesterday.”

We all have a story to share. I encourage you to share a story with a special little someone today.

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

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Differences Between Turtles and Tortoises? Many! 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

My first book in the Don’t Series explores the differences between turtles and tortoises. I tell everyone that my Red-foot tortoise asked me to write the book. I adopted her from another New Jersey family when I lived back East. That in itself is a story. We were both using the Mid-Atlantic Turtle & Tortoise Society to place or adopt. Eventually, someone figured out it would be easier for me to adopt directly from the family, instead of both of us making trips to Maryland. As a result, I ended up with a truly wonderful tortoise named Myrtle. Officially her name was Hebe Myrtle, but she really is a Myrtle.

Since Myrtle free roams in my home and was a companion for my elderly mother, she was always introduced to guests. When I said her name was Myrtle, people would inevitably say, “Oh, Myrtle the turtle.” No–she is Myrtle the tortoise. Consequently, the book about the differences between turtles and tortoises had to be written. Her inspiration resulted in a very engaging book, if I do say so myself. (Well, I’m going by fan mail, too.)

People think they know the differences between turtles and tortoises, but few do. It’s not simply that turtles live in water. Just ask my Desert Box Turtle, Ela. Odds are she’ll never see a body of water, or even flowing water. However, all turtles have the ability to swim. This swimming capability is reflected in the shell and limb structures.

Despite the similarities in their shelled bodies, there are behavioral differences between turtles and tortoises, too.

I don’t want to give away the many differences here, because I know you will love learning all about them them by reading Don’t Call Me Turtle to your little one. It’s written in rhyme—so you both can repeat what you’ve learned with some flair!

You can also explore the life-cycles and traits of turtles and tortoises in Lyric Power Publishing’s fun and educational workbooks. We really enjoy making science fun around here!

A light blue book cover with images of freshwater turtle and green sea turtle

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

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Never Say Scoot to a Scute! By Elaine A. Powers, Author

Some words are just fun.  One of my favorites is SCUTE. It’s pronounced like scoot.  Try saying is slow: scoooooot or fast: scutescutescute! Fun, right? I have turtles and tortoises to thank for introducing me to the word scute.

The word scute is from the Latin word scutum, which means “shield.”

The segments of the carapace, or hard-shell, of a tortoise are called scutes. Scutes are made of keratin, like your fingernails. They cover the bone of the turtle or tortoise, like our skin. I confess, I didn’t look closely at the scutes until I wrote my book, Don’t Call Me Turtle. I had discovered how turtles shed their scutes from my painted turtle, Tommy. But tortoises add material between the scutes, creating the appearance of tree rings.

I was surprised to find out that they all have the same number of scutes. Look at the photos below and you’ll see what I mean. A turtle is on the right and a tortoise is on the left.

looking down on the shell of a turtle
See the separate pieces, or scutes, of the shell of the turtle?
looking down at the shell of a tortoise
These are the scutes of the tortoise’s hardshell

 

How many scutes are there? The five scutes in the center are called vertebral scutes. Next to them are 8 costal scutes. Creating a fringe around the carapace are the 24 marginal scutes.

Okay, now that I’ve said all hard-shells have the same number of scutes, I have to mention the exceptions. Loggerhead and Ridley Sea Turtles have 10-12 costal scutes. They make room for the additional scutes by having an elongated carapace.

I hope you now appreciate scutes, not only as a fun-sounding word, but for the important purpose they play in the lives of turtles and tortoises.

To learn more about tortoises and turtles, please click on the books below. They are an economical, fun and interesting way to keep children happily occupied, while learning, during the hot days of summer.

a white and blue book cover with an image of a desert tortoise

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

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

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

There are MANY differences between tortoises and turtles! That’s why Myrtle the Red-foot Tortoise asked me to write this book. It’s educational but written in rhyme and a lot of fun for both parents and kids.

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June 16th is World Sea Turtle Day by Elaine A. Powers, Author

 

a green sea turtle in the ocean
A wonderful closeup of a Green Sea Turtle.

Please join me in celebrating World Sea Turtle Day on June 16. I have been honored to personally interact with a few sea turtles. I remember a wonderful snorkeling trip where I spent the time swimming around the reef with a Hawksbill turtle. Female Loggerhead #1295 will always be very special to me, since I tagged her on the beach on Sanibel Island. I hope she is still out there living the ocean life.

Turtles live in freshwater or saltwater.  June 16th celebrates those that live in the oceans. This date was selected because it’s Dr. Archie Carr’s birthday. Dr. Carr was a pioneer in the study and protection of sea turtles. He realized the importance of sea turtles to the ecosystems.  Leatherback and Hawksbill Turtles are predators of jellyfish and sponges, while Green Sea Turtles ensure sea grass is kept short. These actions are necessary to keep marine life healthy and in balance.

Sea turtles have been around since the time of the dinosaurs, mostly unchanged. Once you’ve got a good model, stick with it. Unfortunately, their existence is threatened in modern times. They may become extinct soon despite being around for 110 million years.

It’s estimated that as few as one in 1000 turtles survives from egg-hood to adulthood. The difficulties created by man start during nesting. People dig up the eggs illegally—this is called poaching. Some people eat the eggs as a food source, but others think they’re an aphrodisiac. More disgusting are people who kill the female turtles to remove the eggs before they are laid, believing that the eggs are more potent then. Not only are the current batch of eggs destroyed, but so is the female and her future babies.

Lights from buildings attract the hatchlings inland instead of them heading out to see.  Beaches covered with litter make it difficult for the females to create their nests and that same trash prevents the hatchlings from reaching the sea. Hatchlings have a hard enough time digging their way out of the nest, crawling over the contour of the beach, while avoiding natural predators without humans throwing up all these obstacles. Plastic pollution is causing extreme danger. Fifty percent of sea turtles are known to have eaten plastic, mistaking it for their food. Plastic bags look a lot like jellyfish.

We are causing the extinction of these animals needed for the preservation of our oceans, which are the source of a great deal of our food. It is up to us to save them and thus, ourselves.

Lyric Power Publishing is proud to offer substantial and comprehensive WORKBOOKS to supplement the education of children. They are used by teachers, parents and tutors. My Book About Green Sea Turtles is full of information about these amazing creatures.

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