Marine Biologists on a Dive AND Archeologists on a Dig by Sue Fliess and Mia Powell

Hi, Sue Fliess! Thank you for returning to Watch. Connect. Read. to discuss all-things KID SCIENTIST. What would you like everyone to know about Marine Biologists on a Dive and Archeologists on a Dig?

Sue Fliess: Hi Mr. Schu! Thank you for having me here to talk about my new books! I always have a lot to say, so I’ll try not to go overboard with information for your readers.

Almost exactly a year ago, an editor at Albert Whitman reached out to me about a science-based picture book series idea she was developing and thought I might be a good fit as the author. And while I didn’t know too many details about the series, I immediately said yes, I was interested. And I’m so glad I did!

Fast forward to now, and I’ve just finished writing book number 4 for the series…whew! The main gist of the series is introducing science professions to kids, by having the kids as the scientists in each book—the first two come out April of 2022. In MARINE BIOLOGISTS, a group of kid marine biologists swim with humpback whales and observe their behavior in the wild, and our main character forms a hypothesis about whale songs. The team follows the steps of the scientific method to prove or disprove her hypothesis. In ARCHAEOLOGISTS, a group of kid archaeologists travel to the Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia and dig for artifacts. The group unearths pieces of a clay pot, and our main character forms a hypothesis about the age of the pot. They then use the scientific method, spot dating, and thermoluminescence (how’s that for introducing a big word?!) to confirm the pot’s age. The back of each book shares resources, things kids can do now if they are interested in those sciences, a description of what these scientists do for a living, and how kids could pursue that career later in life.

What was the most fun part of writing the first two books in the series? 

Sue Fliess: Learning! I love science, but do not come from a science background, so I knew I was about to embark on some serious research. I immersed myself in marine biology, humpback whales, archaeology, ruins, digs, and more, until I figured out the right mix of science to include, and then made sure to write a compelling adventure for each book. For example, did you know that sometimes a whale can make a noise that sounds like a creaking door? Or that you can reheat a clay artifact to find out how old it is? I hope readers will find the books informative and fun, and perhaps inspire the next generation to pursue careers in science. That’s a tall order, but one can hope!

Please finish the following sentence starters:

Mia Powell’s illustrations are perfect for these books. Clean lines, a great use of perspective and space, plus wonderful color palettes make these books beautiful, and her illustration style enhances each story. Mia has done an awesome job and she definitely has her work cut out for her with the settings I’ve chosen!

Science is like magic, only real. Okay, so I saw that on a T-shirt recently (that I almost bought!), but it is so true, so I’m stealing it. In all seriousness, though, I am so often in awe of science and nature, (just yesterday stopped to take a photo of a praying mantis, much to my dog’s chagrin) and my hope is that I’ve written books that combine both, while also showing kids discovering things about their world by experiencing science and nature first-hand.

John Schu, you should have asked me
what the other books are in the series. Without revealing too much too early, one has to do with scientists living in space, and the other focuses on scientists discovering rare insects. Hopefully the books will be a hit and I’ll get to write more of them!

Thank you for hosting me here today. Now, go get your science on!

Thank you, Sue! 

Look for Marine Biologists on a Dive and Archeologists on a Dig on April 1, 2022. 


Popular Posts