Islandport Press Partners with Maine Audubon to Bring the Outdoors into Classrooms
In 2014, Islandport Press launched a partnership with Maine Audubon to publish a series of children’s books that will help increase awareness about endangered species while raising funds for underserved schools. Proceeds from the Wildlife on the Move series go to helping improve education for Maine children, but that’s not the only way this series is reaching kids. The program is also meeting children in their natural habitats by visiting classrooms across the state.
Melissa Kim, children’s and young adult book editor at Islandport Press and author of the Wildlife on the Move series, has accompanied staff from the Maine Audubon Society on school visits where they speak to the kids about the biological facts of owls and bats. Along with Maine Audubon educator Kim Sanders, Melissa Kim visited schools in Lincolnville, Appleville, and Hope, bringing a box filled with science artifacts. The educational kits features a jumbo-sized version of either A Snowy Owl Story or A Little Brown Bat Story (and launching this Saturday: A Blanding's Turtle Story) plus animal skeletons, droppings, and other educational materials to help illustrate the concepts in the books.
Audubon Names A Snowy Owl Story One of Twelve Best Bird Books of 2015
A Snowy Owl Story was listed number two on the National Audubon Society's list of "The 12 Best Bird Books of 2015" on their website.
Their review says, "A Snowy Owl Story isn’t just another cute kids book; it’s full of science and purpose. Based on true events, the story follows a golden-eyed Snowy Owl from the Arctic as it journeys across the continent to an abandoned building in Maine. Beautifully illustrated with easy-to-read text, the book teaches children about the bird’s habitat and diet, and also shows them how to help an avian in need."
Read the rest of the list on their website here.
Islandport Press and Maine Audubon Announce New Partnership
Islandport Press is partnering with Maine Audubon to produce and distribute a new children’s board book that will tell the story of a displaced Snowy Owl. The book, slated for release in February, 2015, is expected to be the first in a new series called “Wildlife on the Move.” The book will be launched at Maine Audubon’s annual Winter Carnival celebration on February 14 at their Gilsland Farm headquarters in Falmouth.
The book, A Snowy Owl Story, is written by children’s book author and editor, Melissa Kim, and illustrated by Jada Fitch. The goal of the “Wildlife on the Move” series is to bring well-written, engaging stories about wildlife migration, conservation and respectful human interaction with nature to a Pre-K through second grade audience. Islandport is working with naturalists at Maine Audubon to produce a scientifically accurate, narrative nonfiction story that is also gorgeously illustrated and designed to appeal to a young audience.
“Most books for the pre-K audience are very basic natural history books that simply recite facts about animals,” says author Melissa Kim. “These books tell stories about specific wildlife, how and why they move and what role people can play in their lives. I’ve not seen board books like this before and am honored to be part of this unique partnership to help introduce young people to important wildlife conservation concepts.”
A Snowy Owl Story will be sold through all typical retail channels (as well as at Maine Audubon’s Nature Stores) and Maine Audubon will use the book as a cornerstone of its education efforts for its preschool outreach and school collaborations in Maine. Ten percent of earnings from book sales will be used to support Maine Audubon educational outreach programs that benefit underserved preschools statewide.
“We are thrilled to partner with Islandport Press for this exciting project,” noted Eric Topper, Education Director at Maine Audubon. “We know that understanding and appreciating nature starts with teaching young people to revere and respect the wildlife and habitat immediately around them. We will be able to use these books to help teachers introduce ecological and science-based content while simultaneously encouraging values related to wildlife conservation.”
Islandport Press and Maine Audubon are discussing future books in the series and could release additional titles as early as Fall 2015.
Jada Fitch is a freelance illustrator from Portland, Maine. She holds a BFA from Maine College of Art and is the author and illustrator of Tea with Hazel.
Melissa Kim, the author of six children’s books, one adult guidebook, and countless articles for children’s magazines, is a former editor of Habitat, the magazine of Maine Audubon, and is currently the children's book editor at Islandport Press.
Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. Our citizen science programs connect Maine people to engaging volunteer opportunities that make meaningful contributions to conservation research. The largest Maine-based wildlife conservation organization in the state, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers. Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information
Islandport Press is a dynamic, award-winning publisher dedicated to stories rooted in the essence and sensibilities of New England.