Chevy Chase, MD resident Susan Stockdale's books about animals are known for their bold, colorful illustrations, vivid rhymes, and scientific accuracy. Her books are displayed at Gala Artisans Jewelry & Gifts in downtown Kensington. Stockdale has just written her seventh picture book, Spectacular Spots, which explores familiar and exotic animals with spots and why they have them.It follows her previous book, Stripes of All Types. She also wrote Fabulous Fishes, Bring on the Birds, Nature's Paintbrush, and Carry Me. Her first book was Some Sleep Standing Up, which was inspired by seeing a flamingo sleep standing up at the zoo.
Stockdale began her career as a painter of fantasy landscape. Her experience as a textile designer is readily apparent in her illustrations emphasizing pattern and color. All of her books are meticulously researched and checked by scientists. They feature a two-page spread on animal facts. For Spectacular Spots, she traveled the rainforests of Costa Rica. She has received awards from the American Library Association, Parent's Choice, and the National Science Teachers Association. The Washington Post praised her: "If the paintings are the feast, Stockdale's words are the dessert."
Some of Stockdale's favorite children's books are The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater and River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet. Her favorite animals are tigers, whale sharks, and keel-billed toucans.
Stockdale is a big fan of Noyes because it is "such a cozy, intimate, and friendly library.” To teach your children more about animals and their habitats, check out Stockdale's books at the Noyes Library for Young Children and other Montgomery County Public Libraries. You can read more about Susan Stockdale on her website.
by Beth Meyer for the June/July 2015 MAKE MORE NOYES COMMUNITY UPDATE
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(getting to know our local authors and illustrators)