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Tails, Tales, Adventures, Oh, My!

colorful collage of book covers

Welcome to Lyric Power Publishing, LLC, where we believe science books should be educational and entertaining. Our children’s books illustrations are unusual in the marketplace: They are vivid—to attract the reader to both the written word and the fascinating world of science. Science is interesting and fun when presented in delightful rhymes or engaging adventures. No dry textbooks here! But don’t think these stories are only for children. Our fan mail indicates adults enjoy them equally and have also gained new knowledge while reading them.

We have added, however, books for adult readers at Lyric Power Publishing, LLC, though they might also be enjoyed by older children.  Silent Rocks by Elaine A. Powers falls in our Conservation Category and is about ways to help save the endangered Rock Iguanas of Cayman Brac.  Queen of the Night: the Night-Blooming Cereus also by Elaine A. Powers, is found in our Plants Category and is about the mysterious Sonoran Desert plant that blooms one night every summer–all of them at the same time. Brown Booby Birds of Cayman Brac by Bonnie Scott is filed in our Birds Category and is about the last forty pairs of these large sea birds that are found only on the island of Cayman Brac. Time and the Garden by Jo Busha is also in Plants and is a book of essays from her life and experiences in the garden. Please check them out by clicking on the titles.

We may be a small publisher, but we have a mighty mission:  Science education should not be boring! To that end, in addition to our fun, science-based books in print, we have developed our own activity sheets and bundled them into 12 to 47-page study-units. Our affordable, printable activity sheets, workbooks, flannel-boards and standups for Grades K-5 provide creative and fun opportunities to learn about ecology, reptiles, birds, mammals, habitats, predators and prey, plants, rocks, maps and directions. They include coloring pages and lessons on anatomy, life-cycles, crossword puzzles, cut-and-paste, word searches, spelling, vocabulary, math, and story-writing, and more. Wouldn’t your children rather count iguanas or bats than apples and oranges? Our workbooks can be viewed at the Workbooks tab and are downloaded by you to be printed and used as many times as you’d like.

We hope you will enjoy all there is to see on the Lyric Power Publishing, LLC website. You can meet our authors and illustrators under the Home tab and see all our books at the Our Books tab.

Thank you for joining us as we discuss our work and our insights on this blog, Tails, Tales, Adventures, Oh, My! If you’d like to receive updates in your email, use the subscription box in the right column of any page but the Home page. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at iginspired@gmail.com.

 

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Lyric Power Publishing, LLC is Expanding! We Are Adding Books for Adult Readers, Too!

close up photo of sunflower head

Lyric Power Publishing, LLC, is very excited to announce that we are expanding and adding books for adult readers, also.

While many of the existing books written for children are enjoyed by their parents and grandparents, too, we will soon be adding books for adult readers that have to do with the planet, nature, animals and the natural sciences.

Please check back for the coming new offerings!

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New Book Smell by Elaine A. Powers, Author

photo of book with cracked pagesI was at a book meeting this morning when a friend of mine took the new book she had just purchased, opened it to the middle, stuck her nose into the crack and inhaled deeply.  A look of contentment covered her face and radiated through her body.

“Ah . . . the new book smell,” she uttered.

I confess to being unfamiliar with the smell of a new book.  We, of a certain age, remember the smell of mimeograph sheets, but that’s very different. So, of course, I had to try. I picked up one of my books that hadn’t been opened. I pulled the pages apart and smelled deeply of the fresh ink smell (mine was a picture book).

Hmmm, what a delicious smell! I hate to think of the many opportunities I have missed by not smelling my new books. I will not make that mistake in the future.

Even though e-books are convenient, they don’t have that new book smell. Oh, wait! Maybe we could create a fragrance “new book smell” that you could sniff when you turn on your reader! (There’s the lab biologist in me coming out!)

The most important thing, though, is to read, whether the book is electronic, well worn, or being opened for the first time. READ and increase your vocabulary, knowledge base, reduce your stress and enjoy good stories!

But feel free to sniff, as well.

There are lots of fun, science-based books to read at my Author Page on Amazon. Not only do they smell great, they’ll help you learn about turtles and tortoises and lizards and snakes and birds and plants!

infographic about "Don't" series books

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The Right Words Make All the Difference by Elaine A. Powers, Author

a woman stands by a caution sign for iguanas in the road
Tanja shows the ineffective signs
Iguana conservationists were excited when road signs where put up on the Sisters Islands of the Cayman Islands, reminding drivers to slow down to protect the endemic iguanas, which unfortunately, enjoy the warmth of the roads and bask on them. Given enough warning, which happens when cars approach at the speed limit, the large lizards can get off the road.  Many iguanas have lost their tails to car tires, but they did survive. Unfortunately, far too many drivers don’t care if they hit an iguana or two as they drive along. They could be speeding, looking at their cell phones, or sadly, some aim for the lizards. Residents hoped the signs would help save lives. Despite the signs, iguanas continued to die on the roads of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. What was needed? Additional signs were put up. School children were educated in the hopes that concern would spread within families. Then someone had an idea: Maybe the folks on the islands didn’t realize how unique these lizards are because they see them day in and day out. So, the signs were redesigned. The new signs emphasize that the Sister Isle Rock Iguana is an endangered species. They were installed along with the powerful hope that this news will get people’s attention. Another proposal was suggested that I really liked: Have the islands’ children design warning signs that are then installed along the roads. People would be delighted to see their relatives’ work and slow down to look at them. Education and responsibility are needed to help SIRIs survive in the only places they live on this earth. Humans can harm or help, and it is hoped drivers on the islands will slow down, even stop, for these special and endangered large lizards.
A woman and man stand near a Give Way to Iguanas sign
Tanja and Greg show off the new “Give Way to Rock Iguanas” sign

Why not count/sort/puzzle over iguanas, instead of apples? Big lizards are very interesting and a lot of fun to color! This inexpensive, yet wonderfully designed 30-page workbook is chock full of fun and educational activities. Get yours today!

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Oxidative Stress Happens to All Animals by Elaine A. Powers, Author

a green colored iguana lying on a tree branchToday we hear about oxidative stress and anti-oxidants. One of the parameters measured on animals in field research is oxidative stress. Reactive oxygen species are quantified, or measured. Do you know what these terms mean and why they are so important?

As we learned in science class, atoms such as oxygen are made up of a nucleus with protons and neutrons, with electrons spinning around it. But oxygens don’t keep tight control of their electrons and they tend to bind to other atoms. Free radicals are oxygen-containing molecules with an uneven number of electrons.  This uneven number allows them to easily react with other molecules. These reactions are called oxidation.

Oxidation is a normal process in bodily functions. Free radicals help fight off pathogens which cause infections and damage to fatty tissue, DNA and proteins. Oxidative stress happens when there’s an imbalance between free radical activity and antioxidant activity. An antioxidant is a molecule that is able to donate an electron to a free radical without destabilizing itself.  The donation stabilizes the free radical, so it becomes less reactive.

But it’s not just humans that get oxidative stress – all animals do.  Nowadays, along with measuring an iguana for the usual length and weight, they are often examined for oxidative stress. Are our human activities increasing the oxidative stress in the native animals around us?  Sadly, yes. And it’s having negative effects on their health, as well.

I’ll be including some of these negative effects in upcoming books, such as Curtis Curly-tail Goes to the Doctor. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn about the what is being done to save the endangered Sister Island Rock Iguana, please read my book, Silent Rocks. It is for sale at Amazon.

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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January 21 is Squirrel Appreciation Day by Elaine A. Powers, Author

a gray and brown squireel sitting on a tree branch
An Eastern Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis in Corkscrew Swamp

I think squirrels are often maligned unjustly. People spend a lot of time and money trying to thwart them, but have you ever stopped to consider their ingenuity at overcoming the obstacles we put in their way? After all, they are just doing what they need to do to survive.

Squirrels are small to medium-sized rodents. They are native to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa. They live in almost every habitat, from tropical rain forests to semiarid deserts. They are predominantly herbivores, eating seeds and nuts, but many will eat insects and even small vertebrates, as well.

Many of us interact with local tree squirrels, trying to prevent them from getting into our bird feeders. It’s amazing how much effort we put into attempting to out think these rodents—and then failing. The industry producing supposedly squirrel-proof bird feeders in quite sizable.

Here in the Sonoran Desert, I enjoy my ground squirrels, as well as tree squirrels. I think of their extensive digging as aerating my soil. I often head into my yard when I take breaks from writing. The little ones sitting up on their hind legs to greet me always makes me smile. I don’t discourage them from sharing in the feeders’ contents. I simply add a bit more for them.

I’ve written books about turtles and fish and tortoises and lizards and snakes and birds and plants—and even a fairy!—but not any mammals. No, wait! There is a mammal, a hutia, in Curtis Curly-tail Hears a Hutia, but I can’t think of any others. (A hutia is an endangered rodent native to the Bahamas that has endangered the local ecosystem. Readers of this Curtis-tale tag along on his adventure and then must decide how to solve this conundrum.)

Tomorrow, please join me in appreciating squirrels, those adorable, ingenious rodents. And consider picking up a copy of Curtis Curly-tail Hears a Hutia for the budding scientist in your family.

A book cover with a Curly-tail lizard riding on the back of a Hutia, a rodent
Curtis Curly-tail and Horace Hutia become friends after declining hutia are brought to Warderick Wells. But when the hutia damage the cay’s ecosystem, what will the scientists do? You, the reader, help them decide.
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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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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!

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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.